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.



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.

Limerick, late February



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.

Takes place early March



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.

Cork City, mid-March



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.

Belfast, mid-March



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.

Dublin, end of March



Mountains to Sea

The Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival is a literary festival 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.

Dun Laoghaire, mid-March



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.

Newcastle-West, Limerick, mid-April



Towers & Tales Lismore Story Festival

A celebration of children’s books, stories and illustration, designed to give young audiences unforgettable, creative and transformational experiences with books. Takes place at Lismore Castle.

Waterford, mid-April



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.

Galway City, mid-April



Hillsborough Festival of Literature & Ideas

A springtime festival with more than 30 events taking place throughout the village including poetry, prose, music, fi­lm and talks plus events for families and young people.

Co. Down, late April.

Hillsborough Literary Festival


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.

Cork City, end of April



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.

Roscommon, early May.



The Maria Edgeworth Literary Festival

Annual literary weekend, with events and writing competitions, celebrating the life and writing of Maria Edgeworth.

Longford, early May.



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.

Dublin, late May



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. 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.



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.

Early June



Howth Literary Art Festival 

Howth Literary & Arts Festival is one of the most excellent and prestigious series of events in Dublin’s Calendar. Continuing to explore and express knowledge of our literary and artistic programme. No doubt will you be informed, inspired and delighted by the quality of the content of the speakers who will be joining us over the event enumerate with our drama, cultural history and literary arts events.

Dublin, early June



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.

Dublin, mid June



Bloomsday Festival

The Bloomsday Festival is an annual celebration of James Joyce’s modernist epic Ulysses, the events of which take place in Dublin on 16 June 1904. This world famous literary street carnival typically takes place from 11-16 June in Dublin, the heart of the Hibernian metropolis, the city that inspired Joyce and his major works. People celebrate Bloomsday by dressing in the fashion of the period, eating food mentioned  in the book, visiting the locations where the novel takes place and performing readings from the text. Festival events range from lectures, readings, workshops and walking tours to Bloomsday Breakfasts, theatre, music and pub crawls.

Dublin, mid June


Amergin Poetry Solstice Gathering

Amergin Poetry Solstice Gathering is a four day poetry festival located in Waterville, Co. Kerry. The festival offers a range of creative and cultural events including workshops, talks and excursions.

Waterville, Kerry, end of June


Immrama – Lismore Festival of Travel Writing

Immrama is held in Lismore, County Waterford, Ireland, on a weekend in June each year since 2003. Immrama has been dedicated to the art of Travel Writing, Good Music, and Fine Entertainment since its inception. Over the centuries many people have made journeys to and from Lismore and we hope that you will enjoy your lmmram in Lismore.

Waterford, mid June



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.

Belfast, mid June



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.



The John Hewitt Society International Summer School

Offers opportunities for people from Northern Ireland and beyond to experience literature, art and political debate and to explore issues of difference and identity in partnership with many community, voluntary and non-profit organisations. The aim of the Summer School is to explore political and cultural issues through literature and the arts, and to encourage residents of Northern Ireland/the North of Ireland and beyond to think critically about the world around them.

Armagh, end of July

Summer School


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!

Kilkenny, end of August



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.

Cork City, early September



Aspects Festival

A celebration of literature that takes place through the month of September in multiple venues in Bangor, County Down.

Bangor, County Down, all through September



Bray Literary Festival

A festival organised by writers for writers and for lovers of literature. full days of readings, discussions, music, writing workshops and professional development talks for writers. We intend to host an eclectic mix of Ireland’s rising and established voices in poetry, fiction and memoir & music.

Wicklow, late September



Write by the Sea

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.

Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford, late September


Raftery Returns Arts Festival

An exciting week of Readings, Workshops, Open Mic, Raftery Poetry Prize, Music and lots more, to celebrate the return of the blind poet, Anthony Raftery from his place of rest in Killeeneen, County Galway, to his birthplace in Cill Aodain, Kiltimagh, County Mayo.

Mayo, late September to early October





An annual festival held every October in Dalkey, the home town of Maeve Binchy, Echoes is programmed and hosted by Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre in collaboration with Maeve’s husband Gordon Snell, and celebrates Maeve’s writing and legacy alongside the best in Irish writing and contemporary writers.

Dalkey, Dublin, early October


Dromineer Literary Festival

The Dromineer Literary 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.

Tipperary, early October



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.

Leitrim, early October



Red Line Book Festival

Held in October each year, the Red Line Book Festival celebrates the very best in local, national and international writing. The festival takes place in various venues across South Dublin County and is funded by South Dublin County Council and managed by South Dublin Libraries and Arts.

South Dublin County, Early October



Kildare Readers Festival

Kildare County Council Library and Arts Service run the annual Kildare Readers’ Festival, an entirely free literary festival connecting our readers with authors and artists, to bring the very best from the world of literature to Kildare. The festival schedule offers something for everyone, with regular favourites such as Ten Books You Should Read and our Sunday Morning Session,hosted this year by Deirdre Purcell. Their programme has been extended to their full-time libraries around the county.

Kildare, early October



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.

Dublin, mid October



The Waterford Writers’ Weekend – IMAGINE Arts Festival

What began as the Seán Dunne Writers’ Festival in the 1990’s, then evolved to the annual Waterford Writers’ Weekend, and has now been incorporated into the IMAGINE, Waterford’s main week-long Arts Festival. This festival promotes the art and the craft of writing and celebrates creativity in all generations.

Waterford City, mid October


Dublin Festival of History

The Dublin Festival of History takes place through early and mid October, culminating in the Big Weekend in Printworks. The Dublin Festival of History is Ireland’s biggest, free history festival and is supported by Dublin City Council and is programmed and managed by Dublin City Public Libraries.




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.

Armagh, early November



Wexford Literary Festival

A packed programme of special guests, workshops and literary prizes, including four writing awards, Wexford Literary Festival has fast become one of the highlights of the literary calendar.

Enniscorthy, early November



Murder One

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

Dublin, 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 Rolling Sun Book Festival

Set in Westport, County Mayo, is a quirky boutique festival that indulges bookworms and connoisseurs of music, song and poetry.

Mayo, mid November



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.

Cork City, late November



Hinterland: Festival of Literature & Arts

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.

Kells, Meath, early December