Center for the Imagination


Service details

Contact: Columbia Hillen
Location: Donegal, Ireland
Telephone: 0833356243

Service description

Ready to enter your story for a coveted award? Pitching your manuscript or book idea to an agent?
Firstly, many congratulations. Many writers don’t get that far.

But wouldn’t it be a shame after all your work that you came close, but not close enough?

While you’ve done most of the hard work after weeks, months, perhaps even years, of self-sacrifice and rigorous discipline – there’s one significant element missing: an experienced set of eyes.

The eyes of someone who’s been in the writing field for many years and knows how to smooth out wrinkles and polish text until it shines a bit brighter.

A forensic editor who can see the little – and the big – changes needed to take writers over the finish line and on to an award or a publishing contract.

With 40 years of experience as international correspondent, editor and publisher, author and co-founder and lead tutor of ‘Ireland Writing Retreat,’ ( Sean Hillen ( has some pretty impressive credentials.

Not only is Sean the author of two books, a memoir entitled ‘Digging for Dracula’ ( and a contemporary novel, ‘Pretty Ugly’ ( he has worked for national Irish and British newspapers including ‘The Irish Times’ in Dublin and ‘The Times’ in London, as well as the BBC, before emigrating to the United States, first to the United Nations Media Center in New York, then in American print and broadcast media.

After winning regional and national journalism awards, Sean left the US for Eastern Europe immediately after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 as a volunteer with the Human Rights League to establish the first post-Communist journalism schools in Romania. This led to him working with international aid agencies such as the British Council, United Nations Development Fund, Soros Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). He was a foreign correspondent for Time magazine before establishing his own national publishing and events company. Sean was also chairperson of a a national Fulbright Commission.

And he’s a friendly fellow to boot.

That’s why he has three dogs, including two lively Irish collies named after mythical Celtic characters.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get all of the latest from delivered directly to your inbox.

Featured books