Announcing the Greenbean Novel Fair 2016 finalists February 01 2016 1 Comment

Announcing the Greenbean Novel Fair 2016 finalists –

as selected by judges Anthony Glavin, Martina Devlin & Margaret Hayes

Twelve aspiring novelists have been selected from almost 275 applicants to participate in the Greenbean Novel Fair 2016, an annual Irish Writers Centre initiative which will take place on Saturday 20 February.

Now in its fifth year, the event aims to introduce up-and-coming writers to top publishers and literary agents, giving novelists the opportunity to bypass the slush pile, pitch their ideas and place their synopsis and sample chapters directly into the hands of publishers and agents.

The judging panel, who have remained anonymous up until today, can now be revealed as writer and editor Anthony Glavin, writer and journalist Martina Devlin and Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian.

Congratulations to this year's winners who have been named as:


Alex Reece Abbott

Breda Joy

James Martyn Joyce

Julianne Knowles

Eoin Lane

Orla McAlinden

Elizabeth McSkeane

E.A. O'Donovan

Lana O'Farrell

Fiona O'Rourke

R.M. Clarke

Mairead Rooney


There is a diverse range of genres across the novels including literary fiction, historical fiction, crime and dystopian fiction. The 2016 finalists will be travelling from every compass direction; including a UK resident and a former winner who will be trying her luck second time round and making her way from Toronto, Canada.  

Ahead of the Fair, the finalists will take part in a Prep Day on Saturday 6 February to hone their skills, practise their pitches and gain expert advice from this year’s judging panel, and former winner Kevin Curran who has just released his second novel Citizens (Liberties Press, 2016) will be offering a winner’s insight.

This is the second year where a longlist of twelve applicants will have their work critiqued, extending the prizes from 12 to 24 winners. The following names will receive individual critiques: 


  • Guy Le Jeune     
  • Jane Cassidy    
  • Majella Cullinane  
  • Seán Farrell    
  • Teresa King       
  • Dawn Lowe       
  • Marie Lynch      
  • Eamon Mag Uidhir    
  • Gillian Nash       
  • Anne O'Leary    
  • Jean O'Sullivan    
  • Cathriona Slammon   


    We would like to thank each and every applicant for entering and we wish all aspiring novelists the very best in continuing their writing. 

    Greenbean Novel Fair



    About the Fair:

    In 2015, Greenbean Coffee Roasters came on board as title sponsors of the Fair, with the Irish Times as media sponsors. The Greenbean Novel Fair presents a unique opportunity to gain face time with some of the most influential people in Irish publishing and has the potential to kick-start a literary career for each year’s winners.

    This year’s Fair will welcome representatives from the Irish and UK publishing industries (Penguin Ireland, Hachette Ireland, Transworld Ireland, New Island, O’Brien Press/Brandon, Liberties Press, The Book Bureau, Poolbeg/Ward River, Tramp Press, Marianne Gunne O’Connor Literary Agency, Jonathan Williams Literary Agency, Lisa Richards Agency, Feldstein Agency) and, for the first time, will invite New York based agent Regal Hoffmann & Associates.  

    Listed below are details of the various publications and success stories to date that have arisen through the Greenbean (formerly Irish Writers Centre) Novel Fair:

    • Janet E. Cameron’s novel Cinnamon Toast and the End of the Worldwas published by Hachette in March 2013.
    • Niamh Boyce’s novel The Herbalistwas published by Penguin Ireland in June 2013 and is on the longlist for IMPAC 2015.
    • Beatsploitation by Kevin Curran was published by Liberties Press in August 2013 and Kevin has just released his second novel Citizens.
    • Alan Timmons’ novel Here In No Placewas released by New Island in September 2013.
    • The Reluctant Cannibal by Ian Flitcroft was published by Legend Press in October 2013.
    • Daniel Seery’s novel A Model Partnerwas published by Liberties Press in spring 2014.
    • Susan Lanigan’s White Feathers was published by Brandon in 2014.
    • Liberties Press published Eggshells by Caitriona Lally in May 2015.  
    • Andrea Carter's novel Whitewater Church was published by Constable & Robinson (Little, Brown Book Group) in September 2015. 
    • Swimming on Dry Land by Helen Blackhurst was published by Seren in November 2015.

    And we are eagerly awaiting more updates from former winners!


