A message from our Chairperson, Carmel Harrington

After all the planning, anticipation and excitement, our 3rd annual Wexford Literary Festival is now over. I’ve had a few days to reflect about what was our most successful festival to date.

The sun shone all weekend, yet writers, readers and industry professionals, all came to Enniscorthy, forsaking the beach, giving us full houses for all events. Our attendees travelled from all over Ireland, UK and the US. And one or two even came from Wexford!

Our artists of spoken word and song, gave us an evening to remember in the Presentation Arts Centre on Friday evening. A wonderful way to open the festival.

We trended on Twitter most of Saturday, hitting no.1. in the afternoon. Check out #WexLitFest to follow all the shared information and photographs, from speakers and attendees.

Our speakers on Saturday, in the Church Institute, shared honest, informative & inspiring advice, which made our attendees laugh and smile in recognition when a shared wisdom struck home. My sincere thanks to Madeleine Keane, Jax Miller,Hazel Gaynor, E.R. Murray, Claire Hennessy, Pat Fitzpatrick, Ava McCarthy, Frankie Gaffney, Catherine Ryan Howard, Ruth Long, Carolann Copland, Andrea Carter, Joan Brady, Cat Hogan, Siobhan Davis, Karen Power,Mary McCauley, Caroline Busher and Margaret Madden. Without our speakers, who gave so generously of their time, we would not have a festival.

We bought books, then had them signed by our favourite authors, from Byrnes Bookstores.

We all fell in love with our young PA’s, who helped run the festival on Saturday – Kate James, Rory Cassidy, Fiachra Busher, Faye Forsey and Caoimhe Busher.

We swelled with emotion for the winners of our 1916 Poem for Enniscorthy and The Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award. Their shocked faces when they won, will stay with me for a long time. Special thanks to John Kelly, Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, Lisa Coen, Nuala Stack, Paddy Kavanagh, Maria Nolan and Caroline Busher, for their role in the award ceremony.

1916 Poem For Enniscorthy Award: 1st Place, Maura Clifford, Republic of Enniscorthy, Runners Up, Joe Neal, Rise, Norah Clifford-Kelly, Requiem, Jer Ennis, Rise and Rise Again.

Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award: 1st Place Holly Atkinson, Skunk & Beastie, 2nd Place Judith Wilson, Winter 1963, 3rd Place Lourdes Mackey, Dad’s Lost Soul.

And while it’s often said, believe me when I say this, all shortlisted writers should be very proud, because all were beautifully written.

We drank gallons of coffee and tea as us writerly types are want to do, and shared beautiful food and wine in Alma’s, with friends old and new.

We are a boutique festival and once again the feedback from attendees has been so positive. We will continue to work hard to ensure that our festival remains loyal to its roots – one that supports ALL working authors, who write genre fiction, who are both traditionally published and self-published.

We are passionate about supporting writers and celebrating great books.

I would like to thank Wexford County Council for their ongoing support of the arts in Wexford. Wexford Literary Festival is a not for profit organisation, and we couldn’t operate without their kind sponsorship.

And while I’m on thankyou’s I would also like to acknowledge and thank the tireless, festival committee, who are all volunteers. Their commitment and passion to ensure that the festival continues to grow and succeed is to be applauded – thank you  Jarlath Glynn, Maria Nolan, Cat Hogan, Caroline Busher, Paul O’Reilly, Richie Cotter, Cathy Keane and Alison Martin.

It’s been an incredible journey, over the past couple of years and one that I am inordinately proud of.  Over the past couple of days, many writers have been in touch, to tell us how inspired they were, how much they learnt from the festival. The ripple effect of festivals like these, are infinite. One writer said to me as she left on Saturday evening, next year, I’ll be back, with my book published. But I want to be sitting on one of your panels. I look forward to that.

Our festival committee have big dreams. Tell your friends and please come back again next year.

On behalf of Wexford Literary Festival my sincere thanks,

Carmel Harrington – Chairperson

 

Festival 2016 – only a few days to go…

Good morning everyone

Not long to go now, until Festival 2016 starts!

Friday 27th, we start things off in The Presentation Arts Centre, with an Open Mic night, mc’d by Maria Nolan. 8pm. Free entry.

Then on Saturday 28th, in the Church Institute, we have a full day of author talks, panel discussions and a book fair. Tickets on sale now. Registration starts 8.30am.

