A Guest Speaker at Ireland Writing Retreat

Writing retreat 1

Public speaking is incredibly helpful in promoting books. It can help to raise your public profile and put your book in front of potential readers.

I really enjoy inspiring others and public speaking was a big part of the twenty years I spent as a natural medicines therapist.

Ireland Writing Retreat

Sean and Columbia Hillen have been providing creative writing courses in Donegal, and more recently on The Black Sea at http://www.irelandwritingretreat.com

Sean has been a war correspondent, medical reporter, travel writer, editor and publisher and is the author of a novel  “Pretty Ugly.” We first met last year at a local Christmas Craft Fair and exchanged books. You can read my post on the event HERE

Questions and Answers

I was invited to participate in a question and answer session on my memoir “Watching the Daisies” at their most recent retreat. Although I arrived feeling rather nervous at speaking to a group of international writers, I soon relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

A group of seven ladies hailing from the United States and New Zealand asked me LOTS of questions including the inspiration for my prologue – “Rainbows Over Belfast,” my writing and self publishing journey, my experiences as a natural medicines therapist, and Donegal’s wealth of legends on the fairy folk!

writing retreat2

Inspired by The Writers in the Group

Sean followed up with a group exercise, asking participants to write and then read a possible opening paragraph for their own memoirs.

The responses were superb, inventive and lots of fun.

My muse and I left the retreat feeling somewhat inspired.

The photographs for this post were taken by Columbia Hillen.

I have since then spoken to more participants at Ireland Writing Retreat – a serendipitous result of networking at Christmas Craft Fairs.

Your Experiences

Do you enjoy public speaking? What positive outcomes have you experienced?

Brigid P. Gallagher is a retired natural medicines therapist, passionate organic gardener and author of “Watching the Daisies- Life lessons on the Importance of Slow,” a holistic memoir dedicated to the art of mindfulness and healing from debilitating illness.



  1. creative writing course is a very exciting programme especially if it’s learning from a published writer. it must have been a good session to hear from international writers too. lovely to read that you were given a segment to talk about your book. I am sure everyone warmed up to you very quickly Brigid. it looked a very cosy and intimate meet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations, Brigid! 😀 What a wonderful day for you all – one of mutual inspiration! Great that there were lots of questions and discussions and such quality of work afterwards. Just think, some of these writers might be publishing there own memoir soon as a result of your talk & work with them!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sean is a smart guy, inviting you who to take part in his retreat. I am certain the writers all took away real wisdom from you. It is lovely that you felt you had gained from them too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am more than somewhat inspired by your participation in this fascinating Irish writing retreat! How fabulous! I feel that there’s nothing better than a group of writers participating together, writing, reading their work out loud, sharing their talent and the ins and outs of being in the “business” of imagination and creativity. Cheers and Congrats to you, Brigid.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What an honor to be asked to talk to a group of writers. Writing is so hard for me-I feel much more at ease making things that don’t have to be expressed in words. Speaking in front of adults is always hard for me too. With kids, easy but otherwise not so much. I sounds like a great workshop and you had a wonderful and fulfilling time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Terri. I love talking to adults and children but I still get nervous beforehand. They seem to disappear once I begin. You have wonderful creative gifts. I always enjoy your posts and leave feeling inspired. 🌼


  6. I came back to add something to my comment that I left when you first posted this but I can’t see it (disappearing comments seem to be happening to a few people, unless maybe it’s gone to spam..) Anyway, what I basically said was congrats, that’s such an amazing thing to be invited to! I’m glad it went well, you’re a superstar and I think you should be very proud!
    And what I came today to say was congrats on winning Cobs’ giveaway! 🙂
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love that you did this, Brigid! What an accomplishment – and it sounds like a sweet experience as well. ❤ Lovely photos.

    Good to reconnect. Be in touch anytime. I'd love to hear how things are going for you. Since we last talked, I bet a number of things have shifted for you!

    Many blessings and love, Brigid. 🙂 Really great post.

    Liked by 1 person

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