    President Michael D.Higgins visits IWC | 25th Anniversary Celebrations January 14 2016

    On Wednesday 13 January 2016 we welcomed the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, in recognition of his patronage which marked the beginning of our 25th year celebrations.    

    President Higgins IWCWriters and IWC Ambassadors, Éilis Ní Dhuibhne and Joseph O'Connor read for the President, as well as Sarah Moore Fitzgerald, the recipient of this year's Jack Harte Bursary Award. Musician Colm Mac Con Iomaire debuted his beautiful composition Solasta to a packed room of writers and distinguished guests – and wowed us all. The President addressed attendees with a speech that ranged in content from Bowie and Hot Press to Descartes and civil society...

    President Higgins outlined how the Centre is not just a haven but a vortex of creativity:

    'In the hallways and stairwells of this old house, frameworks of novels, opening paragraphs of stories, and geneses of poems have been inspired and created. A considerable number may have been completed but perhaps the finest are still in gestation.'

    We couldn't have wished for a better start to our 25th anniversary celebrations. 

    A full transcript of the President's speech is available on our Patron page >>>

      Plaque    Valerie Bistany and President Higgins              


    In memory of Brian Friel, RIP October 02 2015

    Brian Friel

    – a playwright who gave voice to the heart and the resilience of the Irish spirit

    The Irish Writers Centre is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Brian Friel. Known as one of the greatest Irish playwrights of our times and renowned for Philadelphia, Here I ComeTranslations and Dancing at Lughnasa, Friel proved himself to be a versatile writer who was skilled at adaptations and penned two fine short story collections.

    His impact has extended beyond the realm of writing, both at home and abroad. While Friel succeeded in bringing the realities of life in rural Ireland to a worldwide audience and placed contemporary Irish theatre at the forefront of international playwriting, he was also instrumental in addressing issues such as identity, language, migration and culture, and gave voice to those on the margins. His works showed the heart and the resilience of the Irish spirit and their enduring legacy are as relevant as ever today.

    Brian was known to be generous in spirit and was especially supportive to other writers showing them a genuine kindness. His generosity was enriched with a great sense of humour. 

    The loss of this unrivalled playwright will reverberate across nations and down through the generations. Our most sincere condolences to Brian’s family and friends. 

     ‘Brian Friel’s plays gave expression to the perennial conundrums of Irish life and identity by holding up a mirror to ourselves with a wit and acumen that made us laugh and cry, and wonder what the future will hold. He is a huge loss and will be sadly missed.’

    Valerie Bistany, Director of the Irish Writers Centre

     ‘Brian Friel was a foremost writer of his generation. His influence is enormous and his kindness to writers, particularly emerging writers, has been invaluable. May he rest in peace.’

    Liz McManus, Chairperson of the Board of the Irish Writers Centre

    Brian Friel

    Meet our autumn 2015 facilitators: 3. Dave Lordan September 16 2015

    The ever popular Dave Lordan is facilitating two courses this autumn at the Irish Writers Centre. The first, Teaching Creative writing, is a practical, intensive course in how and why to teach creative writing in a variety of contexts. The other, Strange Times, Strange Tellers: Experimental Fictioncovers the techniques of formally innovative writers such as Calvino, Cortázar, and Joyce, and movements such as beats, oulipo, surrealist... We caught up with Dave to discuss his own reading and writing, among other subjects. 
    Dave Lordan
    Irish Writers Centre: What have you been reading over the summer?

    Dave Lordan: Johnathan Franzen, Hilary Mantel, and, most enjoyable of all, the mediaeval Japanese epic poem The Tale of The Heike.

    IWC: What do you need to be able to write?

    DL: A target.

    IWC: Who is your favourite living writer?

    DL: Eamonn McCann.

    IWC: What was your favourite book as a child?

    DL: 5000 Interesting Facts.

    IWC: What upcoming book are you most looking forward to reading?

    DL: Johnathan Franzen's Purity, which I will be review on RTÉ Arena on Monday 21 September.

    IWC: If you could work in any other field besides your own, what would it be?

    DL: Forest Management.

    IWC: What literary magazines/journals do you follow? 

    DL: I read many, but follow none!  

    = = =

    Dave Lordan is the author of the experimental fiction collection First Book of Frags and is editor of the Young Irelanders fiction anthology. An experienced and popular teacher he has led and designed numerous successful workshops.

