»If I had been born at the top of my street, behind the corrugated-iron border, I would have been British. Incredible to think. My whole idea of myself, the attachments made to a culture, heritage, religion, nationalism and politics are all an accident of birth. I was one street away from being born my ‘enemy’« writes Paul McVeigh, Belfast born novelist and author of ‘The Good Son’.
We read because we want to experience lives and emotions beyond our own, to learn, to see, with others’ eyes. Join us as Kit De Waal and Paul McVeigh engage in a lively discussion of the short story writing of working-class writers across the UK and Ireland. This event will be moderated by Deirdre Walsh.
Please do join us. You can check out the rest of the programme here.
I’ll be meeting Damon Galgut to discuss his writing and his Booker Prize-winning novel The Promise at the International Literary Festival Dublin on May 24. Check it out here.
“As a literary form, the novel has a unique capacity to capture the realities of life. The things we shouldn’t forget. A good novelist understands this. A great novelist takes this knowledge and uses the form to do something unexpected. Damon Galgut was praised by the Booker Prize judges for exactly this feat in 2021 when The Promise was awarded the prestigious prize. Set on a farm on the outskirts of Pretoria, and focusing on a seemingly ordinary family in crisis, Galgut’s novel asks relentless questions of the past and the present, and of the ways in which we deny ourselves and each other when confronted with truth.
Damon Galgut is a South African author, based in Capetown. The author of nine novels, he was twice nominated for the Booker Prize before winning it in 2021 for The Promise.
‘A masterpiece…A moving, brilliantly told family epic’ – Elizabeth Day
**Please note that you also have the option to watch this event live from the comfort of your own home. Make sure you select “Book Online Event” if you wish to do so.**”
What a day talking to these intelligent students discussing some of my short stories at Talen KU Leuven KulakKU Leuven Kulak that the hour and a half class turned into two and a half hours – with two students following us to the front door with even more questions.
The Writing Life: Friendship, Travel & Creativity Across Continents
The Crescent is delighted to welcome two best-selling international authors to Belfast: Jami Attenberg (New Orleans-based author of seven books of fiction and most recently a memoir), and Cate Kennedy (Australian-based author of two short story collections, a novel, three poetry collections and a memoir). Cate and Jami will be in conversation with Northern Ireland-based writers Roise Schaap and Paul McVeigh, to share their work and discuss travel, writing experience and friendship.
Jami Attenberg is the New York Times best-selling author of seven books of fiction, including The Middlesteins and All This Could Be Yours. She has contributed essays to the New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Sunday Times, and The Guardian, among other publications. She lives in New Orleans.
Cate Kennedy is the author of two short story collections, a novel, three poetry collections and a memoir. Her awards include the Victorian Premier’s Literary Prize for Poetry for her collection The Taste of River Water (Scribe, 2011) and the NSW People’s Choice Award for her novel The World Beneath (Scribe 2009, published Australia, the U.S.A, the U.K, France and Hong Kong). Her short story collections are both on the Australian school syllabus as study texts. She teaches widely both in Australia and the U.S., and has just completed her PhD in Creative Writing.
Rosie Schaap is the author of Drinking with Men: A Memoir and Becoming a Sommelier. From 2011 to 2017 she was a columnist for The New York Times Magazine. Her essays appear in numerous anthologies, most recently the new edition of Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York. She teaches creative nonfiction at Fairleigh Dickinson University and the Irish Writers Centre and her next book, The Slow Road North: How I Found Peace in an Improbable Country, will be out next year. A native New Yorker, she has lived in the Glens of Antrim since 2019.
Paul McVeigh is a writer, author and performer. His novel, The Good Son, won The Polari First Novel Award and the McCrea Literary Award. He is the Editor of three anthologies, including, 32: An Anthology of Irish Working-Class Voices, (Unbound), published in 2021. paulmcveighwriter.com
I have two festival passes for this wonderful festival for writers. Have a look at it here.
Here’s a little info –
“Across five weeks and twelve sessions, we invite you to hear from a range of inspiring speakers across the publishing and wellbeing industries. Programme highlights include a keynote by writer and activist Nikesh Shukla, sessions on writing and sustainability, joyful creativity, a publishers’ roundtable, a discussion about reading culture, a debut novelists’ roundtable, and creative writing Masterclasses with Dorothy Koomson, Vaseem Khan, Paul McVeigh and Monique Roffey.
All Being A Writer Festival ticket-holders are welcome to submit their work to the TLC Pen Factor Writing Competition for the opportunity to pitch your writing to a live panel of industry judges. 2022 marks 10 years of TLC Pen Factor, and as a competition it has an impressive track record for finding talent, with many of our previous finalists going on to be published – including as a direct result of meeting their agent there! TLC Pen Factor alumni include Neema Shah, Guinevere Glasfurd, Adam Sharp, Abi Daré, Jeremy Gavins, and Lizzie Damilola Blackburn.”
If you like the sounds of it share on social media and I’ll chose on April 30th.
The first is ‘An evening with Irish writers Sinéad Gleeson, Mike McCormack and Paul McVeigh’
Irish college Leuven, May 5th, 8pm.
The evening is a co-organised by the Leuven Centre for Irish Studies, the EFACIS Irish Itinerary programme and ‘Druk in Leuven’ (30CC). The event is free for KU Leuven students and personnel, but please register through this link.
Come spend a week in Spain with me – 29 Oct – 4 Nov 2022 at the beautiful Casa Ana in the Andalucian mountains.
Here’s the blurb…
“Paul will bring his 30 years of experience as an award-winning writer, tutor, editor and competition judge to helping you raise your writing to the next level. He’ll lead group sessions each morning, dissecting texts to illustrate how to write compelling fiction, exploring techniques to better equip your writers’ toolbox, and helping you develop your writing voice. The afternoons are free for you to put new insights into practice in your writing and Paul will also offer a one-to-one session where you can discuss your writing and/or the industry. To round off the retreat there’ll be an evening where you can read your work in a supportive atmosphere, in the company of the other writers.”
Your retreat at Casa Ana
You’ll have the luxury of a week or two working uninterruptedly on your writing
Inspiring mountain surroundings, quiet corners on the terrace, Spanish sunshine
Your own room and writing table
The company of other writers, from many countries
Opportunities to read from your work in the supportive atmosphere of the group
One-to-one sessions are available with the resident mentor
You don’t have to cook! The Casa Ana chef prepares sumptuous meals. Full board is included in the price.
We make it easy for you to travel to Casa Ana with a minibus from Malaga or a taxi from Granada airport
If you’re interested please head over to the Casa Ana website…
Winner of The Polari First Novel Prize
‘A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.’Donal Ryan
‘Raw, funny and endlessly entertaining’. Jonathan Coe