We’re delighted to announce the 2024 Young Writer Delegates who will attend and contribute to Belfast Book Festival from 6-10 June. The delegates will be mentored by local writer Deirdre Cartmill and perform readings at a public showcase at the festival. The four awardees are Jasmin Awoodun, Mary Dunne, Finn Dunne Leavy and Cara Leahy. Meet the delegates at their festival showcase in the Crescent Arts Centre on Saturday, 8 June 2024 at 4.00pm (pay what you decide).

Now in its seventh year, the IWC Young Writer Delegates Programme gives young writers an opportunity to immerse themselves in a literature festival and to contribute to it as active participants. You can keep up with the Young Writer Delegates on their Instagram page, and through the Irish Writers Centre and Belfast Book Festival social media channels. The full Belfast Book Festival is now available to view over on the festival website.

Meet the delegates:









Jasmin Awoodun was born in Kent and is now based in Belfast. She has a BA in English Language and Creative Writing from Lancaster University and is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Queen’s University Belfast. She writes both prose and script.









Mary Dunne is a poet and fiction writer from Westmeath. She has an International Degree in English and French from University of Galway. Mary is currently completing her Masters of Creative Writing in University College Cork. Her work has been published in ROPES literary journal.









Finn Dunne Leavy is a writer from Galway and likes watching movies and running in open spaces with his dog.









Cara Leahy is a prose writer currently based in County Down. She writes about being Irish, queer, and working class. She is currently working on her first collection of short stories.

Writer Mentor : Deirdre Cartmill









Deirdre Cartmill is a critically acclaimed poet and writer who grew up in Moy, Co. Tyrone. Her third collection The Wind Stills to Listen was published by Arlen House in 2023. Her previous collections are The Return of the Buffalo and Midnight Solo published by Lagan Press. She co-commissioned and co-curated Ireland’s first Poetry Jukebox which is now a permanent installation in Belfast. She is one of the originating artists on the collaborative project Bridging the Silence – a poetic audio walk and installation shown on pedestrian bridges which gives a voice to survivors of abuse and political violence. She is an award-winning scriptwriter and has written for TV and radio, for the BBC and RTE. Her short plays toured N. Ireland with Terra Nova Theatre Company, and she received a seed commission from the Lyric Theatre for a new play in 2022. She holds an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing from Queen’s University