    Book here for Teaching Creative writing with Dave Lordan >>>

    Book here for Strange Times, Strange Tellers: Experimental Fiction with Dave Lordan>>>

    Meet our autumn 2015 facilitators: 2. Nessa O'Mahony September 14 2015

    We caught up with poet and creative facilitator Nessa O'Mahony as she prepares to teach her Finding Your Form course here at the Irish Writers Centre. Nessa was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to give us an insight into her reading and creative habits, among other subjects. Places on Finding Your Form are filling up fast, so book now to avoid disappointment.

    Irish Writers Centre: When did you start to write?

    Nessa O'Mahony: Well, if you don't count the poems in the school magazine, I’d turned 30, would you believe. My parents gave me a birthday present of a creative writing course; I wonder would they have thought twice about that gift had they known I’d ultimately give up full-time, pensionable employment in order to be a full-time writer. I hope not.

    IWC: Who is your favourite living writer?

    NM: That’s a very hard question to answer. There are writers whose new books I delight in reading, and new writers whose work I’m delighted to discover. But if you do force my hand, Louise Gluck’s poetry is always thrilling, as is Richard Ford’s prose, and Robert Holmes writes the best biographies I’ve come across.

    IWC: What do you use to write ?

    NM: I have a notebook and an iPhone for first drafts or phrases or images or scraps of anything that might be turned into a poem. I began my novel on the laptop and have kept it going there, though trying not to edit myself as I go along. I’m a great believer in allowing the first draft its full reign before going in with the scalpel, though one has to be brutal when that edit stage happens.

    IWC: If you could work in any other field besides your own, what would it be?

    NM: I’d love to be a dog whispering antiques shop-owner.


    Nessa O’Mahony has published four books, Bar Talk (1999), Trapping a Ghost (2005), In Sight of Home (2009) and Her Father’s Daughter (2014).

    Book here for Finding Your Form with Nessa O'Mahony>>>


    Announcing Our New Patron President Michael D. Higgins & Our Six Ambassadors September 08 2015

    We are delighted to announce that President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, has kindly agreed to become the Patron of the Irish Writers Centre

    The President will visit the Centre on 13 January 2016, marking what promises to be a memorable inaugural event in our 25th anniversary celebration year. 

    We are also thrilled to welcome six new Ambassadors who will act to promote and endorse the Irish Writers Centre over the next three years. They are all key literary figures in Irish literature selected across a range of disciplines and we look forward to working with them in furthering the aims and ambitions of the Irish Writers Centre both at home and abroad. 

    The Irish Writers Centre Ambassadors are: John Banville, Anne Enright, Roy Foster, Marian Keyes, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne and Joseph O'Connor.  

    We've been keeping this news under wraps for a while, so now you're in on our amazing secret!  

    Irish Writers Centre Patron

    President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins


    Irish Writers Centre Ambassadors

    John Banville

    John Banville Irish Writers CentreWilliam John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland. After college John worked as a clerk for Ireland’s national airline, Aer Lingus, before joining The Irish Press as a sub-editor in 1969. Continuing with journalism for over thirty years, John was Literary Editor at The Irish Times from 1988 to 1999. John’s first book, Long Lankin, a collection of short stories and a novella, was published in 1970. His first novel, Nightspawn, came out in 1971. In 2005, John won the Man Booker Prize for The Sea. In 2011 he was awarded the Franz Kafka Prize. In 2013, John was awarded the Irish Pen Award for Outstanding Achievement in Irish Literature.

    Anne Enright

    Anne Enright Irish Writers CentreAnne Enright has published novels, short stories, essays, and one non-fiction book. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, her novel The Gathering won the 2007 Man Booker Prize. She has also won the 1991 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the 2001 Encore Award and the 2008 Irish Novel of the Year. Anne Enright is the first Laureate for Irish Fiction, a post she currently holds. Anne’s writing explores themes such as family relationships, love and sex, Ireland's difficult past and its modern zeitgeist.

    Roy Foster

    Roy Foster Irish Writers Centre AmbassadorR.F. Foster is an Irish historian and academic. He is the Carroll Builders Professor of Irish History at Hertford College, Oxford in the UK. Originally from Waterford he won a scholarship to attend St. Andrew's School for a year before reading history at Trinity College, Dublin where he was awarded an M.A. and Ph.D. by Trinity College.
    Foster is the editor of The Oxford History of Ireland (1989) and author of Modern Ireland: 1600-1972 (1988) as well as several books of essays. More recently, Foster has produced a much acclaimed two part biography of William Butler Yeats which was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and also collaborated with Fintan Cullen on a National Portrait Gallery exhibition, 'Conquering England: the Irish in Victorian London'. In 2000 Foster was a judge in the Man Booker Prize.

