Writing Festivals in Ireland



Doolin Writers’ Weekend

Writer-led festival that takes place in association with UL Creative Writing MA toward the end of January.


Out to Lunch Festival

Out to Lunch returns in  January 2017 serving up over three weeks of theatre, music and comedy, all in your lunch hour and all served up with a delicious hot lunch for a mere £6.50.




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

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

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 2– 4 March 2017. 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.



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 westernwriters@eircom.net

 Humdinger Children’s Story Festival

Humdinger! is a celebration of words, stories and imagination which has featured some of the biggest and best-loved names in children’s stories including Julia Donaldson and Oliver Jeffers, in events attended by over 20,000 children and families.



Belfast Children’s Festival

Belfast Children’s Festival is an annual international festival for children aged 0 – 14 years and their accompanying adults. Events take place both in and out of school time for schools, groups and families to attend. Young at Art is a leading arts charity presenting a wide range of arts events and activities all year round for children and young people in Northern Ireland.



Eigse Poetry Arts and Literary Festival

Delivers 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 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. It was originally a poetry festival but its scope has broadened to include other forms.


Cork World Book Festival

The Festival has always sought to combine readings by world class writers in a variety of settings with a cultural streetfair: book stalls, music, street entertainment, the spoken word, and more.  Takes place toward the end of April.



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.




The John Hewitt Society Spring Festival

The festival celebrates debate and diversity with a day-long series of events exploring identity in contemporary Northern Ireland.



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.



Wexford Literary Festival

Wexford Literary Festival was created in 2013. Over the past couple of years they have been working hard to ensure that our annual festival becomes a highlight on the Irish literary calendar for both readers and writers alike.



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.

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.

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 http://ilfdublin.com

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

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 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 is 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.



 Belfast Book Festival

Based at the Crescent Arts Centre, this week-long festival also offers events across the city in a variety of venues.  Belfast Book Festival brings to life all the energy and passion that Belfast has for books and writers. The Belfast Book Festival features both international stars and homegrown local talent across a wide range of topics.


Howth Literary Art Festival 

Held in the atmospheric surrounds of Lutyens Library in Howth Castle, highlights of this event include a children’s literature talk by John Boyne, Joe Duffy in conversation with Catriona Crowe, and a comic book workshop with author Alan Nolan.


Hay Festival Kells

Since being established in 2013, this offshoot of the UK Hay Festival has grown in stature and boasts  literary big-hitters such as Hanif Kureishi, Patrick McCabe, Oona Frawley, Kevin Barry and Lisa McInerney.



SoundEye Poetry Festival

SoundEye, Ireland’s pre-eminent festival of innovative poetry 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.


West Cork Literary Festival

Now 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.

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


Tread Softly 

This ten-day festival takes place in County Sligo and celebrates the life and work of WB Yeats. With it being the 150th anniversary of Yeats’ birth, there is a suitably special programme this summer, including theatre shows, exhibitions, readings, music performances, guided walks and family events.


Féile an Phobail

(The Community’s Festival), also known as the West Belfast Festival is a community arts organisation known for its August Féile (Festival). The organisation is prominent for its promotion of Irish and international culture. The festival takes place on and around Falls Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland



Graiguenamanagh Books Festival 

Discover thousands of bargain, rare and specialist books from booksellers all over Ireland and UK. The Town of Books festival has something for everyone, and not just fabulous books. There’s music, talks, walks, events, crafts and food for the whole family to enjoy!




Cork International Short Story Festival

The 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.



Write by the Sea
Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford 

28 September — 30 September 2018

The Write By The Sea festival  began in 2016 and focuses on established Wexford authors, delivering a stimulating and entertaining programme of workshops, readings, conversation and interviews, with an emphasis on learning how to write. The festival is intended to become a key annual event with local, national and international relevance.

Full details here: www.writebythesea.ie


Dromineer Literary Festival

5-8 October 2017
The Dromineer Literary Festival, a warmly anticiapted festival on the Autumn literary calender, now in its thirteenth year, takes places October 5-8 2017.  The festival brings a host of Irish and international poets and writers to Tipperary for a weekend of readings, workshops and a presentation of prizes to the winners of our poetry and flash fiction competitions (many past winners have gone on to publish poetry and short story collections to great acclaim). We also hold an event The Launching party specifically to provide a platform for work by ‘new’ writers, introduced by an established writer.

Festival events take place at Lough Derg Yacht Club, Dromineer, afloat on Lough Derg, at Nenagh Arts Centre, Nenagh Castle, St. Marys Church of Ireland in Nenagh.

Writers and poets from previous festivals include: Pulitzer Prize winning poet and former US Poet Laureate, Kay Ryan (2013, her first visit to Ireland), Michael Longley, Jennifer Johnston, Anne Enright, Donal Ryan, Liz Nugent, Alan McMonagle, Orfhlaith Foyle, Kerrie Hardy, Michael Harding, Paula Meehan, Theo Dorgan, Kevin Barry, Fiona Sampson, Claire Keegan, Colette Bryce, Vona Groarke, Matthew Sweeney, Dermot Healy, Julian Gough, Carlo Gebler, Tony Curtis, Pat Boran, George Szirtes, Thomas McCarthy, Gerard Smyth, Conor O’Callaghan and more.



Iron Mountain Literature Festival

Arising from the John McGahern seminar which ran from 2007 for eight years, the Iron Mountain Literature Festival was established in 2016, reframed in a wider context involving writers, artists and thinkers from many perspectives. http://www.ironmountainfestival.ie


Kildare Readers Festival

Kildare Readers Festival is brought to you by Kildare County Library and Arts Service. Our ethos is to connect our readers with authors and artists, working to bring the very best from the world of literature to our audiences through the provision of exciting, innovative and accessible events.



Murder One

Ireland’s International Crime Writing Festival usually held in Dublin in early November.


Allingham Festival

The Allingham Arts Festival is a community arts festival which takes place in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal, each November, in honour of the poet William Allingham.




The John O’Connor Writing School

International creative and commercial Writing School and its exciting Literary Arts Festival honours the broad literary and cultural heritage of Armagh. Held annually in early November.

Further details http://thejohnoconnorwritingschool.com


Dublin Book Festival

The Dublin Book Festival is one of Ireland’s most successful and vibrant book festivals. It showcases, supports and develops Irish Publishing by programming, publicising and selling Irish published books, their authors, editors and contributors. Held annually in early November at Smock Alley and other venues around the city.

Full details here: http://www.dublinbookfestival.com/


Ó Bhéal and the Winter Warmer Festival

Two days of poetry events and readings held in Cork City in the second half of November over two days.