Past Words Ireland Events

The Linenhall, Mayo michael-mccarthy

After a successful first night at the Linenhall with Kevin Barry, Jan Carson, and music by the legendary Dónal Lunny, the Seasons – Waiting for You series programmed by Words Ireland Literature Curator Siobhán Kane continues.

On Thursday 15 March, get ready for a night exploring epiphanies in literature and life; turning points, and no turning back, featuring award winning environment journalist and writer Michael McCarthy (Say Goodbye to the CuckooThe Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy). A leading writer on the environment and natural world, Michael was awarded the Medal of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for ‘Outstanding Services to Conservation’, alongside a string of other awards. He will be joined by other exciting guests from the world of letters and music on the night. Watch this space! Tickets €10, booking anseo!

Keep Thursday 14 June Free too. The final event in the series with feature musical guests Spook of the Thirteenth Lock as well as some wonderful words from writers.




Publishing DayIWC Logo

Date: Saturday 18 November 2017
Time: 10.30am–4.30pm
Venue: Crescent Arts Centre Belfast
Cost: €27* / £25

We were delighted to support the Irish Writers Centre’s Publishing Day in association with Queens University Belfast. This one-day seminar is suited to writers of all genres and forms who are seeking to get published.

Lisa Coen (Tramp Press) will discuss the editorial and submission process, Faith O’Grady (Literary Agent) will present on agenting and rights, Jim Meredith (Publicist) will provide quality advice publicising and promoting your book and Nuala O’Connor (writer) will reveal all about her journey from aspiring novelist to published author.

Writers Café: Applying for Literature Bursaries and Grants
18 November 2017
Downhill Theatre, Westport.

Paul Perry led a session on how to write standout applications for grants and bursaries – with a focus on Arts Council bursaries and local arts office grants. The session focussed on the art of convincing judging panels that your work is of a high quality, that financial support is necessary, and how to contextualize your work within the wider literary landscape. He also gave an insider’s knowledge of the mindset of judging panels and their processes of selection, offering essential advice and tips throughout. This event was part of the Rolling Sun Book Festival.


Writers Café: Mentoring for Writers
15 November 2017
Wexford Arts Centre, Wexford.

This workshop, for both mentors and mentees, offers an introduction to the mentoring mind-set and develops the skills and approaches needed for mentoring to be successful for both parties. To ensure that you can get the most out of any future mentoring relationship the workshop will explore themes like fundamental mentoring principles, different models of mentoring, and how to define and achieve your mentoring goals.

The workshop is ideal for creative writers interested in offering mentoring services to emerging writers. Whether you’re beginning or developing your career as a creative writing teacher or mentor, you’re bound to gain useful knowledge and insight into best practice and process in creative mentoring. Equally, people currently undergoing the process or being mentored are welcome to attend.


Writers Café: Life as a Full-time Writer with Mia Gallagher
11 November 2017
The Source Arts Centre, Thurles

Words Ireland is delighted to partner with the Source Arts Centre to bring you one of their regional Writers Café on The Full-time Writer with Mia Gallagher.

Few writers live from book sales alone. Working as a full-time writer involves juggling a wide range of earning activities including teaching, reviewing, readings, editing, journalism, sitting on judging panels and more besides. For many it means being self-employed so learning about things like tax, pensions, and artists exemption is essential.


Mindshift: Social Media for Writers


Starts: Sat 4 Nov 2017
Time: 10.30am– 4.30pm
Duration: 1 Day
Cost: €80/€70 Members
Irish Writers Centre

Writers of all kinds use social media to attract an audience for their work and the importance of having an online presence has never been more important. From the basics like having a website to the complex world of social media it’s in the writers best interest to be accessible for festival programmers and events curators as well as publishers and agents. How it can benefit your career has endless possibilities. Over this one-day course discover the basics of starting your website and blog to using social channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn for promotion and discovery of your content. Getting your voice heard in today’s noisy online landscape, building your reputation using groups, smart promotional tactics along with case studies to learn from, plus practical tips, will also be included.


Irish Writers Centre


Mindshift: The Business of Writing

Starts: Sat 21 Oct 2017

Time: 10.30am – 4.30pm
Duration: 1 Day
Cost: €60/€50 Members

If you wish to learn more about the business of being a writer including the process of writing applications with a view to improving your success rate for bursaries, residencies, retreats and other writing opportunities, as well copyright law, contract law and managing your taxes then this course is for you. These professional development sessions are aimed at established and emerging writers and will focus on the business aspect of writing. All sessions will allow time for Q&A.

Teaching Creative Writing
21 October, 14.00pm
Venue: Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Bellaghy

Words Ireland is delighted to partner with the Seamus Heaney HomePlace to present one of their regional Writers Café on Teaching Creative Writing

Yvonne Cullen will deliver a talk on developing a career as teacher of creative writing. From booking your first job, to expanding your teaching portfolio in a variety of settings and employing best practice, Yvonne’s presentation will be of interest to emerging and mid-career writers or anyone who teaches or is interested in becoming a teacher or mentor of creative writing.

Author of Invitation to the Air (poetry), and A Winter Quarters(non-fiction, forthcoming), Yvonne Cullen has led writing classes all round Ireland with great success for the last twenty-four years.

Taxation for Writers
14 October, 11.00am
Venue: Muckross House Killarney

Words Ireland is delighted to partner with Kerry County Council and Listowel Writers Week to bring you one of their regional Writers Café on Taxation for Writers.