    Marian Keyes

    Marian Keyes Irish Writers Centre AmbassadorMarian Keyes was born in Limerick in 1963, and brought up in Cavan, Cork, Galway and Dublin; she spent her twenties in London, but is now living in Dún Laoghaire. She published her first novel Watermelon in 1995 and it was an immediate, runaway success. Its chatty conversational style and whimsical Irish humour appealed to all age groups, and this appeal spread to Britain when Watermelon was picked as a Fresh Talent book. Other countries followed (most notably the US in 1997) and Marian is now published in thirty-three languages. Anybody Out There won the British Book Awards award for popular fiction and the inaugural Melissa Nathan prize for Comedy Romance. This Charming Man won the Irish Book award for popular fiction.


    Éilís Ní Dhuibhne  

    Eilis Ni Dhuibhne Irish Writers CentreÉilís Ní Dhuibhne was born in Dublin in 1954 and is a graduate of UCD. Éilís studied at UCD, for almost ten years. She focused on literature and narrative studies, studying Pure English for the BA, doing an M Phil in Middle English and Old Irish, and finishing in 1982 with a Ph D in Folklore. From 1978-9 she studied at the Folklore Institute in the University of Copenhagen as a research scholar, while researching her doctoral thesis.
    Her first book was published in 1988, Blood and Water, and since then she has written about 24 books, including novels, collections of short stories, several books for children, plays and non-fiction works. She writes in both Irish and English. She was elected to Aosdána, the Irish Association of Artists, in 2004.

    Joseph O’Connor

    Joseph O'Connor Irish Writers Centre AmbassadorJoseph O’Connor was born in Dublin. He is the author of eight novels: Cowboys and Indians (short-listed for the Whitbread Prize), Desperadoes, The Salesman, Inishowen, Star of the Sea, Redemption Falls, Ghost Light and The Thrill of it All, as well as two collections of short stories, True Believers and Where Have You Been? In 2009 he was the Harman Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Baruch College, City University of New York. In December 2011, he received an honorary Doctorate in Literature from University College Dublin. He received the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature in 2012. His latest novel is The Thrill of it All, published in May 2014 by Harvill Secker.
    In 2014 he was appointed Frank McCourt Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Limerick.

    Meet our autumn 2015 facilitators: 1. Conor Kostick August 25 2015

    We caught up with novelist Conor Kostick as he prepares to begin teaching his Finish your Novel course here at the Irish Writers Centre. Over tea and biscuits in the Centre's library, Conor discussed his summer reading, his favourite childhood book and his preference for print over ebooks. 

    Irish Writers Centre: What have you been reading over the summer?

    Conor Kostick: I've been reading David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. I can hardly put it down  best three euro I've ever spent! Everyone says Dickens is a great novelist, but when I read him 20 or 30 years ago I couldn't really see it. He is very different to Austen and Tolstoy in his willingness to push the form and structure of the novel.

    IWC: What do you need most in order to be able to write?

    CK: Time is the most important thing for me. Writing is not a gift, it’s a craft. The more you read and write the stronger your technical skills become.

    IWC: For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional print books?

    CK: I prefer print. I do have a Kindle, but I find it a little bit harder to sink into the world of the book when reading from the screen.

    IWC: What was your favourite book as a child?

    CK: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin.


    Conor Kostick is the author of a number of successful books. In 2009, Conor was presented with a Special Merit Award by the Reading Association of Ireland; in 2010 he was the Farmleigh Writer-in-Residence. Conor was president of the Irish jury for the EU Prize for Literature, 2015.

    Book here for Finish Your Novel with Conor Kostick >>>.

    Conor is also available for One-to-One Mentoring


    Expect to e-meet lots more of our facilitators over the coming weeks. 


    Announcing the recipients of the Irish Writers Centre / Cill Rialaig residencies July 06 2015

    In case you're not signed up to our newsletter (it's never too late to do so: click & scroll down!), we've announced the seven lucky recipients of our Cill Rialaig residencies which will take place over 10 days in October this year: 


    - Andrea Carter

    - Anthony Glavin 

    - Catherine Dunne

    - Lia Mills 

    - Louise Phillips

    - Maria McManus 

    - Seán Hardie


    We're delighted to be partnering with Cill Rialaig for the first time and congratulations to all seven writers.