On Sunday 29th, in Ennicorthy’s Athenaeum, we will announce the winners of our Colm Toibin International Short Story Award and our 1916 Poem for Enniscorthy. 3pm.

Looking forward to seeing lots of you there. We’ll set the world to rights, one book at a time….

Best wishes

Carmel Harrington

Chairwoman Wexford Literary Festival

Have you booked your tickets yet?

The sun is shining in Co. Wexford and reports are looking favourable for a sunny festival too!

Tickets are selling fast, we expect a packed house for our Saturday 28th workshops and panel discussions.

Make sure and book your today today, so you won’t be disappointed.

You might have heard our chair, Carmel Harrington on South East Radio yesterday. They will be running a competition to win two free tickets plus a bundle of books, written by speakers from the festival.

And ArtyFacts on KFM and DublinSouthFM will also have Carmel on their show over the next week, talking about the festival. Rumour has it, that there might be the odd competition for tickets there too, so do listen in!

Remember to follow up on Facebook or Twitter, using the #WexLitFest for daily updates about our festival and competitions too!

Chat soon!

Wexford Literary Festival

 

 

Countdown to #WexLitFest!

Good morning all,

We are on the countdown to our Literary Festival, here in the sunny south east! Our committee have been working hard going through all the details to ensure you have a wonderful event.

We look forward to welcoming readers, writers and publishing experts along for a packed programme of author talks, panel discussions, book signings and much more.

In case you’ve missed the incredible line-up on Saturday 28th May, click HERE to take a peek.

Byrnes Bookstores will be on site, so you can pick up a copy of your favourite authors book and get it signed on the day. There’s usually a lot of #Selfies at our festival. We’ve been told by attendees over the past couple of years, that one of the things they love about the Wexford Literary Festival, is how accessible authors are. There is always lots of time, to ask questions and chat with the speakers. So whether you love to read, or perhaps have a burning desire to write a novel, memoir, poem or play, please do come along.

Tickets are on sale now, with concessions rates available for Students, Seniors, Book Clubs and Writing Groups.

You can buy your ticket online HERE

Looking forward to seeing lots of you soon,

Carmel Harrington

Chairperson

 

Shortlist for 1916 Poem for Enniscorthy announced

The judges for the Poem for Enniscorthy, Brian Quigley & John Kelly, are delighted to announce the following shortlist of four works, from which the Overall Winner will be announced on 29th May, 2016, at our award ceremony, in Enniscorthy Athenaeum at 3pm.

Short List:

Republic of Enniscorthy – Maria Clifford

Requiem – Norah Clifford-Kelly

Rise – Joe Neal

Rise and rise again – Jer Ennis.

Highly Commended:

Four Days of Glory – Fiona McAree

Blood is thicker than Vinegar – Ruth Allen

Easter Week, 1916 – Noel Armstrong.

Shortlist announcement for The Colm Toíbín International Short Story Award 2016

Wexford Literary Festival are delighted to announce the shortlist for the inaugural Colm Toíbín International Short Story Award 2016.

The winners will be announced during afternoon tea in the historic Athenaeum, on Sunday 29th May at 3pm.

All short listed and highly commended writers are invited to attend.

Full details can be found here: http://www.focalliteraryfestival.com/festival-2016

Thank-you to Wexford County Council for sponsorship and to Colm Tóibín for giving his name to this prestigious award. Congratulations to all.

 

Shortlist for the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award 2016

The List by Louise Hall

Winter 1963 by Judith Wilson

The Cube by Fergal O’Byrne

Camping with Daddy by Michele Sheldon

Into the forest by Andrea Mara

Kicking the Habit by Clare O’Reilly

A roman candle by Sophie Kelliher

Red flags and empty nans by Wendy White

The last post by Valerie Ryan

Settling by Jane Harrington

The Roundabout by Catherine Donelly

The Long Goodbye by Martin McSweeney

It’s the little things by Anne O’Leary

Dad’s lost soul  by Lourdes Mackey

Cash in hand by Jo Verity

Skunk and Beastie by Holly Atkinson

 

Highly Commended for the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award 2016

Pietá by Jonathan de Burca Butler

Ministry of the interior by Louise Kennedy

Kathleen’s Lit up Sky by June Caldwell

Rebirth by Anne Mc Loughlin

Very Like a Whale by Joe Neal

Reading panel:

Carmel Harrington, Paul O’Reilly, Caroline Busher, Cat Hogan and Alison Martin

Our Judging panel:

Lisa Coen, a founder of Tramp Press
Nuala O’Connor, esteemed writer and poet
Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, founder of The Inkwell Group and the online national writing resource magazine www.writing.ie.

