The National Emerging Writer Programme: Telling the Story | Resources | Video & Podcast Resources

Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin

I’ve been asked by several new writers recently where and how they should start their story, and have found myself referring back to the National Emerging Write Programme videos, so here’s a reminder of what they are all about.

The first video ‘Starting to Write’ with Carlo Gebler gives invaluable information on facing the blank page and how and where to start – the key issues you need to think about. In ‘Telling the Story’ find out from authors Carlo Gebler, Sinead Moriarty and Declan Hughes those essential ingredients that will make your fiction sing – find out how they each develop structure, why that first draft is so important, how many characters you should have, and the importance of conflict and change. Great dialogue will lift your story, find out how to create a scene. For both new and experienced writers, this programme will get you thinking.

The National Emerging Writer Programme was created by’s Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin aka Sam Blake, and was funded by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature. It is aimed at new and experienced writers looking to improve their craft. With four Nobel Laureates and four Booker Prize winners, Ireland has produced some of the finest writers in the world  – and this national initiative aims to assist the writers of the future to make their mark and continue this enviable tradition.

Check out Sam Blake’s new online writing courses here. She has created a modular course that will guide you through the process of writing your book – just choose the units you need. Find out more about her latest book at

The complete DVD is (hopefully still!) available to borrow from your local library, or you can watch it in easy view sections on YouTube (several section are featured here – there’s lots more). CLICK THROUGH TO THE WRITING.IE YOU TUBE CHANNEL TO SEE IT ALL.

The trailer gives you a flavour of the series:


This video from Starting to Write, the first part of the series, gives you an idea of the content – this is one of many videos that have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times!

Here’s Carlo on research and creating a structure:


In ‘Telling the Story’, the second part of the programme, Carlo Gébler, Sinead Moriarty and Declan Hughes discuss the key elements that create story. In Revising, Rewriting and Overcoming Obstacles, our writers discuss editing, writers block and all the problems you can face. Here’s a selection of the videos to give you more idea of the programme.

Developing Your Idea


Writing Your First Draft

Developing Your Voice

Which Point of View and Tense Should You Use?

Making Your Characters Come to Life



Listen to Your Subconscious

(c) Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin

little bonesVanessa Fox O’Loughlin is the founder of and of The Inkwell Group publishing consultancy. She is Ireland’s leading literary scout who has assisted many award winning and best selling authors to publication.

Vanessa has been writing fiction since her husband set sail across the Atlantic for eight weeks and she had an idea for a book. She is represented by Simon Trewin at WME and writes crime as Sam Blake. The first of her Cat Connolly thriller trilogy LITTLE BONES  was published in May 2016 and hit the bestseller list,  spending 8 weeks in the Top 10 with 4 weeks at No. 1.

For fans of Alex Barclay and Niamh O’Connor, Little Bones introduces Cathy Connolly, a bright young heroine set to take the world of crime fiction by storm.

Twenty-four-year-old Garda Cathy Connolly might be a fearless kick-boxing champion but when she discovers a baby’s bones concealed in the hem of a wedding dress, the case becomes personal.

For artist Zoe Grant, the bones are another mysterious twist in her mother’s disappearance. Then her grandmother, head of the Grant Valentine department store empire is found dead, and a trail of secrets is uncovered that threatens to shake a dynasty.

In a story that moves from London’s East End to the Las Vegas mafia, one thing is certain – for Cat, life will never be the same again.

‘Instantly gripping, perfectly paced, and filled with a brilliant cast of characters, led by the utterly likeable and relatable Detective Cathy Connolly . . . from the murky depths of these buried secrets comes an ending that truly shines.’ – Alex Barclay

Little Bones is in bookshops now or pick up your copy online here!

About the author

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