    Cill Rialaig is going to be humming with heavyweight literary activity this autumn. Watch this space!



    'Now God is dead, novelists have acquired a priestly function.' June 24 2015

    On Tuesday 23 June 2015, Carlo Gébler launched Here’s Me Here, Further Reflections of a Lapsed Protestant – a collection of writings by Glenn Patterson (published by New Island Books). 

    Gébler's musings on the evolution of the writer, the human experience and that much sought after concept, truth, are likely to resound with many writers. 

    Carlo Gebler Irish Writers Centre     Glenn Patterson Irish Writers Centre

    'We believe in glasnost. Of course we do. We’re in literature, on Grub Street. Glenn Patterson is my friend, my very good friend. Bear that in mind when you listen to what I have to say.

         The ecology of literature contains constants that never ever change and yet at the same time, it is always morphing, it always in a state of flux and the flux stuff (the fluxing if that is a word – is it a word? thank you) the fluxing is usually bad, and always awkward.

         Writers, novelists, I use the term interchangeably, need to be protean: they need to adapt, endlessly, indefatigably, tirelessly if they are to survive economically. Or, as others, with a more brutal, less lyrical temperament have put it – in the brothel all services must be offered. To survive we must write, because we are obliged so to do, in many registers, in many forms. It was ever thus. 

         Glenn is primarily a novelist. Additionally, he is writer of drama for the cinema. And the radio. He is a writer of short stories – or as I have sometimes heard him say when he’s heard this said, he is the writer of a short story (which I am sure by the way isn’t true). He is certainly a writer of memoir. And he is a writer, and he has always been a writer, of prose narratives stroke meditations, non-fiction writing which combines the personal lived experience and his thoughts about the society in which he lives, and so on and so forth. His first collection of such pieces was published under the title Lapsed Protestant (an interesting and revelatory title; remember Mr Freud, ‘There are no jokes’) and Here’s Me Here is a further collections of such writings. 

         When I look at a book it is, now I am entering advanced middle age, impossible not to think about where it is, and where the author is in the continuum, in the history of literature. Writers have always worked in many forms (they had to, to make a living – that was my protean point) but the registers in which they sang have changed and that is instructive. Three hundred, two hundred, a hundred years ago what was usually demanded of writers of fiction when they wrote non-fiction, was – for want of a better word – colour writing or testimony about place, or persons, or topography, rather than opinion, rhetoric or counsel. 

         But then, sometime in the last century, the precise date is contested but not the fact, God died, or if he didn’t die, he folded his tent and vacated the universe, disgusted by our endless capacity for stupidity and cruelty and his servants on earth lost their way (assuming they ever knew it, which some would dispute), and thereafter, once He went and the religion went AWOL, what was demanded of writers of fiction, when they sang in the non-fiction register, was no longer testimony about place, or persons, or topography, but analysis and insight, counsel and comfort that would fill the vacuum left by the disappearance of religious practice and spiritual content from our wretched lives. This is not an original idea of mine by the way. Oh no. I’ve stolen it, like all my bon mots. It was an American novelist called Bellow, first name Saul, you may have heard of him, he died recently, who first – to my knowledge – fingered this when he observed some time in the 1960s I think, ‘Now God is dead, novelists have acquired a priestly function.’ I quote from memory so I may have it wrong slightly, word wise, but that’s the gist. ‘Now God is dead, novelists have acquired a priestly function.’ 

         And Mr Bellow was absolutely right. Just look around north, south, east, or west, and you will see novelists everywhere, in their droves, stomping around, speaking the truth about the past, the present, the future, the planet, politics, everything, and offering consolation, insight, understanding to us poor mortals abandoned by our maker and his helpmates. It’s a very interesting phenomenon and this book Here’s Me Here is part of that.

         So, are the priestly constructs of my lapsed Protestant friend any good? Well, I can tell you this. The writing is sharp, precise, lean, and ludic. It will make you laugh. And I hope nobody will be offended if I go on to make the observation that sharpness, precision, leanness and laughter inducement are not what one traditionally associates with the utterances of most men of the cloth. However, and you knew there was a however coming, I know you did, exceptional literary burnish ain’t enough. You need more. The writing of authors fulfilling a priestly function needs more than style, though style is vital because it gives such pleasure. Writing when it’s in this register, needs to describe experience that is recognisably human and it needs to make sense of that human experience in a way that makes sense to other human beings.

