Me, Gavin Corbett, Lisa McInerney & Éilís Ní Dhuibhne

Brooks Literary Salon with Paul McVeigh

I’ll be talking to literary guests including Bailey’s and Encore Prize-winner Lisa McInerney, Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year winner Gavin Corbett and Éilís Ní Dhuibhne who received the Irish Pen Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature and a Hennessy Hall of Fame Award for Lifetime Achievement. Join us at the beautiful, boutique, Brooks Hotel situated in the fashionable heart of Dublin city for a one-off special evening of readings and discussion. Brooks are offering a special pre-salon deal – two tapas plus a glass of house wine at €18.50 per person.

Featuring Lisa McInerney who’s work has featured in Winter Papers, The Stinging Fly, Granta, The Guardian, BBC Radio 4 and various anthologies. Her story ‘Navigation’ was longlisted for the 2017 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. Her debut novel The Glorious Heresies won the 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and the 2016 Desmond Elliott Prize. Her second novel, The Blood Miracles, won the 2018 RSL Encore Award.

Gavin Corbett is from Dublin. He is the author of three novels: Innocence, This Is the Way, and Green Glowing Skull. He is a winner of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year and teaches across the creative writing programmes at UCD.

N Dhuibhne is an Irish novelist, short story writer and playwright in both Irish and English. Eilis has won many awards for her work, including the Stewart Parker Award for Drama, Bisto ‘Book of the Year’ Award, several Oireachtas awards for play and novels, and a shortlisting for the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her most recent books are Selected Stories (Dalkey Archive Press 2017), and a memoir, Twelve Thousand Days (Blackstaff Press, 2018). She received the Irish Pen Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature in 2015, and a Hennessy Hall of Fame Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2016.

Hosted by Paul McVeigh who’s debut novel, The Good Son, won The Polari First Novel Prize and The McCrea Literary Award. His short stories have been in The Stinging Fly and The London Magazine, read on BBC Radio, and performed on Sky Arts TV. ‘Hollow’ was shortlisted for Irish Short Story of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2017. He is the co-founder of the London Short Story Festival and his writing has been translated into seven languages.

Brooks Hotel, 62 Drury St, Dublin 2. October 12th 7-9pm.

Tickets here.

Paul will be teaching his ‘That Killer First Page’ class at the same venue the next day, Saturday 13th.

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Interview w/ BBC National Short Story Award

On the day of the ceremony on BBC Radio 4 Front Row I go behind the scenes of the BBC National Short Story Award with one of its founders and BBC Radio Books Editor Di Speirs. Find out all you need to know about the judging process in Irish Times Culture.

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/behind-the-scenes-at-the-bbc-national-short-story-award-1.3644969

“Over the last few years I’ve worked with a number of literary awards and prizes, and it’s been an education. The behind-the-scenes processes have varied quite significantly. To illustrate with one example; for the £30,000 International Dylan Thomas Prize we read the longlist of twelve books then re-read our chosen shortlist of six, for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize we didn’t read the longlist only the five collections on the shortlist, for the Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Prize I was the only judge and reader, tackling around 750 short stories.

This year I was asked to be an ambassador for the BBC National Short Story Award. I first worked with the award a few years back for an event at the London Short Story Festival, which I co-founded and programmed. Now in its 13th year, the award has become a landmark on the short story landscape in the UK and internationally. I have long been a fan of their excellent website, for podcasts and recordings of previous winners and specially commissioned short stories from the best writers in the form. On that note, a little known astonishing fact, BBC Radio 4 is the world’s biggest single commissioner of short stories, attracting audiences of over a million listeners to short fiction.

Due to its unique and powerful position, at times, questions are asked about access to the BBC’s short story feast. As I watched the twitter reaction to the news of the fifth all-female shortlist and the issues raised re its selection process, I realised there were some questions even I had about the way the award worked.

I used my role as ambassador to gain an interview with Di Speirs, founding judge of the award and BBC’s editor of books, who has gone into detail about every step of the judging process, and shares her love for the short story form.”

Head here to read the interview. image.jpg

Observer: ‘Exceptional Working Class Novel’

Lovely to see this praise for The Good Son from author Kerry Hudson in The Observer newspaper yesterday;

“When I think of exceptional working-class novels from the last few years, I inevitably think of Kit de Waal’s My Name Is Leon and Paul McVeigh’s The Good Son, both skilfully written books about two very different boys’ challenges growing up in working-class environments.”

She also mentions de Waal’s Common People Anthology out next year which includes my first piece of memoir. You can head over and read the whole article here.

