Irish Literary Festivals

Writers Week

Listowel Writers’ Week is one of the most celebrated literary festivals in Ireland. Literary Festivals have become a staple of lovers of literature across the island of Ireland.



Cork Spring Poetry Festival



The Cork Spring Poetry Festival brings a host of Irish and international poets to Cork for a week of readings, workshops and the presentation of both the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize and the Fool For Poetry International Chapbook Competition winners.

A festival dedicated exclusively to poetry, events in previous years have included craft talks, literary journal showcases, and poetry film screenings. Guests from past festivals have included Jo Shapcott, Paul Muldoon, Martina Evans, Eilean Ní Chuilleanáin, Douglas Dunn, Leontia Flynn, Gregory Orr, Brian Turner, Medbh McGuckian and more.







Limerick Literary Festival

limerick literary festival


The Festival was formally known as Kate O’Brien weekend, which began in 1984 to mark the tenth anniversary of the death of Kate O’Brien. The event continues to celebrate the life and works of the Limerick writer, while attracting prominent participants from all over the world.





Lennox Robinson Literary Festival

Lennox Robinson

The Lennox Robinson Literary Festival, now in its second year, serves to bring a varied  programme of literary events to the village of Douglas. The spirit of the festival is to  emphasise the area’s literary history, particularly its connection to the celebrated writer and  playwright Lennox Robinson. A native of Douglas, having spent his childhood in Westgrove,  he went on to become director of the Abbey Theatre, but always remembered Douglas in  his ground-breaking and controversial writing.








Ennis Book Club Festival


The Ennis Book Club Festival is a wonderful social and literary gathering bringing together book club members and readers from all over Ireland and beyond. The festival includes author readings, discussions, workshops and walking tours through the narrow streets and lanes of Ennis. We offer sessions on running book clubs, advice on reading lists, poetry, events as Gaeilge, and an opportunity to compare notes and meet with other readers.

Over the years the festival has attracted wonderful authors and speakers including Edna O’Brien, Nuala O’Faolain, Roddy Doyle, Anne Enright, John Boyne, Lionel Shriver, Joseph O’Connor, Paul Durcan, Peter Sheridan, Kevin Barry, Anne Enright and Patrick McCabe to name but a few.

Dates for next festival are 4 – 6 March 2016. Come and combine your love of reading with a great weekend away!





Mountains to Sea


The Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival is a literary festival, which is run by the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. The Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival enjoyed a fantastic debut in 2009 thanks to the support and enthusiasm of local book-lovers and, thankfully, not a few first-time visitors to Dun Laoghaire.





Doolin Writers’ Weekend


The weekend is an eclectic mix of workshops, readings, theatre, music and food and has something for every level of writer from beginners to expert wordsmiths and lovers of literature alike. Located amidst the breadhtaking beauty of North Clare, Doolin is surrounded on all sides by natural wonders, the Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands and the Burren and has always been a tonic for the soul of the weary traveller. Famed for it’s warm welcome and traditional Irish music Doolin has also long been a haunt of artists and writers including J.M Synge, George Bernard Shaw, Dylan Thomas, Augustus John and Oliver St. John Gogary.




The Forge at Gort Literature Festival is organised by the Western Writers’ Centre. Author readings and workshops take place in venues throughout the town of Gort over a two day period in March. The festival is themed around Yeats’ symbolic use of the old Gort forge in his poetry: the forge is still there in the main street of the town.

Further details of the festival can be obtained by mailing







Eigse Poetry Arts and Literary Festival

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 12.00.45Delivers a programme that is programme that is rich in imagination and achievement, with a wide variety of work in many disciplines that is luminous, searching, profound, soulful and achieved.






Cúirt International Festival of Literature


The Cúirt International Festival of Literature is an annual literature festival held since 1985 in Galway in Ireland. The Irish language word cúirt means “court”.

The festival consists of a variety of events taking place over the course of a week each April with attendances and contributions from Irish and international authors. It includes readings of poetry and fiction, discussions, poetry slams, book launches, masterclasses, spoken and musical performances, multimedia events, theatre, and visual art.[4] It was originally a poetry festival but its scope has broadened to include other forms.



Franco-Irish Literary Festival


The FRANCO-IRISH LITERARY FESTIVAL is the result of successful collaboration between the Alliance Française and the Cultural Service of the French Embassy. It has been supported to great effect by such Irish organisations as the Arts Council, Foras na Gaeilge, Poetry Ireland, Ireland Literature Exchange, Irish Writers’ Centre, by Irish and French sponsors such as Ireland Fund de France, l’Institut français, CRH, Hennessy, Servier Laboratories, and by the Irish media and, in particular, RTÉ lyric fm.

