June 13, 2022


The Crescent

Pay What You Want – recommended price £7

Register here
The Festival has brought together industry expertise and writers from across the island of Ireland and UK,  to explore with you the challenges and realities of making a living from writing. 

Join us for a conversation about the current state of affairs - where to go for support; what are current industry trends, where are the promotional opportunities? 

Come listen in, and/or be armed with questions that no one else will ask, but everyone wants to.  

Chaired by Alysoun Owens, Editor, Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook. 

This event will be immediately followed by the Mairtín Crawford Award for Short Story Prize Announcement to which all are welcome.

Alysoun Owen is the Editor of the annual bestselling Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook and the Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, which provide advice and contacts for authors across all forms and genres on how to write and get published. She runs a publishing consultancy company, is the author of the Writers’ & Artists’ Guide to Getting Published and is a regular speaker at literary and publishing-related events.

Paul Feldstein has over 45 years of experience in the publishing industry. Paul and his wife Susan founded the Feldstein Agency, Northern Ireland’s only literary agency, in 2007, and have since helped more than 50 writers sign publishing deals. In 2020 they began Dalzell Press, their own publishing imprint, which endeavours to publish meaningful books by fine writers from the island of Ireland. Prior to founding the agency, Paul was Managing Director of Trafalgar Square, the leading U.S. distributor of U.K. publishers. In addition to running the distribution company, he started and ran Trafalgar’s own very successful illustrated publishing imprint. Paul was born in the Bronx in New York City,  and has a degree in English and American literature from SUNY Purchase. He moved to Northern Ireland in 2007, and he and Susan live in Bangor. 

Valerie Bistany is a professional arts manager and producer with over 25 years of international experience in Ireland, England and the USA working with organisations such as Dance IrelandDublin Youth Theatre, the Abbey and Pavilion Theatres.  She is currently the Director/CEO of the Irish Writers Centre where she has worked since 2013. Originally from Lebanon, she has lived and worked in England, Italy, Spain and the USA, but has made Dublin her home these last 30 years.

Elizabeth Haylett Clark is a Senior Contracts Advisor at The Society of Authors, where she is part of the advisory team answering queries on all kinds of matters relating to the business of publishing and commenting in detail on members’ contracts.

Jan Carson is a writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has a novel, Malcolm Orange Disappears and a short story collection, Children’s Children (Liberties Press), two micro-fiction collections, Postcard Stories 1 and 2 (Emma Press) and a short story collection, The Last Resort (Doubleday). Her novel The Fire Starters (Doubleday) won the EU Prize for Literature for Ireland 2019, the Kitschies Prize for Speculative Fiction 2020 and was shortlisted for the Dalkey Book Prize 2020. Jan won the Harper’s Bazaar Short Story competition in 2016 and has been shortlisted for the BBC National Story Prize and Sean O’Faolain Short Story Prize. She was the inaugural Irish Writers Centre Roaming Writer in Residence on the trains of Ireland in 2019 and the Open Book Scotland Writer in Lockdown during 2020. She is currently writer in residence on an AHRC-funded research project at Queen’s University Belfast exploring the depiction of dementia in contemporary fiction and will be editing a collection of newly commissioned short stories exploring the dementia experience to be published in September 2022. Jan’s third novel, The Raptures was published by Doubleday in Spring 2022.

Rachael Kelly‘s debut novel, Edge of Heaven, is published by NewCon Press and was shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award. The sequel, On The Brink, will be released this year. Her short fiction has appeared in a variety of publications, including The Best of British Science FictionAurealis, and Andromeda Spaceways Magazine. She has a PhD in film theory and, with Robert JE Simpson, runs CinePunked, an organisation dedicated to bridging the gap between academia and film fandom. She writes as RB Kelly.

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