This session is a practical guide to revenue and taxation issues for writers. From managing your books to understanding taxation matters, Income Tax to Artist Exemption, this session is what you need to feel comfortable with accounting for your artistic practice. This event will be delivered as an informal presentation with the opportunity for your queries to be answered by an industry specialist in accounting for the arts. Participants will be provided with a presentation covering all aspects of the session post event. Make it your business to manage your business well – join us in working your way through best practice in managing your tax affairs.

Programme Content

  • How to account for your business: books and records
  • Allowable trading expenditure
  • Treatment of capital expenditure
  • Income tax returns: preparation and filing
  • PRSI & USC
  • Artist Exemption


Is Self-Publishing for You?
22 September, 8.00pm
Venue: Bar/Cafe of the Droichead Arts Centre, Stockwell Street.

Author and self-publishing expert Catherine Ryan Howard will deliver a whirlwind presentation on the ins and outs of self-publishing, explaining all that’s involved: from writing and editing to cover design and production; from pricing and financing to sales and publicity. If you’ve ever wondered whether self-publishing was the route for your new book, or your backlist, this is the chance to find out.

Catherine is a writer from Cork who started her career self-publishing non-fiction. She has delivered workshops on the subject for Faber Academy in London, Guardian Masterclasses, Irish PEN and Publishing Ireland, among others. Her debut thriller Distress Signals is shortlisted for the CWA’s John Creasey/New Blood Dagger Award.

This is a Words Ireland event brought to you in partnership with Droichead Arts Centre. Free admittance.



Book Publicity: A Guide for Authors
Saturday 23 September, 4.00pm

Venue: The Martello Hotel, Bray

Book publicist Peter O’Connell will guide writers through the process of preparing for a book launch. Find out what to expect from your publisher/publicist and what you can do in addition to boost your book’s exposure. As well as increasing sales, the launch of your book is an opportunity to put yourself forward as a professional writer to a number of potential employers – literary editors, festival directors, creative writing schools, universities, and more. Peter will take you step by step through the publicity process and prepare you for your next launch.

With over a decade of experience devising and delivering successful media and promotion campaigns in Ireland, Peter O’Connell is well known to all national, regional and local media. Peter deals regularly with major shows such as the Late Late Show, Today With Pat Kenny, The Last Word and The Right Hook. He has promoted works by the former Taoiseach, Garret FitzGerald; Minister for Arts, Michael D Higgins; as well as books by high profile correspondents such as Lara Marlowe and Eileen Battersby.

This is a Words Ireland event brought to you in partnership with the Bray Literary Festival. Free admittance.


Mind your own Business! | 27 April

Mind Your Own Business, a seminar on the practical side of being a poet

Poetry Ireland
11 Parnell Square
27 April 2017, 1pm


Poetry Ireland and Words Ireland are delighted to present an afternoon focusing on the practical side of being a poet. With Don Paterson, award-winning Scottish poet and poetry editor for Picador.

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Writers Series: Cork
Sat 25 March 2017
Triskel Arts Centre 


Mary Morrissy is an ward-winning Irish novelist and short story writer, the author of three novels, Mother of Pearl, The Pretenderand The Rising of Bella Casey, and two collections of short stories, A Lazy Eye and Prosperity Drive. I’ve taught creative writing at university level in the US and Ireland since 2000 and currently teaches at UCC where she is associate director of creative writing.

Doireann Ní Ghríofa is a bilingual writer working both in Irish and English. Among her awards are the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Michael Hartnett Prize, and the Ireland Chair of Poetry bursary. Her most recent book is Oighear.

Kieran Crowley is a children’s writer from Mallow, Co. Cork. His debut novel Colm & the Lazarus Key was shortlisted for the Bisto Book of the Year Award in 2010. His most recent book was The Mighty Dynamo, published by Macmillan in 2016.

William Wall is the 2017 winner of the Drue Heinz For Literature. He is the author of four novels, two volumes of short fiction and three collections of poetry. His third collection of short fiction,The Islands, will be published by Pittsburgh University Press in 2017 and his fourth collection of poetry, The Yellow House, will appear from Salmon in 2017. His fifth novel, Grace’s Day, will be published by New Island in 2018. His work has been translated into many languages and he translates from Italian. He lives in Cork.





Mindshift: Between Fact and Fiction
Venue: Irish Writers Centre
Starts: Sat 25 March 2017
Time: 10.30am – 2.30pm
Duration: 1/2 Day
Cost: €18/€15 Members for Panel | Clinics €20 | €30 both sessions

This two-part day on creative non-fiction will focus on what leading editors are looking for and how to do justice to your own work. The morning session will consist of a panel discussion where Chris Agee (editor, Irish Pages) and Mark O’Connell (writer, SlateThe New Yorker and others) will discuss their respective experiences in the industry with Claire Hennessy (author, co-editor, Banshee). The afternoon session will allow for writers to have a unique one-to-one consultation (15 minutes) with Susan Tomaselli (editor, gorse), Chris or Mark where they can bring along some sample material and receive constructive criticism on their work.

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International Women’s Day | Women Aloud NI
Sat 11 March
From 11am




Words Ireland is delighted to support the Irish Writers Centre’s collaboration with Women Aloud Northern Ireland, along with female writers resident in the Republic of Ireland, in a day-long literary readathon in celebration of International Women’s Day.

