Fiona Keane and Fin Keegan created SixPens in 2010 . Writers from all over gather at weekend retreats and weekly classes and workshops.
Fiona Keane is a playwright, songwriter, writing coach, drama & public speaking teacher. Click here to hear one of Fiona’s songs, Lonely Game on Soundcloud (FionaK). After completing her MFA in Playwriting at Columbia University, it took a few years (and partial raising of children) to get her back into regular creative practice. Always having projects on the go, but never finishing any of them, she began to facilitate a writing group in 2009 as a means of connecting with other writers and trying to overcome her own Resistance. From this, many creative activities ensued, including writing retreats at Old Rectory Retreat (since 2010).
In 2016, she wrote and produced a musical for Mayo Youth Theatre (which she facilitated). IN 2017, she re-jigged and renamed it Lucky Town, A Musical and produced it with a live band and 23 teen actors in Westport. In 2018 Lucky Town, A Musical was added to Youth Theatre Ireland’s PlayShare and in Feb 2019, was featured as Play of the Week.
Fin is a writer, editor and radio broadcaster. Fiona’s work has been performed in Cleveland, Ohio (July, 2011, 2012), Dublin (Filmbase, Project at the Mint) and New York (Theatre for the New City). She leads workshops in writing at Sharkey Hill Community Centre in Westport and at Old Rectory Retreat. Her articles have appeared in America’s Elite 1000 (Cadogan, New York), World of Hibernia, and the Student Press Review.
Fiona has an Advanced Master’s (MFA) in Playwriting from Columbia University, a BA from Trinity College Dublin, and a Diploma from the Gaiety School of Acting, where she also later taught. Fiona completed the PGDE at NUI Galway and is taking her enthusiasm for all-things language-related around Mayo teaching writing, drama and public speaking courses. Fiona’s many jobs include Real Estate Appraiser in Las Vegas, Script Evaluator at New York Theatre Workshop, and Writing Teacher at the College of Southern Nevada.
It is something of a passion of Fiona’s to help people work through their “resistance” (we all seem to have it) and release their creativity.
Fin Keegan, is described as “a sharp and insightful journalist” by magazine author Alicia Barney (Newsweek, Slate). His creative writing has been described as “exuberantly satiric and acid-edged” by the Irish Daily Mail and “riotous…brilliant”, by MetroLife Dublin.
Before returning to Ireland in recent years, he was a Radio Producer and occasional Host on Nevada Public Radio KNPR in the United States. Prior to his radio work, he taught at the University of Nevada UNLV, and edited the Contemporary Civilization Reader, (2002: 9th Ed.), published by the Core Curriculum Office of Columbia College, New York, for the use of the more than one thousand students of this course.
His work has also appeared in/on the The Irish Times, the BBC World Service, the Honest Ulsterman and the Dublin Review of Books. Plays have been performed in Dublin, Las Vegas, and Cleveland. He also edits an online book review, The Second Circle. Fin holds a BA from Trinity College Dublin and an MFA from Columbia University.
What people have been saying:
- “Fiona is a creative force” Dolores B
- “Amazing, supportive, inspirational facilitation.” – Annie C.
- “Your class was an inspiration and so positive.” – Madeleine J.
- “I just wanted to follow up and say how much I enjoyed the Old Rectory workshop a few weeks back. Since then I’ve written about 5000 words – much to my own amazement!” – Rosemarie N.
- I had a wonderful weekend writing with Fiona at the helm. She creates an inspirational space to write, using gentle prompted guidance, and a ‘lets get on with it’ style where we wrote and shared our work and amazed ourselves. As a novice, I didn’t feel intimidated, everything is just a draft. I stayed a few more days to polish my 2 stories. Gracious, kind, Roisin hosts the event in The Old Rectory where I thought I had landed in a piece of writerly heaven. Delicious food and great company rounded out the weekend. Do not miss this if you want to test out, brush up or experiment with writing. Great value too…….
–Aideen Dunne (Feb 2019)