Since its inception in 2000, and with the support and encouragement of the press, the festival has become a significant date in the annual literary calendar of Dublin.

The festival’s aim is to widen and enhance the long-standing friendship that exists between Ireland, France and other French-speaking countries. It welcomes writers in both the English and Irish languages, together with writers of the wider francophone world. In doing so it provides an opportunity to showcase a wide selection of Irish and French writers for the Irish public.





Strokestown International Poetry Festival


The Strokestown International Poetry Festival is now in its sixteenth year and it is the longest running poetry festival in Ireland. It takes place annually on the first weekend of May, in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, and provides a world-renowned forum for excellence in poetry. The 2015 festival on May 1 – 3, will have an expanded programme with the return of the Irish Language poetry competition and a new Roscommon poetry section open to poets living in the county or members of writers groups based in County Roscommon. The full list of competitions and prizes can be viewed – just click on competitions. The festival consists of readings from poets across the spectrum, well-known and new voices – approximately twenty-four readings over three days. The Strokestown festival is famous for the large audiences that attend all readings and allied to the welcome, the friendliness and the scenery, the festival is an unforgettable experience and a thrilling immersion in contemporary poetry.



The Waterford Writers’ Weekend


What began as the Seán Dunne Writers’ Festival in the 1990’s has now evolved to the annual Waterford Writers’ Weekend.

This festival promotes the art and the craft of writing and celebrates creativity in all generations. In this, the 20th anniversary year of Seán’s death, we remember his writing legacy and the contribution which this Waterford Writer made to Irish literature. The Seán Dunne Young Poets’ Award continues to promote his work and vision with emerging and aspiring young poets.







IMRAM (Irish Language Literature Festival)


The word IMRAM can mean a ‘voyage of discovery’ and the festival takes its audiences on a magical journey that reveals the depth and diversity of modern literature in Irish, through eclectic and imaginative event programming that fuses poetry, prose and music in lively venues. IMRAM has also featured film, drama, puppetry, debates, lectures, and writing workshops for both adults and children. IMRAM’s core mission is to bring writers and readers – and particularly new readers – together.

IMRAM’s message is positive – and places the Irish language and its literature at the heart of public life within a modern, energetic and multicultural framework. IMRAM also works as a highly effective publicity mechanism that attracts much-needed media attention to Irish language writers and books.

IMRAM has built on its success year-by-year, building audiences, and bringing Irish language literature to the streets of Dublin, in an annual festival that is now an integral part of the city’s cultural life. 




The Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine


The inaugural Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine brought 8000 people onto the grounds of Ballymaloe House and Cookery School in May 2013 including national and international authors, chefs, foragers, educators, wine experts, gardeners, publishers, TV presenters, bloggers and journalists. Again this year, The Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine was surrounded by a fabulous setting and a magical atmosphere.

It is a weekend filled with fascinating facts, inspirational stories, intriguing discussions, incredible knowledge, fantastic music, fabulous dancing and of course, delicious food and drinks.

It is the only festival of its kind in Ireland and has created an important hub for food enthusiasts worldwide to meet and share ideas with each other.





International Literature Festival Dublin.


The International Literature Festival Dublin, formerly known as Dublin Writers Festival takes place every year in the month of May and has been running since 1998.

This years festival runs from 16-24 May.

With readings, discussions, debates, workshops, performance and screenings, the festival creates a hotbed of ideas. Whether it’s the mix poets, writers of fiction and non-fiction, lyricists, playwrights and screenwriters, International Literature Festival Dublin brings new faces and house-hold names together in ways that surprise and inspire.

Check out the full programme here





Listowel Writers’ Week


Listowel Writers’ Week is an international acclaimed literary festival devoted to bringing together writers and audiences at unique and innovative events in the historic and intimate surroundings of Listowel, County Kerry. At the heart of this annual celebration is a commitment to developing and promoting writing talent, underpinned by an organisation that works to the values of partnership, inclusivity and civic responsibility.


Listowel Writers’ Week was founded in 1970 and is recognised as the primary event in Ireland’s literary calendar. The annual event is located in Listowel in North Kerry which is the birthplace of many of Ireland’s most prominent writers past and present including Dr. John B. Keane, Dr. Bryan MacMahon, Professor Brendan Kennelly, George Fitzmaurice, Maurice Walsh and Robert Leslie Boland.





Moby Dick Festival

moby dick

The weekend of events will welcome you to the seaside town of Youghal, where Melville’s Moby Dick Novel was committed to film 60 years ago this June. Ruth Lee of the organising committee says this year’s festival will offer all the fun of a family festival. Events confirmed include street music and a street Ceilí, a monster teddy bears picnic, storytelling, treasure hunts, open air markets, cartoon making for kids and an Ocean parade, a ball race down Windmill Hill and lots lots more. To celebrate the epic novel that is Moby Dick a whole host of writing competitions will see locals and those not so local submitting original work for display throughout the town. A weekend of fun and inspiration is promised.