The event will consists of panel discussions, day-long opportunities to hear extracts from Women Aloud NI members and the Irish Writers Centre as well as networking opportunities which will serve to cement the relationships between women writers across genres — and across Ireland.

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Bualadh Boston

10—11 March, 2017
Harvard Club of Boston

Bualadh Boston

In the Irish language, the phrase Bualadh Bos is used to express applause. On March 10th and 11th, the Irish Writers Centre, Poetry Ireland and the Consulate General of Ireland are delighted to present some of Ireland’s finest contemporary writers in historic Boston, the capital of Irish America, in conversation with local champions of the Boston arts world for novel insights into Irish literature today.

Kevin Barry and Lisa McInerney in Conversation with Fionnuala Quinlan
March 10, 5pm

For the first night of Bualadh Boston, Consul General Fionnuala Quinlan will be in conversation with Kevin Barry and Lisa McInerney, the shining lights in contemporary Irish literature. Their work is exciting, funny, accessible and clever, much like themselves. Both are award-winning writers of literature’s most coveted prizes and we get the feeling they’ve only just begun.

Tara Bergin, Nick Laird and Stephen Sexton in Conversation
March 11, 1pm

In this poetry showcase, three of Ireland’s most exciting contemporary poets, Tara Bergin, Nick Laird and Stephen Sexton, will read their work and share their experiences as Irish poets working at home and abroad.

Paul Howard in Conversation with Kevin Cullen
March 11, 3pm

Working the Festival Circuit with Dani Gill

dani_gill_1024x1024Starts: Sat 4 March 2017
Time: 2.00pm – 4.30pm
Duration: 2.5 Hours
Cost: €30/€25 Members

In this half-day seminar, participants will learn about the festival year, how scheduling falls and what to consider when submitting to a festival, such as the elements of a writer’s CV that will be of most interest to curators. There will be an examination of festival themes and how the lens of curation affects what a festival director may look for in a certain year, in terms of topics, genres and forms of writing. Participants will also look at themes and features in their own writing that could be explored and presented in a marketing context.

Dani Gill has curated for the Cúirt International Festival of Literature for six years.

*Please note the time of this course differs from the print programme. We have rescheduled the seminar to the afternoon slot of 2pm.

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Managing Your Taxes with Gaby Smyth

gaby_smyth_1024x1024Starts: Sat 4 March 2017
Time: 10.30am – 12.30pm
Duration: 2 Hours
Cost: €30/€25 Members


What kind of tax set-up do you need – limited company or sole-trader? What level of book-keeping do you need to maintain? What taxes, if any, are due? When it comes to understanding and managing your own taxes you’re not alone. This presentation is led by a leading accountant and tax specialist operating in the arts sector, and will allow lots of time for Q&A.

Gaby Smyth is managing director with Gaby Smyth & Company Ltd., Business. He has provided business and taxation advice to individuals and companies for almost 20 years, specialising in the literary music, film and theatre arts.

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Words Ireland Writers Series Dublin
March 2 2017
Lang Hall Trinity Hub

Nessa O’Mahony has published four books of poetry – Bar Talk, appeared (1999), Trapping a Ghost (2005), In Sight of Home(2009) and Her Father’s Daughter, published by Salmon in September 2014. She is a teacher of creative writing with the Open University and am a regular facilitator of creative writing workshops in Ireland and the UK.

Siobhan Parkinson is a writer for both children and adults and a publisher of children’s and YA books through Little Island Press, and is a former co-editor of Bookbird and editor of Inis. She was made Ireland’s first Laureate na nÓg in 2010, and has worked as writer-in-residence and short-term Writers-in-Schools residencies across Ireland.

Ian Sansom from Essex, England, is the author of the Mobile Library Mystery Series. As of 2016, he has written three books in a series that will comprise a projected forty-four novels. He is a frequent contributor to, and critic for, The Guardian and the London Review of Books. He was a Research Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and has taught at Brunel University and Queen’s University, Belfast. He is a former Director of the Warwick Writing Programme at the University of Warwick and is Director of the Oscar Wilde Centre.

Michael West is an award-winning playwright and translator whose original scripts have been staged in the Abby Theatre and further afield. A noted adaptor of literary work, West has collaborated in Corn Exchange productions of Joyce’s Dubliners, Nabokov’s Lolita and most recently, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, by Eimear McBride. He was 2015/2016 Writer-in-Residence for UCC. He is West is a co-founder with Annie Ryan, of the Corn Exchange Theatre Co.


Writers Series, Limerick
Saturday 18 February

Words Ireland is hosting a series of nationwide public meetings for professional and practising writers to hear how writers sustain their careers. We want to begin a national debate on the future of literature resourcing and funding in Ireland.

Donal Ryan is from Nenagh in County Tipperary. His debut novel, The Spinning Heart, was a bestseller in Ireland and the US, won the Guardian First Book Award, the EU Prize for Literature, and Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. His second novel, The Thing About December, was also a number one bestseller, and was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year, and Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. Donal teaches Creative Writing at the University of Limerick. He lives in Castletroy with his wife Anne Marie and their two children.

Sarah Moore Fitzgerald is an academic and teaching and learning expert based in the University of Limerick. As well as her career as an academic, Sarah has always been a lifelong creative writer and a believer in integrating creative writing, literacy and reading into all stages of the learning process. She is the author of three novels for children and young adults: Back to BlackbrickThe Apple Tart of Hope and A Very Good Chance. Her fourth novel is due out in 2017. Sarah has been shortlisted for several literary prizes including the CBI children’s book of the year and the Waterstones Prize. Her first novel has been adapted for the stage and performed at the Edinburgh Festival and in London’s West End. In 2015, she received the Jack Harte award from The Irish Writers Centre.

