Regular wordfoolers will know that I write things other than this blog. Many of you do that yourselves. So when I found myself compiling a list of literary and arts festivals in Ireland this week (trying to plan a trip to one next year) I thought it might be useful for you too.
If you’re using these details I can tell you that they’re correct today (24th of September 2014) – do please check the sites of the individual festivals for up to date programme listings and prices etc. The festivals are listed by start date and a surprising number of them overlap! I’ve paid particular attention to the presence/absence of writing workshops. American wordfoolers will be more familiar with the term writing conferences. The main difference you will note is the lack of publisher/agent pitching sessions – those are a rarity here.
Until next time happy wordfooling, reading and writing,
6-8 March 2015, Ennis, Co. Clare, Ennis bookclub festival, www.ennisbookclubfestival.com
Festival for readers, especially those in book clubs. Plenty of readings, theatre, and tours. No workshops for writers.
18-22 March 2015, Mountains to Sea, September, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, www.mountainstosea.ie
Large festival. International and Irish authors (genre and literary) give readings, RTE Sunday Miscellany broadcast, and panel discussions. Also a few writing workshops and a stream of Children’s Books events and Family Events. I attended this in 2013 and it was good.
20-23 March 2014, Waterford Writers’ Weekend, Co. Waterford, www.waterfordcity.ie
Lots of events for kids including workshops. Also book launches, readings, writing workshops – €25 about getting published, poetry, writing history, and crime writing.
27 Mar-6 Apr, Five Lamps Arts Festival, Dublin, www.fivelampsarts.ie
Dance, film, children’s events, community, music, theatre, visual arts, and literature make up the mix here. No writing workshops.
4-6 April, Franco-Irish Literary Festival, Dublin, www.francoirishliteraryfestival.com
Dual language literary festival and the events appear to be free to attend. No workshops.
8-13 April 2014, Cuirt International Festival of Literature, Galway city, http://www.cuirt.ie/en
Features Cuirt Labs – workshops for younger and teen school-aged writers. Four writing workshops – experimental fiction, poetry editing, online writing, fiction editing (€24 each). Also lectures, readings, theatre, song-writing etc.
11-13 April 2014, Women in Media, Ballybunion, Co. Kerry, www.wimballybunion.com
Focus on female Irish journalism – print, radio, TV. No workshops.
29 Apr-5 May 2014, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Drogheda Arts Festival, www.droghedaartsfestival.ie
Music, art, film, theatre, poetry, literature, tours, family. Interview with Nicola Pierce about her work and new novel. No writing workshops. The Millmount and Beaulieu house events are great for kids – I’ve attended these in previous years.
15-17 May 2015, Ballymaloe, Co. Cork, Ballymaloe Lit Fest, http://www.litfest.ie/
If you’re a writer that loves food, gardening, wine etc then this is the one for you. Cookbook authors abound and the writing workshops focus on food writing and food photography. There’s also a Fringe festival in the aptly named Big Shed.
28 May-1 June 2014, Listowel Writers’ Week, Listowel, Kerry www.writersweek.ie
Very large festival. Events include walks, theatre, readings, book launches, discussions, film club, poetry, and a fringe section. 12 workshops for adult writers about novels, creative writing, non fiction, travel writing, theatre, fiction for teens etc. They run as half-day workshops on three days and cost €175 and are taught by well-known authors. The week also includes National Children’s Literary Festival and it encompasses author talks, school visits, writing workshops for young writers, storytelling, drama and fun.
29 May-7 June, Carlow Arts Festival, Carlow, http://carlowartsfestival.com
This festival covers visual arts, theatre, music, spoken word, and street art and it also encompasses the Borris House Festival of Writing & Ideas (good range of international writers speaking in stately home, no workshops) and History Festival of Ireland at Huntington Castle (talks on various periods of history, no workshops)
12-15 June, Lismore, Co. Waterford, Immrama Lismore Festival of Travel Writing, www.lismoreimmrama.com
Niche festival but set in a lovely town and with novelties like a literary breakfast and a Gregorian mass. One travel writing workshop. Sounds like a good one for the armchair traveller.