    This is very difficult: one, because language is a false friend, and two, because we are saturated and infected by the values of the society in which we exist through its control mechanism, the mass media. In other words, and this is my opinion, it ain’t everyone’s but I’ve got the conch tonight, and I’m not letting go, the sense we make of the madness around us rarely if ever reflects our actual authentic feelings or our deeply held beliefs and usually reflects, though without us being aware that this is the case, an interpretation or an understanding or version that is pre-determined, pre-authored if you like, by the culture in which we nest. 

    But what you encounter in Here’s Me Here is not that but an intelligence that in every word, sentence, paragraph and page has separated itself from the formulaic, the proscribed, the agreed, the traditional, the standard, and sees life and human experience as it actually is (or tries to any rate). Our political culture – the whole shebang, left to right, Orange to Green, Loyalist to Republican, et cetera, is oppressive, and our collective culture (vaguely socially democratic, light touch capitalist, big on rhetoric, very short on kindness and delinquent on love) is tyrannical, though naturally this is hidden. We need truth tellers who bear witness to this otherwise we ain’t going to survive, and we are most fortunate on this island with its two Irelands (Irelands which are, well, different to say the least) to have a writer who has volunteered for this vital but also thankless task, with Here’s Me Here the proof of that.

    Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Glenn Patterson.'

    Carlo Gébler

    Tuesday 23 June 2015

    Irish Writers Centre,
    19 Parnell Sq.
    Dublin, 1


    Five tips for getting published June 09 2015

    As we're taking our Publishing Day series on the road this week as part of the Belfast Book Festival, we've put together a few quick tips for aspiring writers on how to get published: 


    1. Google Is your Friend

    Research each publisher and know who you're submitting to. Read submission guidelines carefully and note whether unsolicited manuscripts are accepted, what genres they publish and what authors are on their lists.

    2.  A Clean Pair of Eyes

    Find someone who will read your work with a keen eye and who is prepared to give you honest feedback before sending out your manuscript. Having a literary editor among your circle of friends isn't essential but is recommended!

    3.  Spoilers Are Okay

    Most publishers will require a synopsis. A synopsis is usually around 300 words and is not a blurb. It should let the editor or agent know about the main characters and how the plot unfolds.

    4.  Nail your Pitch

    An editor or agent may not have much time to spend on your manuscript so be sure to hone that cover letter and synopsis as best you can before submission.

    5.  Keep the Faith

    The path to publication can be tough but trust your own voice and don't give in to publishing trends.


    Want to learn more? Join our industry experts like Patsy Horton of Blackstaff Press/Publishing Ireland, arts publicist Stephanie Dickenson and authors Jan Carson and Gavin Corbett who will discuss their own publishing experiences. 

    Event details 

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

    Book here










    Top picks at this year's International Literature Festival Dublin – 3. Donal Ryan May 13 2015

    Day 3 of our festival picks series and Donal Ryan, author of The Spinning Heart and The Thing about December, tells us who he's most looking forward to seeing:  
    'Irvine Welsh is one of my favourite writers of all time. I mention him at nearly every talk I do, as one of my influences and sometimes as part of my defence of writing in the demotic – when a defence is necessary. Irvine Welsh ends all arguments.' 


    Donal is one of the panelists at our Second Book Syndrome event which takes place on Thursday 21 May.

    Broadcaster Pat Kenny will be interviewing Donal, along with Kathleen MacMahon and Liz McManus about the challenges of writing that second novel. We'll be listening out for that Irvine Welsh reference on the night!

    Click on the link for more information and booking details on Second Book Syndrome – a must for readers and writers!


    Top picks at this year's International Literature Festival Dublin – 2. Kathleen MacMahon May 12 2015

    It's Day 2 of International Literature Festival Dublin highlights and today it's the turn of Kathleen MacMahon who told us what she's most looking forward to:  

    Jon Ronson in conversation – my new novel The Long Hot Summer (out 21 May) features a politician who finds himself at the centre of a social media storm, so I'll be fascinated to hear Jon Ronson's take on politics and social media.

    - Dermot Bolger and Christine Dwyer Hickey in conversation – I'm also looking forward to seeing these two authors in action. They're both authors of books I have absolutely loved. 

