Dah Duit (Hi) and welcome

New patrons for Irish Writers Centre

President Michael D Higgins has been announced as the new patron of the Irish Writers Centre. Marking the centre’s 25th anniversary, the initiative will be launched on January 13th next year with a visit from the President at a special celebration. Six new ambassadors will also promote and endorse the centre over the next three years. John Banville, Anne Enright, Roy Foster, Marian Keyes, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne and Joseph O’Connor will all take part in the programme.
“They are key figures in Irish literature selected across a range of disciplines,” says Amy Herron, events manager at the centre. “We look forward to working with them in furthering the aims of the Irish Writers Centre at home and abroad. The ambassadors will support the work we do in various ways, whether that means taking part in events or working with us on long-term projects.”
An open day at the centre this Saturday, September 12th, will offer writing groups in poetry and fiction, an introduction to the Greenbean Novel Fair Initiative for 2016 and a presentation by managing director Valerie Bistany on the services and resources offered to professional writers. For more information, visithttp://irishwriterscentre.ie/.
Only Ever Yours sells rights
The film and TV rights to Louise O’Neill’s Only Ever Yours have been acquired by the US production company Killer Content. The Cork author’s dystopian debut published last year to much acclaim. It tells the chilling story of a group of girls who are schooled to become model wives in viciously competitive circumstances. The deal comes a week after the launch of O’Neill’s second novel Asking for It, a searing account of a rape and its aftermath in a close-knit Irish community.
Killer Company was formed last year through the merger of Killer Films with Glass Elevator Media. An indie company behind such hits as Still Alice and Mildred Pierce, its most recent film is Carol, due for release in November. Directed by Todd Haynes, the screenplay is based on the Patricia Highsmith novel The Price of Salt.
According to the US entertainment site Variety, Only Ever Yours will be a bigger-budget film than Killer has fielded in the past. To finance the project, the company will work with Two Brass Brads, a non-profit organisation that creates socially relevant content released alongside educational campaigns. Killer Content is also currently working on an adaptation of the Brian Selznick novel Wonderstruck and a pilot based on Therese Ann Fowler’s Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald.
Hodges Figgis festival
Celebrity chefs, historians, debut authors, short stories, art, mental health and young adult literature all feature in the Hodges Figgis Book Festival 2015, which runs from Thursday, September 10th - Saturday, September 19th. Opening the festival on Thursday evening is the launch of Thomas Morris’s debut collection We Don’t Know What We’re Doing from 6pm in the Dawson Street outlet in Dublin 2. This will be followed by the launch of The Long Gaze Back, an anthology of 30 Irish female writers edited by Sinéad Gleeson. Readings from both collections, along with the recently published Young Irelanders, edited by Dave Lordan, will take place on the evening.
A programme that is driven by the ideas and issues that animate writers across all genres includes Marina Carr, John Connolly, Éilis Ní Dhuibhne, Paul Perry, Rick Stein, Diarmaid Ferriter, Belinda McKeon, Shane Hegarty, Derek Landy and Pádraig Yeates. All events are free and public. A full listings can be accessed here.
Literary luminaries in Dun Laoghaire
Edna O’Brien joins Margaret Atwood and Anthony Horowitz on the programme for the dlr Library Voices Series in Dun Laoghaire this autumn. With The Little Red Chairs, her first novel in ten years, out next month, O’Brien will be in conversation with journalist Sinéad Gleeson at the Pavilion Theatre on Tuesday, October 27th at 8pm. Tickets at €12/10 are available here.
The British writer and director Anthony Horowitz, whose new James Bond novel Trigger Mortis was released this week, appears in conversation with Rick O’Shea at the Dun Laoghaire LexIcon Library this Friday, September 11th at 7.30pm. Journalist Paula Shields will host the Margaret Atwood event at the Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire on Wednesday, September 30th at 7.30pm. Curated by Bert Wright, this is the eighth year of the series that brings renowned authors to south county Dublin. Booking for all events is through the Pavilion Theatre on (01) 231 2929 or www.paviliontheatre.ie.