Dalkey Book Festival

Dalkey Book FestivalDalkey Book Festival, described by Salman Rushdie as “the best little festival in the world”, takes place every year in June. It was set up by Sian Smyth and David McWilliams in 2010. Since then the festival has hosted internationally renowned writers, including Booker Prize winners, a Nobel Laureate, Impac winners, Oscar winners and Tony award nominees.


Dalkey, “the most beautiful little seaside town on earth”, has a rich literary heritage. The birthplace of George Bernard Shaw, schoolhouse of James Joyce and playground to Samuel Beckett and Flann O’Brien, Dalkey is also home to the likes of Joseph O’Connor, Neil Jordan and Jim Sheridan. It’s the perfect spot for a literary festival of books and ideas.


The charm of this festival is undoubtedly the intimate nature of the numerous events, which take place in pubs, cafes, shops, schools and the local town hall as well as the medieval graveyard, the secret garden marquee and the Masonic Lodge. Dalkey is the kind of place where you will casually bump into some of the world’s greatest writers, in the parks, pubs and cafes of this compact town.




Borris House Festival of Writing and Ideas


The Festival of Writing & Ideas has been extended to incorporate the History Festival of Ireland. The weekend 5th-7th June 2015 will once again be one of stimulating dialogue and discussion, gathering together intriguing international minds – historians, novelists, journalists, film-makers, poets, theatre directors, war correspondents, biographers, artists and political commentators.

The Festival of Writing & Ideas has become known for its casual, friendly atmosphere, and for its extraordinary line up of speakers. It takes place within the magical surroundings of Borris House, the seat of the High Kings of Leinster, situated at the foot of the Blackstairs Mountains with the River Barrow meandering by. Spilling out into pubs and halls of this idyllic village, Borris is an event that the curious find inspiring.







SoundEye Poetry Festival

soundeyeSoundEye, Ireland’s pre-eminent festival of innovative poetry, is now in its 18th year. Every summer, the festival brings an array of experimental, avant-garde and modernist poets to Cork and 2014 is no exception.


This year’s SoundEye, generously supported by Cork City Council, UCC School of English, The Polish Embassy and the UCC Department of Modern Irish at UCC will take place at the Guesthouse, 10 Chapel Street, Shandon from July 11th-13th.





West Cork Literary Festival

West Cork Literary FestivalNow an annual highlight in the Irish literary calendar, the West Cork Literary Festival is a week-long celebration of writing and reading for people of all ages.  From its humble beginnings as a series of casual poetry readings and fringe events around the Chamber Music Festival, it has expanded into a varied and extensive programme of readings, talks and week-long workshops, growing more adventurous and imaginative with each year.

We are delighted to bring the finest Irish and international literary figures to West Cork every July – making exceptional talent accessible to local, regional and national audiences.  At the heart of the Festival is the practice and craft of writing, and in keeping with this Festival Director Eimear O’Herlihy devises a workshop programme second to none, designed to encourage and inspire novice as well as experienced writers.  Now in its 16th year, the Festival is a social event, noted for its supportive and friendly atmosphere, and its personal touch.

Presented by West Cork Music in partnership with Cork County Library & Arts Service.









Cork International Short Story Festival

coskshortstoryThe Cork International Short Story Festival takes place annually each autumn, bringing the best of Irish and international short story writers to Cork to share their work. The festival also features workshops, panel discussions and other specialist events. The Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award was introduced in 2005, coinciding with Cork’s designation as that year’s European Capital of Culture. The award is now recognised as the single biggest prize for a short story collection in the world and is presented at the end of the festival. In 2002, the Munster Literature Centre introduced the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize, an annual short story competition dedicated to one of Ireland’s most accomplished story writers and theorists. This too is presented during the festival. Guests from previous years have included Lydia Davis, Richard Ford, Edna O’Brien, Yiyun Li, Claire Keegan, John Banville, Jhumpa Lahiri and many more.





Dublin Book Festival

Dublin Book FestivalThe Dublin Book Festival is one of Ireland’s most successful and vibrant book festivals, running since June 2005.  The annual public Festival showcases, supports and develops Irish Publishing by programming, publicising and selling Irish published books, their authors, editors and contributors all in an entertaining, festive, friendly and accessible environment that reflects the creativity and personality of the Irish Publishing sector and its authors.

The Dublin Book Festival 2015 will take place from 12 – 15 November 2015 using Smock Alley Theatre as the festival hub.

Full details here: