Two decades ago, I had written three unpublished manuscripts and was floundering, trying to learn from ‘How-to’ books on creative writing, as well as from articles I’d read online. Most of it was useless to me.
It was a miserable time, full of rejections and isolation. The only thing that seemed certain was that I was compelled to write. So, I continued doggedly, ‘running west, looking for a sunrise.’ When I look back, I see a lot of dedication and hard work, but also a lot of time, money, and effort that could have been saved if I had just worked smart...
Jamie O’Connell is the author of the best-selling novel, Diving for Pearls (Doubleday UK). Diving for Pearls was runner-up for The Gordon Bowker Volcano Prize (The Society of Authors 2022) and short-listed for The Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year (The Irish Book Awards 2021). To date, his work has been Highly Commended by the Costa Short Story Award and the An Post Irish Book Award Writing.ie Short Story of the Year. He has been long-listed for BBC Radio 4 Opening Lines Short Story Competition and short-listed for the Maeve Binchy Travel Award and the Sky Arts Futures Fund.
Jamie's short fiction has been published in a number of journals, featured on TV3, RTE Radio and BBC Radio, and he has read at many festivals and universities in Ireland, China, Spain and the USA. He has received bursaries from The Arts Council of Ireland, Culture Ireland, Dublin City Council and Cork City Council.
Jamie has taught creative writing in University College Dublin and as part of the University of Iowa’s Irish Summer School. He has also worked for Penguin Random House. He was on the committee of Dublin Book Festival (2014-16) and one of the judges of the Irish Bookseller of the Year Award 2018.
He has an MFA and MA in Creative Writing from University College Dublin and a BA in English Literature and History of Art from University College Cork. He is represented by Marianne Gunn O’Connor Literary Agency.