Building the Attic

The Attic XX
The Attic XX

This week ushers in the release of the twentieth publication of LitSoc’s own creative-writing journal, The Attic. In anticipation of this evening’s launch-party (, some of our contributors talk about what first inspired them to write their piece:

Christopher Joyce, Couple Looking for Fun

“This is a bit of an odd one for me. It’s about the experience of finding my neighbours on Grindr. It happened a couple of months ago, after I had a rough break-up with a guy I had been seeing for about six months. I logged back onto Grindr and was pretty shocked to see that the nearest profile to mine was my neighbour’s. They had a couple profile and their bio was the infamous “couple looking for fun”. I thought this was pretty hilarious because if I could see them,they could see me. Obviously I didn’t message them, but the experience stuck with me.”

“The idea lay dormant for a while until I noticed that they hadn’t cleaned up their purple cobwebs from Halloween. This was in January, and that prompted the first few lines: “Two doors down from me, there is a house/with flaking paint and purple cobwebs”. Remembering how shit I felt after the breakup though, I thought that if they were looking for fun, they would be better off messaging someone else. “

Kelly O’Brien, Teachings -

“This is a sonnet about my family. I was prompted to write it when I found a picture of my brother and I playing amongst burst beanbags in the house where we grew up. It reminded me of the very unique and open-minded home environment my parents had created for us. The final couplet is about my relationship with my younger brother, which definitely is the product of our parent’s ‘teachings’.

Fergus Menendez, Grim -

“When I first moved across from England to Dublin, I assumed my relative internationality would automatically grant me a place in Halls. I was wrong, and I consequently found myself undergoing a rapid induction in to the trials of adult life, by confronting the shitshow that is the Dublin student-accommodation market. I was slightly overwhelmed but it turned out okay, and I felt I wanted to relate my experiences somehow through the medium of prose. I am fond of stories that splice reality with an element of the surreal, in order to expose the absurd unreality of some aspects of our everyday world, and so I lighted upon the story of a student who has to lodge with the Grim Reaper in their first year, and confront the ridiculousness of having Death fry up eggs in your kitchen each morning. As it turns out for my protagonist though, The Grim Reaper is actually quite a nice guy and relatively down-to-earth (not accounting for the fact that he’s actually floating a few inches off the ground).

Grace Kelly, My niece was born -

“I will stay writing and performing about repealing the 8th until it becomes irrelevant.”

Sadbh Kellett, Bealtaine

“I was in a writing rut after seven years of working on the same story and never quite perfecting it, so I decided to let it go and turn to something else but then came another problem: what? After a year of trying to come up with something I decided to do what I do best, and challenge myself with seemingly impossible feats that have potential to damage my mental health in my attempt to succeed (all about that Slytherin life eh). Clearly, an epic fantasy based on Irish mythology, history and postcolonialism fitted the bill and so I set off. I did a lot of travelling around Europe whilst writing it, so although it’s steeped in Irish myth and the relationship Ireland has with its neighbours, it also looks outwards and beyond. It’s heavily inspired by the notion of ‘faerie’ as a layered place, and fairy-tale too but I wanted to also look beyond the stereotypical focus on medieval-warfare in fantasy and bring in a lot of my interest in the Regency and Georgian periods. The character in the excerpt, Muireann, is based off Grace O’ Malley and I definitely have a lot more female characters; I think it’s a bit of a wish-fulfilment in the sense that I read so few expansive fantasy novels written from the female gaze; so this is kind of a self-provision of that story which I could not regularly find in the bookshop.”

Orlaith Holland, Untitled ­-

“I had an assignment on Latin American Cinema. So I wrote this instead.”