Advent of Kavanagh festival
The 32nd annual Patrick Kavanagh Weekend runs from Friday, September 25th to Sunday, September 27th in the Kavanagh Centre, Inniskeen, County Monaghan. The programme gets under way at 7.30pm on Friday with a reception and music by local piper Patrick Martin. A keynote address by Professor Alan Titley at 8pm will look at Kavanagh’s literary hinterland, followed by the announcement of this year’s Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award. Other highlights over the weekend include literary trails, musical dramas based on Kavanagh’s poetry, readings and a performance of The Gallant John Joe by Tom Hickey and written by Tom MacIntyre. More information and booking here.
Irish poetry in Phoenix
For a literary festival further afield, head to Phoenix, Arizona the weekend of September 27th, where the Ennis Committee of Phoenix Sister Cities will host a two-day event at the Irish Cultural Centre. Poetry is the focus of this year’s inaugural event, with Thomas Kinsella (of Leaving Cert fame), David Baker, Sara Berkeley Tolchin, Cynthia Hogue, Dr Adrienne Leavy and Yvonne Waterson on the billing.
Chairperson Mary Hill-Connor, originally from Ennis, plans to grow the event in the coming years to mirror the annual book festival that takes place in her hometown each spring. In addition to the featured poets and speakers, a number of Irish publishing houses are taking part in promotional events, including Irish Academic Press, The Gallery Press, Royal Irish Academy, Tramp Press, New Island Books, The Liberties Press, Swan River Press and The Lagan Press. The forthcoming WB Yeats commemorative issue of Poetry Ireland Review will also feature at the event. More information at www.phoenixsistercities.org.
Richard Ford at UL
The Pulitzer prizewinning author Richard Ford makes his first visit to Limerick next week for an evening of literature at UL. Hosted by Joseph O’Connor, the current chair of the university’s creative writing programme, the event takes place on Tuesday, September 15th at 7pm in the Computer Science and Information Systems Building on campus. A reception will be held before the event for the American novelist and short story writer, best known for his Frank Bascombe novels, Independence Day and Canada. Admission is free but tickets must be reserved by emailing Claire.ryan@ul.iebefore Friday, September 11th.
Portumna arts festival
The Shorelines Arts Festival in Portumna, County Galway will host a number of literary events as part of its programme from Thursday, September 17th - Sunday, September 20th. Writer and broadcaster Joseph O’Connor will read from his books and weekly radio diary on RTE’s Drivetime on Thursday, September 17th. A live recording of RTE Radio 1’s Sunday Miscellany takes place on Sunday at noon, featuring local and international musicians and writers. Both events will take place at Christ Church in Portumna, with tickets at €12 and €10 respectively. Writing workshops and an event for the Yeats 150 celebrations are also part of the programme. Full details on events and booking information at www.shorelinesartsfestival.com.
Lunch with Simon Trewin
A new short story competition from writing.ie offers the prize of a lunch with literary agent Simon Trewin. Sponsored by Cross Pens, the Make Your Mark Short Story Competition also gives the winner a pen of their choice up to the value of €250. The lunch with Trewin, who heads up the London team at the international agency WMA, takes place in Dublin on October 17th. Vanessa O’Loughlin, literary scout and managing director of writing.ie, will also attend. “I’m always looking for new talent and competitions are a fabulous way to spot new voices,” says O’Loughlin. “I’m also passionate about writers having access to opportunities, so this will be a free to enter competition.” John Boyne, Sinéad Moriarty and Alex Barclay will judge the entries, which should be fiction and a maximum of 1000 words. The closing date is Thursday, October 1st. More information here.
Dreadful novellas at the ready
The deadline for entry to The Penny Dreadful’s Novella Prize is Wednesday, September 30th. The Cork based literary journal is offering a €2,000 award and publication of the winning entry. The competition is open to writers resident in Ireland or the UK, with a wordcount of 15,000 to 35,000 per entry. Judging the inaugural competition are the Irish writers Colin Barrett, Sara Baume and Paul McVeigh. The entry fee is €10 per manuscript and the winner will be announced in January. Further submission details are available on the magazine’s website.
Contact sarah.gilmartin@gmail.com with your literary listings