Armagh, Northern Ireland
DATES: July 2 – 30, 2017
CREDIT PROGRAM COST: $4,995 + airfare (Includes: accommodation, class instruction, course credit through the University of Jamestown, program activities, cultural activities, welcome and goodbye dinners, travel insurance).
GENERAL LOCATION: Armagh, Northern Ireland U.K.
The Armagh Project offers four tracks for students to choose from: reporting/multimedia, documentary filmmaking, creative writing and performance/playwriting. Students learn and practice skills in their chosen field while sharing with each other through travel, readings, class activities and guest speakers. Students live at the modern Armagh City Youth Hostel and have classes at the AmmA Centre, a technologically enhanced multimedia center in the heart of the historic city. Students will also spend a week at Glebe House in County Down and visit Belfast and the surrounding community. Students present their work at the John Hewitt International Summer School, an international festival of writing and performance at the Marketplace Theatre in Armagh. There is an optional trip to Dublin at the start of the program.
Armagh is situated 40 miles south of Belfast and 80 miles north of Dublin, placing it firmly as a cultural and political fulcrum in the long history of Ireland. The people of the town can share stories about “The Troubles” – the time of conflict between British rule and the quest for Irish autonomy – but are just as quick to point out the signs of a thriving city nurtured under the shelter of decades of peace in the region. Armagh offers a healthy shopping district, diverse dining options, a state-of-the art multimedia center and a modern performance and art space as contemporary counterpoints to the more ancient cultural and historical sites within and without its walls.
Check out the work of our students in our 2015 program blog at armaghproject2015.wordpress.com/reporting.
Check out the site students produced in the 2014 program at armaghproject2014.wordpress.com.
Students in this section will learn and practice skills in still photography, audio, video, reporting and writing for the Web. Students will publish their story packages on a project website and have the opportunity to submit them for professional publication. This course is appropriate for undergraduates with previous experience in journalism, reporting or feature writing.
Creative Writing: Memoir, Poetry or Prose
Learn the essentials of how to tell your story through the lenses of memory, observation, reflection and narration. Students explore techniques that poets and nonfiction writers use to generate new material and revise their work. They receive one-on-one critique and create a portfolio of writing that fits their personal goals. This program is appropriate for experienced writers looking to further develop their work or new writers interested in exploring creative writing.
Playwriting and Performance
Read and explore texts from Irish playwrights while creating and presenting your own work. Learn professional techniques for making devised work, including improvisation, story arcs, character study and freewriting. Structured peer and instructor feedback sessions propel your work forward. Classroom instruction in dramatic structure, writing practice, acting and vocal training help students explore the creation of theatre from idea through writing and into performance. This program is appropriate for both experienced student playwrights and actors as well as those considering their first theatre experience.
Documentary Storytelling: Creative Nonfiction on Screen
Students will be introduced to the organic process in which documentary filmmakers approach their subject. They will be guided through some of the technical aspects of using video cameras and editing software. Students will be encouraged to find a story and then use a wealth of narrative devices – such as structure, character, questions, point of view, tone, stakes and more – to tell that story truthfully and artfully, to engage an audience.
Selected works from all tracks are presented publicly during The John Hewitt International Summer School at Marketplace Theatre in Armagh. This weeklong program of readings, talks, debate and discussion, drama, music and exhibitions features more than 30 top writers, speakers and artists from across Ireland and beyond.
Students must choose one track to enroll in.
Undergraduate Credit is included in the program fee and is provided for all students through the University of Jamestown. University of Baltimore students may choose to take credit through their own school. Students will need to complete the appropriate paperwork from the University of Jamestown prior to departure in order to receive credit. After acceptance to the Armagh Project, program staff will contact you to assist with registration. University of Baltimore students should contact Kimberley Lynne at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. This class is appropriate for three undergraduate credits.
Graduate students are encouraged to work with Armagh Program faculty to develop an individualized course of study that will meet curricular requirements for the student’s home school. Graduate students have the option of bringing a work-in-progress or thesis research focus to the Armagh Program in order to continue building in the student’s area of academic focus. This course is appropriate for four graduate credits.