Niall Williams, a Dublin born writer, has lived in Kiltumper, Co Clare in the west of Ireland for the past 30 years. He is the author of eight novels, three stage plays, four non-fiction works and several screenplays, a novella and eight novels – the most recent of which, History of the Rain, was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2014.

Stephen Murray is an award winning poet and the founder of Inspireland. He has published two collections of poetry with Salmon Poetry to widespread critical acclaim. He is regarded as Ireland’s leading poetry workshop provider for young people and has delivered workshops to over 50,000 young people in Ireland. His work has featured on Nationwide, RTE TwoTube, TV3, Arena, BBC 2, The Irish Times, the Independent and Hot Press.

The Lifecycle of the Book with AUTHORS, AGENTS & PUBLISHERS

presented by PUBLISHING IRELAND in association with the IRISH WRITERS CENTRE supported by WORDS IRELAND

Publishing Ireland, in association with Words Ireland and the Irish Writers Centre is hosting a series of short evening talks on the different aspects of the publishing process, aimed at writers and the general public. The idea is to break down the stages of publishing, from the completion of a manuscript right through to the books being on the shelves and being discussed in the media.

There will be 4 talks in total, covering 4 different stages, those stages being ‘The Writing Process’, ‘Getting Published’, ‘What Publishers Do’ and ‘Reaching the Reader’.

Each talk will involve a panel of three speakers, all experts in their field, who will talk for 15 minutes with an audience Q&A to follow.

The talks will be held on successive Tuesday evenings, from 6.30pm to 8pm in February in The Irish Writers Centre.

Or individually below:

Tues, 7 Feb 18.30
The Life Cycle of the Book: The Writing Process

Tues, 14 Feb 18.30
The Life Cycle of the Book: Getting Published

Tues, 21 Feb 18.30
The Life Cycle of the Book: What Publishers Do

Tues, 28 Feb 18.30
The Life Cycle of the Book: Reaching Readers


When are you Going to Write a Proper Children’s Book? | Saturday 4 February 2017 | Dlr Lexicon

All children’s writers and illustrators are welcome to this information-packed day, new, emerging and established alike. How much do children’s writers get paid? How important are events and social media? What are publishers and agents looking for in 2017 and beyond? Come with questions and leave with answers.

Sarah Webb is the dlr Writer in Residence for 2016/2017. Her residency focuses on children and young people age 8 to 18 and during her term she is running book clubs, writing clubs, teen workshops, writing clinics for children and adults writing for children and programming many events, including this one.

This event is part of a suite of events marking Children’s Books Ireland’s 20 birthday and celebrates 20 years of CBI providing support and professional development services to Irish children’s authors and illustrators.



Writers Series Illustrators’ Special
25/01/2017 | National Library of Ireland

Acclaimed illustrators Olivia Golden, Chris Judge and Olwyn Whelan will sit on a panel to discuss the challenges of sustaining a career as a professional illustrator. Professional and aspiring illustrators are encouraged to attend this public meeting chaired by CBI Director Elaina Ryan as she asks both the panel and the audience what the literature sector can do, in terms of supports, resources, professional development and opportunities to make a career in illustration more sustainable. This is a special illustrators event in a nationwide series touring the country.


Writers Series Belfast

Words Ireland Writers Series: Belfast

Belfast, United Kingdom | Crescent Arts Centre
Saturday, 3 December 2016 from 14:00 to 16:00


Words Ireland is hosting a series of nationwide public meetings for professional and practising writers to hear how writers sustain their careers. We want to begin a national debate on the future of literature resourcing and funding in Ireland.

Ian Sansom
Ian Sansom, from Essex, England, is the author of the Mobile Library Mystery Series. As of 2016, he has written three books in a series that will comprise a projected forty-four novels. He is a frequent contributor to, and critic for, The Guardian and the London Review of Books.

Moyra Donaldson
Moyra Donaldson has published six collections of poetry including Selected Poems (2012), and The Goose Tree (2014) from Liberties Press, Dublin.  She is also an experienced creative writing facilitator and mentor. Her latest project was a collaboration with photographic artist Victoria J Dean.

Sheena Wilkinson
Described by The Irish Times as ‘one of our foremost writers for young people’, SheenaWilkinson is the author of five novels, including the CBI overall Book Of The Year, Grounded. After winning an Arts Council Major Award in 2012, she left a sensible job to write full-time.

Mindshift: Redressing Gender Equality in Screenwriting


Tues 22 Nov 2016

Time: 10.30am – 4.00pm
Duration: 1 Day
Cost: €15 / €10 (IWC Members)


The Irish Writers Centre is delighted to present Mindshift: Redressing Gender Equality in Writing for Film, in association with The Writers’ Guild of Ireland.


Line-up includes:
David Kavanagh (CEO, Writers’ Guild of Ireland), screenwriters Lauren Mackenzie and Juanita Wilson; writer/director Marian Quinn, and writer/academic Dr. Susan Liddy, as well as London based agent Julian Friedmann.

