Authors and Artists

Mary Blake is a drama facilitator with Leitrim Youth Theatre and also freelances in schools where she conducts drama workshops.  Mary works primarily with devising original scripts with her youth theatre groups using improvisation and the imagination of the participants to create a bespoke piece of theatre. Mary is a Montessori teacher having taught in schools in Nigeria, Greece and Ireland.  She has a certificate in directing for theatre from National University of Ireland Maynooth where she also received a diploma in Youth Arts.
Gerry Boland’s first Marco book, Marco Moves In, was nominated for the Bord Gais Children’s Book of the year in 2011. His other books include, Marco Master of Disguise, Marco Moonwalker, and his most recent young-reader book, a collection of poems titled The Secret Lives of Mothers.
Anna Carey is a journalist and author from Dublin who has written for the Irish Times, Irish Independent and many other publications. Anna’s first book, The Real Rebecca, was published in 2011, and went on to win the Senior Children’s Book prize at the Irish Book Awards. Rebecca returned in the critically acclaimed Rebecca’s Rules, Rebecca Rocks and Rebecca is Always Right. The Making of Mollie(2016) was her first historical novel and was shortlisted for the Senior Children’s Book prize at the 2016 Irish Book Awards.
Naomi Draper’s practice is made up of a studio practice that is focused around drawing and sculpture and an equally important collaborative practice where she develops work in a range of workshop and collaborative situations. Naomi is continuously interested in finding ways to connect and collaborate with others and is interested in exploring how we communicate and develop a platform to share, exchange and learn from one another. Naomi has participated on a number of residency programmes with art institutions and in community contexts working with artists, educators, healthcare practitioners and young people; including Residence Botkyrka (Sweden) various County Councils, and regional arts centres, Kidsown Publishing Partnership, Sligo Mental Health Services, and The Brothers of Charity.  Previous exhibitions include; Florilegium, Roscommon Arts Centre and Artbox Projects, Dublin 2017; A seed’s A Star, Hamilton Gallery, Sligo; On Beauty, Roscommon Arts Centre; One Million to One, Botkyrka Konstall, Sweden, Paper for the Sky, Interstate, Brooklyn, NY; and Practice, West Cork Arts Centre, Axis Balymun, and The Model, Sligo. This year Naomi will present a solo exhibition at Limerick City Gallery of Art, and develop a new project with the Mattress Factory Art Museum, Pittsburgh in 2019.
Cróna Gallagher is a studio holder at Leitrim Sculpture Centre, Manorhamilton, where she practices the art of Printmaking alongside the written word.  Her prints have been exhibited globally and in the RHA and the RUA.  Written work has featured in quality literary journals internationally and at home. She is the recipient of numerous awards including a Travel and Training Award, a Literary Bursary from The Arts Council of Ireland and individual artist award from Leitrim County Council. She has been awarded arts residencies from Tyrone Guthrie Centre for Oberpfӓlzer Künstlerhaus in Bavaria, Heinrich Böll cottage on Achill, Cill Railaig, Ginestrelle in Assisi, Italy among others. Cróna teaches The Chluainín Art Club at Gaelscoil in Manorhamilton which is being supported by Leitrim County Council. She is also the co-organiser of The Dermot Healy Poetry Award.
Kim Hood grew up in British Columbia, Canada. After earning degrees in psychology, history and education, she wandered through a few countries before making the west coast of Ireland home.  Her eclectic work experience in education, therapy and community services has presented endless opportunity to observe a world of interesting characters.  She has always had a passion for trying to understand life from the perspective of those on the fringes of society.  Her books include Finding a Voice and Plain Jane.
Colm Keegan is a writer and performance poet from Dublin, Ireland. Since 2005, he has been shortlisted four times for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award, for both poetry and fiction and won the All Ireland Poetry Slam in 2010. In 2015 he was awarded a residency in the LexIcon, Ireland’s largest public library. He is a creative writing teacher and co-founder of the Inklinks Project, a creative writing initiative for young writers. His debut poetry collection, Don’t Go There, was released in 2012 to critical acclaim and is available from www.salmonpoetry.com. His second poetry collection is due out in 2017. In 2011, he was nominated for the Dublin Fringe’s ‘Little Gem’ Award for the spoken-word play Three Men Talking About Things They Kinda Know About – which has toured Ireland and sold out in Bristol, London and Paris. His play For Saoirse was staged in the Axis Theatre in 2016. In January 2017 his short play, The Process was staged in the Abbey Theatre as part of 24 Hour Plays.  He is a co-founder and board member of Lingo, Ireland’s first Spoken Word festival
Dave Rudden is the author of the award-winning Knights of the Borrowed Dark trilogy. He has performed in over three hundred and fifty schools, libraries and festivals since the release of his first novel in 2016 and enjoys cats, adventure and being cruel to fictional children. The last book in the Knights trilogy, The Endless King, is on sale now. In this rigorous and fast-paced class, students will be be empowered to discover their own narrative voice while also learning about the building blocks of structure and character development that underpin all genres of writing. They’ll critique each other, engage in lively discussion, and discover how to unlock emotional authenticity, robust world-building and the importance of editing.
Kate Wilson is a graduate of the Slade School of Art, London. Her background is in both visual art and dance. Since moving to Ireland in 1995 she has worked as a painter, performer, director and arts facilitator/collaborator. For more than 15 years Kate has worked as a facilitator, mentor and professional development trainer for collaborative practice in many contexts throughout Ireland, including gallery, school and community residencies and workshop facilitation. Her painting is in both civic and private collections including Leitrim, Wexford, and Boyle civic collections and AIB. She is the recipient of a number of awards and commissions including RHA award of distinction. In 2016 Kate founded and is director ‘Undercurrent’, a dance theatre company with performers from diverse backgrounds and an innovative approach to collaboration and inclusion in the arts.