Back in April, Clonmel Applefest launches its 2023 ‘Elders of Clonmel’ project, highlighting the stories of some of the key older citizens of Clonmel. This project follows on from last year’s highly successful writing project in collaboration with Cashel Arts Festival in which 16 writers met and wrote about local artisans, complemented by photographs by John D. Kelly.
‘Elders of Clonmel’ retells landmark events from the youth of our older citizens, focusing on their outlooks on our surroundings and local ways and lifestyles, reflecting on the fast changes and recent transformation in Irish society. A quality designed book of completed stories will be published in time for the Festival launch on Thursday 21st September, leaving a significant oral history record and legacy about the people and places of Clonmel for future generations.
The selected local writers learned and/or finetuned their interviewing, structuring and editing skills during a masterclass with expert ghostwriter and journalist Sue Leonard, while also practising reflection and listening skills in pairs.
Applefest assigned an older person to the writer; the older person was accompanied by his/her nominator to ensure best safeguarding practice and so that the process was a safe and enriching experience for all involved; this nominator was on request asked to assist with the interview and/or help with practical matters.
Suggestions for suitable candidates to interview were welcomed. However, all candidates went through the same nominations process to ensure transparency and safeguarding.
Writers involved in this project should:
- have some experience in writing essays and/or articles
- be available for the FULL Zoom masterclass on Saturday, 6th May (10am to 4pm)
- be available to interview an older person during May/June
- be willing to submit a first draft by 30th June
- be available to attend a Zoom mentoring session with Sue Leonard during early July
- complete a second draft by 28th July
In mid July, a social gathering was organised in Clonmel's historical Town Hall and hosted by Mayor Cllr Richie Molloy to honour the older people, and thank their nominators and writers, who put in many long hours to interview and then transcribe and edit the conversations. The event was very successful and all involved are looking forward to the launch on the 21st September at the County Museum. The event was kindly supported by Tipperary friendly ageing.
As part of this year’s project, we are proposing to recruit up to 12 older people to be interviewed for our publication to share stories about their lives growing up in Clonmel and how they see the changes that have happened to Irish society. Candidates should be nominated by a third party who will commit to be the liaison person between the older person and the project coordinator, so as to ensure transparency and safeguarding.
Applefest will match a writer to an older person who should be accompanied by his/her nominator to ensure best safeguarding practice and assist with the interview process, and where appropriate offer prompts and/or help with practical matters.
Please note that all candidates will go through the same nominations process. Nominating an older person does not guarantee that they will be included in the final shortlist.
The ideal candidate should be:
Nominators involved in this project should:
- know the nominee well, eg be a relative, carer or long-time friend or neighbour
- be respectful at all time that the interview is about the Elderly person
- be willing to be the key liaison person with the nominee relaying relevant information, such as interview date and book launch.
- attend the interview session (likely to be between mid-May & mid-June)
- assist as needed for the duration of the interview.
- be available to liaise with writer if questions arise post interview
- willing to attend social gathering in July & book launch on 21st September.
Deadline for nomination form: 6th May. Final shortlist will be announced on the 11th May.