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Mindshift BelfastMindshift: The Connected Writer
Starts: Sat 19 Nov
Time: 11am – 4.00pm
Duration: 1 Day
€10/£7 (on the door)


The Irish Writers Centre is delighted to present Mindshift: The Connected Writer in association with The Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast, kindly supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Words Ireland.

Looking to take part in more literary events and festivals? Or maybe you want to improve your skillset for readings, panel discussions and interviews. This professional development day for emerging and established writers will inform you on how to get the gig and how to connect with audiences. Hear from writers, events programmers and festival directors as they discuss knowing your USPs, connecting with relevant organisers, and the etiquette of ‘getting out there’. Preparation, your onstage presence and the dos and don’ts of literary performances will also be tackled.

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Writers Series KilkennyWords Ireland Writers Series: Kilkenny
 County Kilkenny | Butler House
Saturday, 19 November 2016 from 14:00 to 16:00

Nationwide public meetings for professional creative writers

Words Ireland is hosting a series of nationwide public meetings for professional and practising writers to hear how writers sustain their careers. We want to begin a national debate on the future of literature resourcing and funding in Ireland.

Panelists: Niamh Boyce, Paula Leyden, Grace Wells


The Magazine Social

The Magazine Social at Dublin Book Festival
with Angela Carr, Oisín Fagan, Caelainn Hogan, Pat O’Connor, Deirdre Sullivan and Dimitra Xidous

Sunday, 13 November, 2016
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

The Workmans Club, Wellington Quay, Dublin.

Writers, readers and editors of Ireland’s journals gather for a social celebration of Ireland’s flourishing literary magazine scene. Irish journals have been key disseminators of new ideas, styles, and stories throughout the centuries. Their writers and editors have met in public houses to peddle opinions and dream up narratives before committing them to print, or the bedside drawer. At this event, new and established voices from a diverse range of magazines and journals give short readings for your consideration between sups at the Workmans Club.




Magazines and the MakersMagazines and their Makers at Dublin Book Festival
Magazines and the Makerswith Brendan Barrington, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Tony O’Dwyer, Olivia Smith and Susan Tomaselli in conversation with Paula Shields
13 Nov, 2016 | 1.30pm | The Main Space, Smock Alley Theatre

This is something of a golden age for literary magazines in Ireland, with a steady flow of new arrivals taking up their places alongside a few more established journals. But who are the people behind these publications? How did they get started and how do they keep going? Are they champions of the new and the brave? Or protectors of the old and the tired? Join us for what promises to be an illuminating session with editors and publishers from five of the leading magazines.







Writers Series GalwayWords Ireland Writers Series: Galway

Galway, Ireland | Galway City,
Saturday, 5 November 2016 from 14:00 to 16:00

Nationwide public meetings for professional creative writers

Words Ireland is hosting a series of nationwide public meetings for professional and practising writers to hear how writers sustain their careers. We want to begin a national debate on the future of literature resourcing and funding in Ireland.

Mike McCormack
Mike McCormack is an Irish novelist and short story writer. He has published two collections of short stories, Getting It In the Head and Forensic Songs and three novels – Crowe’s Requiem, Notes from a Coma and Solar Bones.

Patricia Forde
Patricia Forde lives in Galway, in the west of Ireland. She has published three Picture Books, lots of Easy Readers, and in May 2015 she published her first novel The Wordsmith with Little Island. She has also written two plays, as well as several television drama series for children and teenagers. She has worked as a writer on both English and Irish language soap operas.

Christian O’Reilly
Christian is a playwright and screenwriter based in Galway, Ireland. His plays have been produced in Ireland and internationally by companies such as Druid and Rough Magic. He was a recipient of the Stewart Parker Trust New Playwright Bursary for his debut play THE GOOD FATHER.

Mary O’Malley
Mary O’Malley is a poet from Connemara, Co Galway. Her collections are A Consideration of Silk (Galway, Salmon Poetry, 1990); Where the Rocks Float (Salmon, 1993); The Knife in the Wave, (Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare, Salmon Publishing, 1997); Asylum Road (Salmon Publishing, 2001); The Boning Hall (Manchester, Carcanet Press, 2002); A Perfect V (Carcanet Press, 2006); Valparaiso (Carcanet Press, 2012); and Playing the Octopus (Carcanet Press, 2016).

Writers Series LeitrimWords Ireland Writers Series: Leitrim

County Leitrim | Ballinamore Library
Saturday, 22 October 2016 from 14:00 to 16:00

Nationwide public meetings for professional creative writers

Words Ireland is hosting a series of nationwide public meetings for professional and practising writers to hear how writers sustain their careers. We want to begin a national debate on the future of literature resourcing and funding in Ireland.

Michael Harding
Michael Harding writes novels, memoirs and plays, and a week weekly column in The Irish Times. He has worked in radio, film and theatre as performer, director and writer.

Brian Leyden
Brian Leyden is a novelist, short story writer, memoirist, playwright, screenwriter, librettist, and editor. His books include DeparturesDeath & PlentyThe Home Place and Sweet Old World: New & Selected Stories. He has written extensively about his home area for RTÉ’s Sunday Miscellany. Other work for radio includes the documentaries No Meadows in Manhattan, Even the Walls Were Sweatin’, The Closing of the Gaiety Cinema in Carrick-on-Shannon and An Irish Station Mass. He co-wrote the feature film, Black Ice and is the recipient of a Broadcasting Authority of Ireland Sound Vision Award (2014) and an Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon Literary Bursary in 2014. Most recently he published Irlande ’66/69 (French language edition) and the novel Summer of ’63.