    - Deirdre Madden, Eoin McNamee & Selina Guinness: Irish Short Stories – I'm a huge fan of Eoin McNamee so I will interested in hearing him talk short stories with Deirdre Madden and Selina Guinness.

    - - - - - - - 

    Kathleen is one of the panelists at our Second Book Syndrome event which takes place on Thursday 21 May. Broadcaster Pat Kenny will be interviewing Kathleen, along with Donal Ryan and Liz McManus about the challenges of writing that second novel. 

    Click on the link for more information and booking details on Second Book Syndrome – a must for readers and writers!


    Kathleen MacMahon ILFD    Second Book Syndrome

    Top picks at this year's International Literature Festival Dublin – 1. Anthony Glavin May 11 2015

    We're gearing up for International Literature Festival Dublin this week and have asked some writers who will be passing through our doors what they're most looking forward to – aside from their own events, of course!

    Anthony Glavin is first up and has assembled a smorgasbord of what the festival has to offer with a mix of contemporary theatre, up-and-coming poets and two seasoned Irish writers:

    - The Only Jealousy of Emer – Yeats meets Japanese Noh theatre from 16–18 May 
    - Poetry Ireland Introductions – a showcase of new voices at the Irish Writers Centre on 18 & 19 May
    - Dermot Bolger and Christine Dwyer Hickey in conversation at Smock Alley on 24 May

    Anthony is also facilitating a Craft of Fiction seminar along with Christine Montalbetti this Saturday 16 May. Aimed at seasoned writers and curious readers, Glavin will look at 'Sychronicity as a Dimension of Beauty: The Role Chance Plays in the Stories We Tell' and Montalbetti will delve into 'Digression'. 

    Click on the link for more information and booking details on the Craft of Fiction seminars.



    The Irish Writers Centre is hiring! April 28 2015

    The Irish Writers Centre is looking to appoint a new full-time General Manager, commencing 22 June 2015.


    Reporting to and working directly with the Director, the General Manager is a core member of the team, responsible for the administrative, educational and financial operations of Ireland’s national literature resource and support organisation for writers. While key areas of responsibility include administration and educational programming, the General Manager also acts as the public face of the Irish Writers Centre. 

    We want to hear why you would make a good addition to our staff which, although small, is vibrant, hard-working and creative. 

    Full details on the role can be viewed in the Staff Vacancies section and please note the closing date of Thursday 7 May at 5pm.

    We look forward to hearing from you! 

    Novel Fair 2015 at The Irish Writers Centre March 10 2015 1 Comment

    Announcing EU Prize for Literature 2015 Shortlist March 05 2015

    The Irish Writers Centre is delighted to be the first to announce that the following titles have been shortlisted for the EU Prize for Literature 2015, a prize for emerging talents in the field of contemporary fiction (alphabetical order):

    - Mary Costello, Academy Street (Cannongate Books, 2014)
    - Donal Ryan, The Spinning Heart (Doubleday Ireland, 2012; originally published by Lilliput Press)
    - Deirdre Sullivan, Primperfect (Little Island, 2014)

    Ireland is one of twelve countries who will provide a national winner of the EU Prize for Literature in 2015. See the EU Prize for Literature website for more. 

    Novel Fair 2015 January 27 2015

    Announcing the twelve Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair 2015 finalists – as selected by judges Anthony Glavin, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne & Jane Alger

    Twelve novelists have been selected from almost 250 applicants to participate in Novel Fair 2015, an annual Irish Writers Centre initiative which will take place on Saturday 21 February. Now in its fourth year, the event aims to introduce up-and-coming writers to top publishers and literary agents, giving novelists the opportunity to bypass the slush pile, pitch their ideas and place their synopsis and sample chapters directly into the hands of publishers and agents.

    Welcome to our new website! November 20 2014

    It's finally here – our new website. We're still getting to grips with it so bear that in mind while you take a look around. We're sure you'll find some events and courses that will peak your interest – we've got workshops and classes for every level of writer and goings-on that will coax every literature lover through the door of No. 19 Parnell Square. 

    Tell your friends, fans and followers that the Irish Writers Centre has a new look and encourage them to stop on by. 


    Tyrone Guthrie Centre. August 25 2014

    The Irish Writers Centre and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig have come together to offer a two-week fully resourced Writer-in-Residence Bursary to take place in spring 2015. The award is named in honour of Jack Harte, founder of the Irish Writers Centre, in celebration and acknowledgement of his contribution to Irish literature.