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Charlestown creative writers feature in charity book

Staying In

Five members of the Charlestown Creative Writers group have been published in a new book of inspiration, humour and hope. ‘Havin’ A Laugh, The Book’ includes words from Sinéad Foley, Meave McKenna, Carol Beirne, Ger Jennings and Louise G Cole, who were all regulars at pre-Covid creative writing sessions in Charlestown Arts Centre.
Havin’ a Laugh, a charity group based in the northwest, put out a call for amusing stories, uplifting poems and inspiring artwork, and people responded in their droves! The team was inundated with beautiful and poignant pieces, and it was a tough job to whittle them down to the final selection.
Val Robus, one of the Havin’ A Laugh volunteers explains: “People really took our project to their hearts, and we were overwhelmed with the calibre of the work submitted. We almost had enough to fill another book. It’s been such a stressful year for so many I think our book gave people something to look forward to.”
The book is for sale in Liber bookshop, Sligo, and also on the charity website, All the proceeds will go back into the charity, which is 100 percent volunteer led and provides life-enhancing experiences for people in mental-health counselling.
Among their initiatives is giving activity vouchers to people in mental health recovery, providing them with the opportunity to re-engage with activities they love, and through these social connections maybe start their own healing conversations. They also create awareness events for the general public that showcase the life-enhancing activities available in our locality.
Bláithín Sweeney, the charity founder says ‘‘What if the term mental health evoked images of sunshine, mischief and joy? Havin’ a Laugh becomes an attitude. When the cracks start appearing, let humour shine through!”
Meanwhile, the Charlestown Creative Writing Group facilitator Louise G Cole continues to publish weekly writing prompts on her website, There are now 70 free writing prompts and exercises, which include suggestions to kickstart new poetry, short stories, memoir, flash fiction, creative non-fiction and more. There’s a new post every Wednesday at 5pm, and anyone is welcome to join in.