Thankyou,

Caroline Busher, on behalf of the Colm Tóibín Short Story Award sub-committee.

Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award Long List

The short story demands a level of attention from the writer that is unnervingly exact. Within a relatively short space of time a reader is propelled into a world that is unfamiliar to them. It may be breath- taking, devastating, fraught with complexities and uncomfortable to read. It will examine the fundamental elements of human existence forensically. The everyday situations that our lives centre around are smouldering embers out of which the skilful short story writer is able to produce a fire.

It has been an absolute pleasure for me to be affiliated with the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award, and to chair the sub-committee on behalf of Wexford Literary Festival. Colm Tóibín is one of the greatest writers of all time and we are honoured that he gave his name to this prestigious award.

The standard of entries that we received for the inaugural Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award has been exceptionally high. We received over three hundred entries from writers all over the world.  I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of Wexford Literary Festival to thank everyone who took the time to enter.

I would also like to express my sincere thanks to the members of the Colm Toíbín International Short Story Award sub-committee: Cat Hogan, Paul O’Reilly, Carmel Harrington and Alison Martin. The sub-committee were initial readers for the competition, and we have been meeting on a weekly basis for a number of months to discuss the stories and to compile the longlist.

The shortlist for the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award will be announced on 23rd April 2016 and the judges will then make the final decision.

The judging panel consists of:

• Lisa Coen, a founder of Tramp Press
• Nuala O’Connor, esteemed writer and poet
• Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, founder of The Inkwell Group and the online national writing resource magazine www.writing.ie.

Thanks again to everyone who entered.

The Wexford Literary Festival will take place on 27th-29th May 2016.

The results of the Colm Tóibín Short Story Award will be announced on 29th May at 3pm in the historic Athenaeum in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

Thankyou,

Caroline Busher

 