Monica Corish
After studying science and training as a nurse, Monica Corish worked in Africa for many years as a primary health care adviser with Irish and international NGOs. In 2005, the same year that she moved from Dublin to Kinlough, a cervical disc injury brought an end to her nursing and overseas development careers.

Publishing Day in association with University of Limerick

Donal Ryan


Date: Saturday 15 October 2016

Time: 10.30am–4pm

Venue: University of Limerick

Cost: €30 / €25* IWC Members |

In association with Prof Joseph O’Connor and the University of Limerick, and supported by Words Ireland, this one-day seminar is suited to writers of all genres and forms who are seeking to get published.

Brian Langan (Transworld/Doubleday) will be discussing the editorial and submission process, Jonathan Williams (Literary Agent) will present on agenting and rights and Donal Ryan (writer) will be discussing his  journey from aspiring novelist to published author.


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Writing for Children and Teens and Getting Published

Writing for Children and Teens and Getting Published

Writing for Children and Teens and Getting Published


With Grainne Clear from Little Island publishers and experienced writers, Patricia Forde and Sarah Webb

Supported by Words Ireland

Saturday 15 October 2016

Venue: Belltable Arts Centre, Limerick

6.00pm to 7.00pm

A practical, informative event for everyone who is interested in writing for children, from beginners to more experienced writers. What makes a book stand out to an agent or editor? What can emerging writers do to get their work noticed and promote their own book? What are agents and editors looking for? Grainne, Patricia and Sarah will talk you through the world of children’s books and answer all your questions.

WordCon: Improving the Festival Experience

Where: National Library, Kildare street, Dublin 2
When: 19 May 2016
Time: 9.30-4.30pm

Chocolat author, Joanne Harris, travelled to Dublin to deliver a keynote speech at Words Ireland’s first National Literature Conference, WordCon, on 19 May. Focusing on festivals and their relationship with authors and illustrators, industry leaders discussed ways of improving the overall experience that writers enjoy at festivals, and addressed the hot topic of payment and treatment.

The following guidance sheet Treatment of Writers at Festivals was written following the conference.

Guidance Sheets



Claire Keegan

Claire Keegan in Tinahely as part of Poetry Day Ireland.

  • Thursday 28 April, 8.00pm
  • The Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely, Co Wicklow
  • Tickets: €8/€6 concessions

With just two short story collections, Claire Keegan has established herself as one of Ireland’s most gifted and finely honed writers. A writer renowned for her poetic sensibility, her first collection was awarded the Rooney Prize in 1999. Her short story ‘Foster’ was awarded the 2009 Davy Byrnes award, and subsequently printed in the New Yorker and released as a stand-alone book by Faber & Faber. This mesmerising novella is now part of the Leaving Certificate English curriculum.

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Fly on the Wall Sessions

Saturday 16 April, 2016

The-Stinging-Fly-Talks-at-Project-Arts-Centre-Dublin1Words Ireland is proud to present an afternoon of conversation and debate hosted by The Stinging Fly, following on from the publication of their special In the Wake of the Rising issue.
Session One:
In the Wake of the Rising
2pm – 3.30pm

Paula Shields in conversation with guest editor Sean O’Reilly and contributors Evelyn Conlon, Martina Evans and Donal O’Kelly


Session Two:
Oblivious of the Differences
4pm – 5.30pm

Sean O’Reilly in conversation with Niall Griffiths, Jon McGregor, Lisa McInerney and Nuala Ní Chonchúir


Poetry Masterclass with Paula Meehan

Paula Meehan

Wednesday 30 March, 2016 6.00pm

Ballywaltrim Library, Boghall Road, Bray, Co. Wicklow
Tickets: Free, by application

“Meehan is among the pivotal poets whose grace notes enhance an art that is our jewel in the crown.” The Irish Times

Words Ireland in association with Wicklow County Council Arts Office and Wicklow Library Services present a poetry masterclass with Ireland Professor of Poetry, Paula Meehan.

Poets who would like to apply are invited to submit 2 poems and a short expression of interest note to Maureen Kennelly at

Submitting poets should ideally have had work published in established journals and magazines.

The deadline for applications is Friday 18 March, 5pm, and successful applicants will be notified by Tuesday 22 March.

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International Rights & Building Author Contracts-5Publishing Ireland
International Rights and Building Author Contracts
2 Day Workshop

9-10 March 2016
Venue: Irish Writers Centre
Full Programme here
Words Ireland  in association with Publishing Ireland and the Irish Writers Centre are pleased to be hosting a two-day intensive workshop event with legendary rights expert Lynette Owen.

Former Copyright Director of Pearsons, Lynette Owen, is making a welcome return for an intensive Publishing Ireland training workshop on buying, selling and managing rights in addition to a session on building author contracts. The sessions will take place over two days, on 9 and 10 March in the Irish Writers Centre, and cover the basics of international rights and author contracts, offering something of value for anyone looking to bolster their legal knowledge.

Lynette Owen

Lynette Owens Rights, Rights, publishingireland

Lynette currently tours the globe as a freelance rights consultant and has written and contributed to two handbooks on copyright law: Selling Rights (Routledge) and Clark’s Publishing Agreements (Bloomsbury Professional), respectively. Approaching the issue of copyright from both an authorand publisher’s standpoint, Owen will provide guidance on every aspect of how to sell book rights while protecting yourself and your business.