Professional Workshop/Post-Graduate Studies
The writing programs at ieiMedia are taught by master teachers and writers who bring their professional expertise as guides to emerging writers. Professional and post-graduate learners benefit from moderated small-group experiences and one-on-one coaching that allows for individualized plans of study or work. The Armagh Program is an ideal place to begin work on a new creative endeavor and a robust writing environment for developing work in progress.
Armagh is rich with study and research opportunities to support any creative endeavor. The Armagh Public Library was founded in 1771 and holds among its collection of medieval and 17th century manuscripts, engravings and Irish artifacts, a first edition of Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels” (with Swift’s notes) and a copy of Gwynn’s “Book of Armagh.” The Cardinal O’Fiach Memorial Library and Archive houses material related to Irish history and language as well as church history, history of the Irish diaspora and Irish sporting traditions. The Irish and Local Studies Library, the Armagh City Library and the AmmA Center round out the scholars’ resources.
Frequent and ample bus service will take you to Belfast in just over an hour and to Dublin in just over two hours – opening access to more of Ireland or to other areas of Great Britain or Europe through the international airports of both cities. The Armagh Program includes free time for students to travel on their own as well as trips to Belfast with the group.
The Armagh Program in total is open to up to 25 undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate/professional students across both programs. Over the past decade, participants in ieiMedia programs have included more than 800 students from 80 U.S. and Canadian campuses, along with students from Japan, Peru, Singapore, Thailand, Trinidad, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
This course is particularly suited to those students interested in creative writing, communication, playwriting, theatre studies, Irish cultural studies, literature, poetry and storytelling. Enrollment is open to students from any major, provided they have a strong writing or performance background. Course instructors use writing samples and other diagnostics to make decisions about acceptance into the program or placement within program groups.
Program faculty is comprised of professional writers and teachers. Faculty for 2017 will include:
Terri Ciofalo (Program Director) is a professional theatre artist and experienced production manager who teaches graduate and undergraduate theatre at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She earned her MFA from the Yale School of Drama and has toured theatrically both in the United States and overseas.
Kimberley Lynne (Resident Playwright) is a published author and playwright who has had over 30 works staged and presented in professional, community and university theatres. A staff and faculty member of the University of Baltimore, she has worked in theatre as an actor, director, scenic designer and producer. Her professional affiliations include Actors’ Equity and the Dramatist Guild.
Peter Salisbury (Video Faculty) is a filmmaker and video journalist based in Dublin, Ireland, where he produces short-form documentaries on the arts, culture and environment. He is the founder and CEO of Fotoeire, a media production company that creates digital content for broadcast, corporate, Web and mobile platforms. His work as a filmmaker and video journalist is a constant adventure in finding new stories and moving images.
Nessa O’Mahony (Creative Writing Faculty) has been a faculty member of the Armagh Project for the past four years. With a doctorate in creative writing, she has published four books of poetry; the most recent, “Her Father’s Daughter,” was published by Salmon Poetry last year.
Malachi O’Doherty (Journalism Faculty) has a doctorate in Creative Writing from Queen’s University Belfast and has published six books, some memoir-based and some works on recent Irish social and political history. His most recent book, “On My Own Two Wheels,” is about cycling.
View complete faculty biographies on our Armagh Faculty Page.
Students and faculty will be housed at the Armagh City International Youth Hostel. Kitchen facilities and some communal meals are provided.
All students should bring a laptop equipped with Microsoft Word and a thumb drive for transferring work. Each student should also bring a digital camera or other device capable of taking quality, downloadable photos. Other equipment might be outlined in the course syllabus for each section.
Students studying abroad for the summer term have limited financial aid options. Check with your school’s financial aid office to find out if assistance is available. More information on financial aid is available here.
Students must fill out the online application and include contact information for two references (academic and/or professional) using the “Apply Now” link below. The application is online and requires the $150 fee payment through PayPal in order to be transmitted to ieiMedia offices. Application deadline: rolling admission until the program fills.
If you have questions before applying, fill out our contact form.
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