The BA in Writing + Literature emphasises practice leading to lives and careers in writing, acknowledging that everyone does not start from the same place. Voices are individual. Different writers move forward at different paces, imaginations fire as they will. The tutors on the course will equip students with the tools that they need to write, the ability to self-edit, to understand the power of the image, to develop voice, but see their real job as clearing the imaginative space in front of students, to create the room where their own work as a writer can thrive.

The art of the tutor in this field is to know when to guide and encourage and when to stand back and allow writers to engage in their own practice.

Writing is presented and practiced on the course in a broad, cross-disciplinary context. Students have the opportunity to tell stories on the page, in digital formats, as audio pieces, screenplays and as live performances. Critical abilities are honed, whether it’s reading a poem, novel or screenplay. Always students are asked to move beyond the knee-jerk like/don’t like response. They are encouraged to articulate exactly what it is that makes or doesn’t make a piece of writing sing, to flex their critical muscles and take a position.

Writing is a solitary individual endeavour but that doesn’t mean you don’t engage with the world. Writing + Literature students have travelled to festivals and readings in County Clare and theatre performances in Belfast,Dublin as well as in Sligo. They’ve read poems at the bottom of caves in Leitrim, sat in awe in Dermot Healy’s ‘chapel of salt’ in nearby Ballyconnell, and given public readings of their work in the YeatsBuilding at Hyde Bridge. Students have facilitated writing workshops for groups of local secondary students.

They have done internships with publishing houses, literary festivals, lifestyle and fashion magazines, news outlets, content and public relations agencies to name but a few.

Professionals in the publishing, media and literary world, ranging from an RTÉ radio producer, an editor, a literary agent, journalists, the ArtsCouncil literature officer, have visited our students in person and, more It is important to us that students experience the tangible end of the craft, that they submit work and engage in the increasingly vigorous sphere of Irish writing.

Writing + Literature students have been published in online poetry journals and a range of anthologies, the Cormorant and the Irish Times. They’ve read in Sligo Library’s The Word series as emerging writers with Kevin Barry, Declan Burke, Nicole Flattery among others.

They’ve had classes with visiting writers such as Mary Costello, Molly McCloskey and Sebastian Barry. A footprint in the writing world is important and gaining that footprint is a key part of the course.

Graduates 2021

Course nameNFQ LevelGraduate LevelFavourite
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Writing and Literature (Online)Level 8Online
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Writing and LiteratureLevel 8Undergraduate

Writing & Literature Graduate Showcase


‘I suppose we should get on with it,’ she says, moving towards me. ‘Yes,’ I say. Thank fuck, I think.


My non-fiction consists of issues I have personally experienced laid bare using scene rather than reflection. My nonfiction piece explores issues that so many young people face such as addiction, being away from home for the first time and of course family and relationship issues.


So, I packed my things, throwing all into the back of my Golf, and drove the three hour teary-eyed drive to Sligo, a town I had long since turned my back on with the coming of Anna to my life.


My narratives explore the relationship between place and psychological spaces. My short stories and flash fictions centre around moments when external conditions force characters to decide how they want to be in the world. As an ex- journalist, who has lived in both the Global North and South, the impacts of…


I needed to up my entertaining game. My idol Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef, author, and travel documentarian was visiting Cayman for a culinary event. His latest cookbook Les Halles had recently been released, and I was dying to meet him.


I love the marriage of poetry, film and sound. Taking a poem I have written, and shooting an accompanying film, can give the written word added dimension and depth. Fusion of the verbal, visual and audible can occur in the most magical way.


The reviews explore various texts all written by contemporary Irish women, including a novella and a film adaptation of the novella, a poetry collection, a short story collection, and a novel. Engaging critically with the texts helps me evaluate the ideas and content of my creative writing. Fusing Antitheses marks the…


Art still continues to play a considerable role in my writing, my work is illustrative, using colour to influence imagery and create depth of feeling. The creation of rich visuals that impacts all senses greatly inspires and enhances my writing experience. I hope for others to find meaning, comfort, or…


The tide is running. It confused Paula as a child how the pebbly beach was there one night and covered in water the next. She disliked the unpredictability of not knowing what the landscape would look like when she woke up. So, she watched. Every day.


My poetry considers natural forms in the landscape – a tree, the moon, a river – and reflects upon their structure and beauty, mythical stories associated with them and how they serve purpose to us: the moon acts as a compass, the river gently soothes and the tree’s apple provides food…


While my prose is about people, my poetry is a lyrical response to the landscape itself. I will continue to write about my own strange experiences from Ireland’s midlands, where I grew up, and of the beauty of the north-west where I live.


I wanted to combine the writing and drawing, and the portfolio seemed like the place to try whilst solidifying my universe. The portfolio focuses on exploration and nature but also on family. The illustrations are hand drawn digitally on Krita ( in order to convey raw authenticity.


My novel follows a young Irish photographer, torn between pursuing a creative practice and earning enough money to live and support her family. The voice is shaped by her aesthetic sensibility, her interest in observing, and the story explores themes of guilt, displacement and conflict.

Rachel Drohan

I will always be thankful for the time I have spent here with the amazing people I have had the pleasure of working alongside these past three years.

Peter Symonds

I understand why Beckett sought out hard, physical labour. It’s easier and more rewarding. But I’m failing better now. Failing more often, more confidently. Success isn’t a destination anyway; it’s finding the right journey. Your own personal odyssey.


His interests include films, sea swimming, cats and coffee. He is bilingual, and writes in both Irish and English. He is currently working on his first novel, which will be told through the medium of a dream diary.

Margaret Molloy Hoffman

A world without books to read, stories to listen to is my idea of Hell. Yearning to add my own to the Universal Collective, be part of the process of creation, keeps me moving forward. Writing is my superpower against adversity. My hope is that my writing may be of benefit…

Kevin Gallagher

Guidance from lecturers and interacting with my classmates in various artistic mediums have nurtured my creative abilities to write meaningfully about these subjects. I believe that in a complicated, alienating world it is the job of writers to speak truth to power. This course has opened my eyes to the…

David Byrne

The Writing & Literature course has expanded his literary knowledge and equipped him with the tools to not only write better prose, but to write in multiple forms such as poetry, plays and screenplays to boot. He looks forward to his creative journey beyond IT Sligo, and he looks back fondly…

Colm Lawlor

The Writing and Literature course at IT Sligo has proven to be exactly what I was looking for in my writing career. I don’t know where I would be without this course, and monthly readings at The Word.

Caragh Maxwell

I can finally apply the word “work” to my incessant scrawlings and have it mean something. I know how to better navigate the recesses of my own mind and plunder it for caches of inspiration. My final body of work for the course relies upon my own life and ego frequently,…

Aoife McQuillan

These past three years have taught me so much about life as well as my writing. They have given me the confidence to write about myself and not just characters I have created. I have learned not to compare my words to someone else’s as everybody’s different. Don’t overthink it.