Venue: The Irish Writers Centre, 19 Parnell Square N, Dublin, Co. Dublin City

Wednesday, 9 March, 2016 – Buying and Selling Rights: A Practical Workshop for Publishers  (Full day)

The Sale of rights is crucial to the activities of literary agencies and publishing houses, and can be a major factor in building an authors’ career and maintaining author loyalty. Lynette is the expert in this area and will deliver the best, most up-to-date training on the complexities of rights selling and how to negotiate them at fairs.

Cost:  PI Members, Associate Members and Affiliates : €75

Non-Members: €100

Thursday 10 March – Author Contracts (Morning and Afternoon Sessions)

Day 2 will deliver two short courses: Building Author Contracts and Author-Publisher Contracts- A Practical Workshop for Authors.

Lynette will take publishers and agents through best practice in building an appropriate contract for an author.

Building Author Contracts Morning Session:  PI Members and Affiliates €25

Non-Members: €30

Afternoon Session: Unpacking Author Contracts and Forum Discussion:  Authors, PI Members and Affiliates €13

Non-Members: €15

For full programme details for both days, click Programme

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Wicklow Literature Programme Launch

Wicklow Literature ProgrammeLaunchMermaid Arts Centre25 February, 6pmMermaid Arts Centre
Thursday 25 Feb, 2016


Words Ireland is delighted to announce the development of a new literature programme in partnership with Wicklow County Arts Office and supported by the Wicklow Library Service. This programme will involve readings, public events, mentoring schemes, workshops and masterclasses with some of Ireland’s leading writers, poets and illustrators.

Wicklow is home to a wealth of writing talent and this programme will seek to celebrate those who are established, while nurturing the next generation. Wicklow enjoys an extremely rich literary heritage and has inspired celebrated writers such as WB Yeats, Derek Walcott, Mary Lavin and Seamus Heaney, to mention just some. In more recent times, contemporary writers Sebastian Barry, Anne Enright and Paul Howard have found much inspiration in the county.

Wicklow Literature Day

Thursday February 25th is Wicklow Literature Day when the new programme kicks off with a range of activities: a workshop with local award winning illustrator Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick at Greystones Library in the morning, followed by a panel event based around the best-selling children’s book Once Upon a Place, early evening in the Happy Pear, Greystones.

Mentoring Showcase

Hear new writing and contributions from participants in our 2015 mentoring scheme: Caroline Bracken, Evelyn Conlon, Emer Fallon, Justin McCarthy, Sinéad O’Loughlin, Michelle Read, Philip St. John, and Grace Wells.

Special guests: Michael Nicholson, Director of Services
and John Ryan, Cathaoirleach, Wicklow County Council.


Creative Masterclass with Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

25 Feb 2016 – 10:30am to 12:30pmPicture-1
Greystones Library

Mill Road,
This masterclass is now fully subscribed.

Words Ireland, in association with Children’s Books Ireland and Wicklow Arts Office, invite you to a Creative Masterclass with Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, on Thursday 25th February, at Greystones library from 10.30 am until 12.30pm. Professional illustrators and those keen to publish their own work for children are particularly encouraged to join award-winning illustrator, picturebook maker, author and Greystones resident Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick for a masterclass. This session will cover Marie-Louise’s professional background, working life and artistic process.




Once Upon a Place Panel Event


25 Feb 2016 – 6:00pm to 7:30pm
The Happy Pear
Church Road
Co. Wicklow

Words Ireland, in association with Children’s Books Ireland and Wicklow Arts Office, are delighted to present, on Thursday 25th February, 2016, Once Upon a Place Panel Event. Join authors Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick and Jane Mitchell and poet Seamus Cashman to talk about Once upon a Place, a collection of short stories and poems collated by current Laureate na nÓg, Eoin Colfer. Greystones foodie business The Happy Pear will host the special evening event showcasing poetry, fiction, illustration and writing for children and young people from 6 pm until 7.30 pm. This event is for anyone interested in children’s books. The ticket price includes a glass of wine.

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Words Ireland at Dublin Book Festival 2015
The Art of the Book Review


Date: Sunday 15 November | Time: 4.30pm
Venue: Main Theatre, Smock Alley Theatre
Free entry

With Martin Doyle, Ian Sansom, Juliette Saumande and Eithne Shorthall in conversation with Paula Shields

In the age of blogs and social media, are book reviews still important? Are we all critics now? Is there still an appetite for serious literary criticism? And how critical or generous do we expect book reviewers to be?

These are some of the questions that will be teased out during this session with our distinguished panel of writers, reviewers and editors, including: Martin Doyle, assistant literary editor of The Irish Times; Ian Sansom, writer for various publications, including The Guardian and The London Review of Books, and author of 12 books including Death in Devon(HarperCollins, 2015); Juliette Saumande, translator of children’s books and Reviews Editor for Inis magazine; and Eithne Shorthall, chief arts writer with the Sunday Times Ireland and regular contributor to RTÉ Radio’s Arena.


Words Ireland at Dublin Book Festival 2016

Sinead_GleesonA Guide to Book Reviewing with Sinéad Gleeson | Dublin Book Festival in association with Words Ireland

Date: Saturday 14 November | Time: 2.00–3.30pm
Venue: Irish Writers Centre, 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1

This seminar presented by arts journalist and broadcaster Sinéad Gleesonis aimed at people interested in writing book reviews for publication. Sinéad will share her own experience of writing for The Irish TimesThe Irish IndependentThe Sunday Business PostThe Irish Daily Mail and The Guardian. The seminar will examine the nuts and bolts of writing reviews, focusing on how the writer must adapt structure, tone and style to match different publications’ editorial requirements.