19-22 June 2014, Dalkey book festival, Dalkey, Co. Dublin, www.dalkeybookfestival.org
Mainly readings and interviews plus a couple of interesting debates. Good mix of Irish authors and international heavy hitters. No writing workshops.
26-28 June 2015, Hay Festival – Kells, Kells, Co. Meath, www.hayfestival.com/kells
Large festival with Irish and International authors – literary, non-fiction and some genre, readings, concerts, cooking demos, films, family tree talk, wine&cheese event, includes a very strong stream aimed at children (including writing workshops), drama, talks, rare book auction, art trail, RTE Arena broadcast. No adult writing workshops in 2014.
6-12 July 2014, Bantry, Cork, West Cork Literary Festival, www.westcorkmusic.ie/literaryfestival/
Clear focus on writing with events for adults (readings – even one on Whiddy Island, interviews) and for children with a good range of Irish and international writers. The well-known Fish anthology is launched at this festival annually. Good range of writing workshops on variety of topics – writing for children, business of writing, memoir, flash, scriptwriting, travel, and historical fiction.
12-13 July 2014, Trim, Co. Meath, Trim Satire Festival, swiftsatirefestival.com
Focus on satire! Highlights include the Swift Lecture, poetry open mic, walking tour, their writing competition, and theatre.
7-16 August 2015, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Co. Kilkenny, www.kilkennyarts.ie
Theatre, music, street performance, children’s events, cartooning workshops. No writing workshops.
5-7 Sep 2014, Cape Clear Island International Storytelling Festival, Co. Cork, http://capeclearstorytelling.com/
One island, lots of international and Irish storytellers. Then sit back and enjoy. No workshops.
16-20 September 2014, Cork, Cork International Short Story Festival, www.corkshortstory.net
Readings, interviews, seminars, and two major short story awards. Features four workshops for writers – each running for four half-days and costing €150-180 on topics of short fiction, novel, and poetry. The writers presenting are a mix of Irish and international. There’s also a flash fiction session.
18-28 September 2014, Clifden, Co. Galway, Clifden Community Arts Festival, www.clifdenartsweek.ie
Festival covers music, comedy, visual arts, theatre, film, spoken word. Great variety of events in my favourite town west of the Shannon, with some of my favourite Irish authors presenting. Events include a wide range of art exhibitions, varied music (jazz, classical, trad, etc.) from well-known musicians, readings, poetry workshop (€10), aerial workshop, a herb walk, street theatre, and book launches.
19-28 September 2014, Kinsale, Co. Cork, Kinsale Arts Festival, www.kinsaleartsfestival.com
Festival covers visual arts, performance, music, food, words (banter sessions were public interviews with writers and others), comedy, film and family events. They also ran six workshops, mostly art, including creative writing with Roger McGough who writes great poetry. I love the idea of the festival wine club!
26-28 September 2014, Dublin Festival of History, Dublin Castle, www.dublinfestivalofhistory.ie
Lectures about history by history authors Irish and International, one historic fiction writing workshop with major author, films, walking tours, discussions.
2-5 October 2014, Dromineer Lit Fest, Lough Derg, Tipperary, dromineerliteraryfestival.ie
Small festival. Three workshops – one about flash fiction, 2 hours, €15. Half of the events are poetry, bit of social fun too, and some author readings and interviews. Mostly Irish literature authors presenting rather than overseas authors or genre authors.
13-16 November 2014, Smock Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin Book Festival, www.dublinbookfestival.com
Discussions, book launches, readings, RTE Arena live, walking tours, exhibitions, and one panel discussion about getting an agent (note – this is not a pitching event). There’s also a children’s and schools’ stream. No writing workshops.
If you can’t make it to these festivals then consider a course at The Irish Writers’ Centre (http://www.writerscentre.ie/)
Read Full Post »