Meet Our Committee

Hilary McCollum

Chair

Hilary has been involved in Women Aloud NI since 2016, when it first began. A writer of fiction, narrative non-fiction and drama, her debut novel, Golddigger, won the Golden Crown Literary Society award for historical fiction in 2016. She has published a memoire (Funny Peculiar by Constance McCullagh) and had full productions of two plays and performed rehearsed readings of two others. Hilary is currently working on her third historical novel as part of a creative writing PhD at the Seamus Heaney Centre, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Hilary is passionate about women's writing and storytelling in its various forms and aims to energetically promote women's voices in her time as chair.

Céline Holmes

Secretary

Céline is from France but has been living in Northern Ireland since 2011. She currently resides in Lurgan with her hubby and two cats. After stubbornly trying to write her first novel in French (to no avail) she eventually switched to English (who knew that writing in another language would help with writer's block), which means that she now can read her own writing in public and be part of a writers' group. She joined Women Aloud in 2019 and took part in the readathons in 2019 and 2020. Earlier this year, she had a poem published in Writers' Forum and has contributed to North Star with a short story. She joined Women Aloud's management committee just before lockdown and is now Secretary. She loves writing about family and relationships, all their drama and heartache but also about love and forgiveness.

Vicky McFarland

Treasurer - Website Manager

Vicky McFarland has been part of Women Aloud since 2016 and has sat on the board since 2018. A children's writer and storyteller, Vicky has various audio collections and has featured in a couple of anthologies. Her professional writing credits include 76+ children's stories for Onebillion.org and writing scripts for BBC Teach, as well as work as a professional storyteller. Vicky is passionate about raising women's voices and chooses to tell stories and write stories with strong female protagonists. Her work for Women Aloud includes the WANI online festival in lockdown, building the WANI website and she hopes to launch flood of WANI podcasts in 2021. he has recently stepped into the role of Treasurer.

Cinnomen McGuigan

Membership Co-ordinator

Cin has been volunteering with Women Aloud since 2018 and her focus now is primarily on membership, which is what she enjoys most about her role here. She has recently completed an MA in Creative writing with the Open University and is looking forward to being able to write whatever she wants now that she is free of word counts and deadlines. Though admittedly, she is finding it hard to focus without the imminent threat of missing a submission date. She enjoyed writing the piece centreed in Fermanach for North Star and is taking inspiration from the amazing writers around her at Women Aloud NI to try to pull together a cllection of the work she produced over the course of her degree.

Clare McWilliams

Events Co-ordinator

Clare is a poet, songwriter, poetry facilitator and a spoken word performer working under the stage name Belfast Beatnik. Since 2011 she has organised, hosted and performed at literary events, cabaret showcases and festivals all over NI. In 2017 she joined Women Aloud NI and discovered how to still be a loner whilst not being alone. Her aim has always been to raise the profile of local artists, musicians and writers in NI, including herself.

Rachel Toner

Newsletter Co-ordinator

Rachel has been a member of Women Aloud since 2018 and has just recently joined the committee. Rachel has worked with community groups and The John Hewitt Society. She currently works in Armagh Robinson Library and enjoys writing poetry, short stories and historical fiction. She has been published in both Volume 1 and Volume 2 of The Bramley - An Anthology of Flash Fiction Armagh.

Maria McGilly

Board Member

Maria McGilly is from Armagh City and enjoys all aspects of the arts and humanities in life and is always keen to share her love of these with others. Maria has taken part in Flash Fiction Armagh and has recently joined the board of Women Aloud NI.