Publishing Day @ dlr LexIcon

Publishing Day – supported by Words Ireland & Wicklow Arts Office, in assoc. with dlr Arts Office

Date: Saturday 26 September 2015
Time: 10.30am–4.15pm
Venue: dlr LexIcon
Cost: €30 / €25 IWC Members

The ever-popular Publishing Day series, catering to writers of all forms, goes on the road this September. Our expert line-up will address the challenges facing writers today and provide insight into the publishing process from start to finish. Hear from editor Brendan Barrington (Penguin Ireland/The Dublin Review) and writer and Laureate for Irish Fiction, Anne Enright, as well as publicist Peter O’Connell and literary agents Paul and Susan Feldstein about best practice for submissions and their own experiences of the industry.

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mindshift_plain_9f9cbd15-1628-4fba-a862-6190fbeaf53bMindshift: Cork. Tough Crowd: Devising, Programming and Performing Literary Events for Children

Sat 27 June
Time: 10.00am – 3.00pm
Cost: €30/€25 Members
Venue: Cork Central Library

This half-day workshop, run in association with the Irish Writers Centre and Children’s Books Ireland, is designed to equip children’s authors and illustrators with the tools they need to interact with their young audiences at schools, libraries and literary festivals.

A necessary skill in the children’s author and illustrator’s tool-box is an enthusiasm for and interest in innovative events for children and young adults. Meet children’s authors including Sarah Moore-Fitzgerald and others (TBC), as well as a children’s events programmer to learn from their experience, gain some solid foundations in devising, programming and performing your own book events for children and understanding the best ways to interact with your readers in a meaningful, innovative way. This event is supported by Words Ireland.

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Publishing Day at Belfast Book Festival

Date: Saturday 13 June 2015
Belfast_Book_Festival_1024x1024Time: 10.30am–4pm
Venue: Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
Cost: £30 / £25* IWC Members & Crescent Arts Centre Writing Groups

The Irish Writers Centre takes their established Publishing Day series on the road to connect with new audiences in Northern Ireland. This one-day seminar is suited to writers of all genres and forms who are seeking to get published.

Industry professionals like Patsy Horton of Blackstaff Press/Publishing Ireland will highlight some of the trends and changes in the publishing sector, Dan BolgerCommissioning Editor at New Island Books, will examine the best practice for submissions and arts publicist Stephanie Dickenson will reveal all about the must-have author profile and book PR. We will also welcome established writers in discussion about their own publishing experiences.

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Writers WeekMindshift: Introduction to the Business of Being a Writer at Listowel Writers Week

Sat 30 May
Time: 4.00pm – 5.30pm
Cost: €10/€8 Concession
Venue: The Boy’s School, Listowel

 Presented by the Irish Writers Centre, and supported by Words Ireland, this professional development session is aimed at established and emerging writers and will focus on the business aspect of writing. Find out:

  • the types of funding, opportunities and supports available to writers;
  • ways of generating alternative sources of income;
  • what being a Writer-in-Residence really means and what residencies are currently available.

Witness the mysteries behind the literary scene as they are revealed and unpacked by a diverse panel of experts; both national and regional. A must for the enterprising writer.

Speakers include: Noelle Campbell Sharpe (Cill Rialaig), Audrey Keane (Arts Council, Literature), Kate Kennelly (North Kerry Arts Officer) and Noel O’Regan (writer and former Kerry County Council Writer-in Residence)

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Mindshift1_PS_text_1024x1024-3Mindshift: The Connected Writer – Getting the Gig, Putting it On with International Literature Festival Dublin
Starts: Sat 23 May
Time: 10.30am – 4.15pm
Duration: 1 Day
Cost: €60/€50 Members

This professional development day as part of the International Literature Festival Dublin, supported by WORDS Ireland, is aimed at established writers. It will inform you on how to get the gig and how to connect with – and even wow – an audience.

Hear from Sarah Webb (writer and Children’s Curator of Mountains to Sea Book Festival), Martin Colthorpe (International Literature Festival, Dublin and formerly of the Southbank Centre) and Keith Acheson (Belfast Book Festival & Crescent Arts Centre) as they discuss knowing your USPs as a writer, connecting with relevant curators and organisers, and the etiquette of ‘getting out there’. Doireann Ni Bhriain will tackle how to prepare for the gig, your presence onstage, public speaking and the dos and don’ts of literary performances. Martina Devlin will also look at maintaining momentum both in the run-up to and the aftermath of the event.

 About the speakers

Sarah Webb writes for both children and adults and is the children’s curator of the Mountains to Sea Book Festival.

Martin Colthorpe has a background in programming and commissioning events in literature, film, art and contemporary culture and is the current Programme Director of International Literature Festival Dublin.

Keith Acheson is the Director of Belfast’s award-winning Crescent Arts Centre and the Belfast Book Festival. During his time at the centre he has worked with many theatre companies, recording artists, festivals and arts facilitators.

Doireann Ní Bhriain is a broadcaster and voice and presentation trainer with many years experience of using her own voice professionally and helping others develop good vocal delivery.

Martina Devlin is a bestselling author and award-winning journalist. She has had eight books published and has taken part in numerous literary events and festivals.

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