Corrymeela Events


Storywork – A Summer School led by Pádraig Ó Tuama & Sara Cook

19 - 22 Aug 2019
Corrymeela Ballycastle


Storywork – A Summer School in Narrative Practice

19–22 August 2019, Corrymeela Ballycastle 

Read our Storywork FAQs.

To indicate your interest, please go to the bottom of this page.

A summer school on Storytelling for Change and Reconciliation at the Corrymeela centre; Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation centre. Led by Pádraig Ó Tuama and Sara Cook. 

From healthcare to business, from congregational work to community work, it is being increasingly recognised that story is a key factor in personal and group wellbeing. When a person can engage with the story of another, the capacity for change, dialogue, fruitful argument, empathy and collaboration increases. 

story4For 50 years, Corrymeela has been a place of story. We have been a gathering place where people from many sides of conflict and division have shared their story. While for many years we held much of this work quietly, we now offer training courses on using narrative practice in your personal, community and professional life.

This course will explore methodologies of narrative practice that are relevant for: Congregational, Teamwork, Community Development and Conflict situations.

Topics covered: 

  • Theoretical bases for understanding narrative dynamics. 
  • Lessons from literary theory for group processes. 
  • Therapeutic practices of storywork
  • Editing
  • Styles of conflict
  • Storywork in the context of conflicted groups. 
  • Embedding Storywork in your practice
  • Narrative group exercises for deepening appreciation of participants and language.

We will coincide our gathering with a hugely popular storytelling event in Belfast (Tenx9, on August 21st)  and we will also engage the participants in group storytelling processes. We will make time for participants to enjoy the beautiful setting of Corrymeela on the north coast of Ireland, as well as time for enjoying each others stories, and local music and pub life in Ballycastle. 

The answer is in a story and the story is being told.


Timings and brief outline:

  • 19th August: Begin at 1pm. Participants are responsible for their own transport to Corrymeela. 
  • 19th & 20th August: Class and group time to explore narrative structure, project outlines, editing, theories of group practice in narrative frameworks; stories and their undersides in religion and nationality. 
  • 21st August: Site visit to Belfast: meeting practitioners, engaging in the Tenx9 evening, time for sightseeing. 
  • 22nd August. Back at Corrymeela, finish at 2pm. 


£625 (single room, ensuite)

If you wish to apply for a subsidised rate of £500, you may apply, and if we are successful in raising other funds, we will let you know. Please note that the subsidised rate is limited and is based on a shared room. Our normal practice is that individuals of the same gender identity share a room. 

Indicate your interest:

For this course to run, we will need a minimum of 15 people. For this reason, we are only taking enquiries now, and will confirm with all interested parties on June 1 (or before). 

Please send interests (name, location, costing band) to Bernie on 


Some feedback from participants in previous Storywork residentials:

A rich well–balanced programme; good content and a helpful mix of different ways to engage; It felt hard work but very satisfying.

Interesting and informative, excellent communication by facilitators; appreciated the workshop format. 

Thoroughly enjoyed it! It’s so amazing to hear from people working in the field I want to go into. Thought it was an excellent mix of theoretical/practical application and interpersonal engagement.

This was one of the most welcoming communities I have ever visited. I will take this teaching home with me.

Storytelling: how important it is in developing relationships, offering new space to change. Building new relationships by beginning with hospitality was a critical learning piece. Building relationships gave the door for change as opposed to tackling issues

Yes. I was pushed, challenged, affirmed, and equipped to continue working with storytelling. It was a great balance of theory and practice. I leave …. Also, the arc of the course was designed beautifully.

If you would like some additional information about your stay, have a look at our WELCOME BROCHURE.