Longlist for the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award 2016

The List by Louise Hall

Winter 1963 by Judith Wilson

The Long Goodbye by Martin McSweeney

Another Mouth to Feed by Johanna C Leahy

Accessory by Sharon Dempsey

A Life Lesson by Anna O’Donovan

Settling by Jane Harrington

Turning Away by Sinead Slattery

The Required Distance by Jean Roarty

The Station House by Ellen Britton

The Front Pew by Sheena Lambert

Comrades in Arms by Sean Lyons

Very like a Whale by Joe Neal

Cash in hand by Jo Verity

The Alphabet Patients by Edel Williams

Cold Water Richard by  Scarsbrook

It’s the little things by Anne O’Leary

The Irish Mammy; Reworked by Maire Ryan

Carmine by Richard Newton

Pietá by Jonathan de Burca Butler

Minstry of the interior by Louise Kennedy

Close by Padraic Whyte

Our Golden Finery by Riona Judge Mc Cormack

The Roundabout by Catherine Donelly

The Cube by Fergal O’Byrne

Red flags and empty nans by Wendy White

Remember that summer by Lucy Welch

A Reunion by John Clinch

Hemlock 11 by Rory Endean

The Tether by Diarmuid O’Connell

Kathleen’s lit up sky by June Caldwell

Kissing tiny flowers by Sarah Grout

Saltwater by Rose Stevens

On an earth uniformly covered by the sea by Laura Morgan

A roman candle by Sophie Kelliher

Brad Pitt in the movie Thelma and Louise by Chris Connolly

Into the Darkness by Gina Wollerman

Nobody knows the shivering stars by Niamh Mac Cabe

A meal to remember by Michael Tennyson

Home by David Butler

John-John by Pauline Clooney

Breaking Eggs by Joe Mc Kiernan

Cry of the Gull by Lorna Cooper

Freedom by Tina Sweeney

Cruel woman by Elizabeth Mc Cullum – Ryan

Cut to the bone by Stephen Leach

A Dance With Time by Zandra Carrington

Skunk and Beastie by Holly Atkinson

Kicking the Habit by Clare O’Reilly

The best photo I never took by Tom O’Brien

The Anchor by Delia Mac Taggart

Dancing Turtle by Thomas Atkinson

The Burrow by Rosemary Hennigan

An Unexpected Visitor at Elbow Lake by Louise Mangos

The Latent Test by Liam Curtin

Jimmy by Robert Fields

Camping with Daddy by Michele Sheldon

A hand to hold Ayobami Adebayo

The last post by Valerie Ryan

Into the forest by Andrea Mara

They took to the sky by Chris Pritchard

Dad’s lost soul  by Lourdes Mackey

Rebirth by Anne Mc Loughlin

Anna’s picture by Mary O’Brien

Roundabouts and swings by Eleanor O’Reily

My Date with Nigella by Peter Kettle

Shrinking from Life by Catherine Talbot

Festival 2016: Author Talk – Historical Fiction

Our first session on Saturday 28th May, is with bestselling historical fiction author, Hazel Gaynor.

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A limited number of early bird tickets are available, book your tickets for #WEXLITFEST here

Venue: Church Institute, Saturday 28th May, 9.00 – 10.00 am

Author Talk, Historical Fiction

With Hazel Gaynor 

One Foot In The Past: The challenges and joys of writing historical fiction set in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Hazel Gaynor is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME and A MEMORY OF VIOLETS. She was selected by US Library Journal as one of ‘Ten Big Breakout Authors’ for 2015, was a spring 2015 WHSmith Fresh Talent pick and received the 2015 RNA Historical Romantic Novel of the Year award for THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME. As features writer for writing.ie she has interviewed Philippa Gregory, Sebastian Faulks, Kate Mosse and Cheryl Strayed, among others. Hazel is a contributing author to WWI anthology FALL OF POPPIES. Her third novel, THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY, is published in June. Hazel lives in County Kildare with her husband and two children.

 

 

An invitation to our Press Launch for Festival2016

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MADELEINE KEANE, LITERARY EDITOR OF THE SUNDAY INDEPENDENT TO LAUNCH FOCAL – WEXFORD LITERARY FESTIVAL TO THE PRESS, ON 7TH APRIL 2016 AT A RECEPTION IN THE NEWLY REFURBISHED ENNISCORTHY ATHENAEUM.

Wexford Literary Festival would like to invite you to our festival launch night, in The Enniscorthy Athenaeum, on 7th April, at 7.30pm. We are delighted to welcome Madeleine Keane to Wexford, to formally launch our festival. All are welcome and there will be a wine reception with a chance to meet some of our festival speakers.

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Madeleine Keane was educated at UCD and Trinity. She worked in the editorial departments of Irish Tatler, Image Magazine and the publishing house Chatto & Windus before joining the Sunday Independent in 1988. She has been the Literary Editor of the Sunday Independent for the last 11 years and during that time co-founded the Irish Book Awards and curated two writers’ festivals in Dublin – Books ’08 and Books ‘09. 

 She also presented a books programme for RTE TV (‘First Edition’) and has written a non-fiction careers guide for teenagers (What Will I Be? Mercier Press 1995). She was a member of the steering committee for the successful Dublin City of Literature Unesco bid. She regularly writes about books, theatre and travel. She has broadcast on tv and radio (The View, Ryan Tubridy, Tonight with Vincent Browne, TV3 Ireland AM, 4FM) about books and publishing and presents at literary festivals and events (Dublin Book Festival, Dalkey Books Festival, The Irish Book Awards etc).

Our third annual literary festival will take place between 27th – 29th May, 2016,

The full programme will be released to the press at the launch on 7th April. We have worked hard over the past couple of years to promote Co. Wexford nationally as a place of literary excellence. Our aim has always been to both honour our existing literary greats and to support aspiring writers on their own creative paths.

The festival will include workshops and panel discussions with some of Ireland’s beloved bestselling authors and industry experts. We will also announce the winners of our Schools Book Trailer Award, The 1916 Poem for Enniscorthy and The Colm Toibin International Short Story Award. Full details of the lineup will be on www.focalliteraryfestival.com. Tickets are available to buy online now

http://www.focalliteraryfestival.com/shop/

Carmel Harrington curator of the Wexford Literary Festival, said: ‘We are excited and honoured that such talented speakers are coming to Co. Wexford. We have worked hard to ensure that our programme appeals to both writers and readers. Our festival has earned a reputation as one of the most friendly and fun events in the literary calendar, where all speakers are accessible. Ultimately, our festival is a celebration of books and writers and this year promises to be our best yet.’