Winner of The Polari Prize & The McCrea Literary Award
“I devoured it in a day, but I’ve thought about it for many, many more. ”
Bailey’s Prize-winner Lisa McInerney
“A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.”
Donal Ryan

 

FIRST LINES: JOHN MINIHAN’S PORTRAITS – Launch

Carrying the song & story of Irish writing all over the world

Literature Ireland’s First Lines portraits, by John Minihan, celebrate the latest wave of Irish authors

Excited to be heading to Dublin on Wednesday for the launch of FIRST LINES: JOHN MINIHAN’S PORTRAITS. Here’s what The Irish Times had to say…

“While Irish literature punches well above its weight, beyond the Anglophone world, its reach has been greatly enhanced by the work of Literature Ireland, a not-for-profit organisation funded by Culture Ireland and the Arts Council and led by Sinéad Mac Aodha. Since its foundation in 1995 Literature Ireland has funded the translation of more than 2,000 works of Irish literature into 56 world languages. Like most arts organisations, Literature Ireland’s funding suffered badly during the downturn. The value of the grants it awards has halved over the past eight years, and it has to turn down seven out of eight translation grant applications.

To celebrate the work of the latest wave of authors who are being published in translation across the globe with its support, Literature Ireland will next week launch First Lines, a promotional series of postcard-sized portraits by acclaimed photographer John Minihan, best known for his portraits of Samuel Beckett. Beckett was one of those rare writers capable of translating his own work. A BBC radio producer notoriously rejected his translation into English of En Attendant Godot as too full of Irishisms. Asked once if he was English, Beckett famously replied, “Au contraire”.”

Read more here. 

The other writers featured in the series are Colin BarrettSara Baume, Gavin Corbett, Rob DoyleAudrey MageeMike McCormackLisa McInerneyDanielle McLaughlinAlan McMonagle, Conor O’Callaghan and Sally Rooney.

Winner of The Polari Prize & The McCrea Literary Award
“I devoured it in a day, but I’ve thought about it for many, many more. ”
Bailey’s Prize-winner Lisa McInerney
“A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.”
Donal Ryan

Smashing It: Working Class Artists

I’m delighted to have been invited by editor Sabrina Mahfouz to be part of this anthology about working class artists – a story close to my heart. Especially happy to be alongside writers I admire and could talk to for days , Kerry Hudson and Selena Godden.

Here’s what the Bookseller had to say –

Saqi imprint The Westbourne Press has bought world English rights to Smashing It: Working Class Artists on Life, Art and Making It Happen, edited by poet and playwright Sabrina Mahfouz, recently made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

The book began when Mahfouz wrote a tweet about how being working class has been the principle obstacle she has faced in the arts, although she is only ever asked about her gender or ethnicity. The tweet was viewed 214,727 times and clicked on almost 7,000 times, and prompted a host of responses. Mahfouz took this as a call to action and set up a free workshop to help working class writers access UK arts funding, The success of that first workshop, which attracted people from around the country, meant Mahfouz now holds them monthly.

Click here to read more.

Winner of The Polari Prize & The McCrea Literary Award
“I devoured it in a day, but I’ve thought about it for many, many more. ”
Bailey’s Prize-winner Lisa McInerney
“A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.”
Donal Ryan

Interviewing Sarah Perry

An Evening with Sarah Perry

Thursday 22nd November 19:00 – 21:00

at Crescent Arts Centre Cube, 2-4 University Road, Belfast , BT7 1NH

I’ll be interviewing the wonderful Sarah Perry in Belfast in November. I read with Sarah a few years back at a festival in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland. Here’s what Waterstones said…

“We are thrilled to welcome Sarah Perry, the author of 2016’s Waterstones Book of the YearThe Essex Serpent, to Belfast in conversation with Paul McVeigh to discuss her new novel Melmoth.

Sarah Perry is the UK’s most extraordinary writer of Gothic literature. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway. She has been the writer in residence at Gladstone’s Library and the UNESCO World City of Literature Writer in Residence in Prague. After Me Comes the Flood, her first novel, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Folio Prize, and won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. Her latest novel, The Essex Serpent, was a number one bestseller in hardback, Waterstones Book of the Year 2016, the British Book Awards Book of the Year 2017, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and Dylan Thomas Award, and longlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017.

Melmoth is a profound, ambitiously realised work of fiction which asks fundamental questions about guilt, forgiveness, moral reckoning and how we come to terms with our actions in a conflicted world. A compulsive, terrifying and thoroughly modern Gothic novel, and a response to the Irish Gothic classic Melmoth the Wanderer.

Further details: 020892040159″

 

 

Ambassador for BBC National Short Story Award

I’m honoured to have been asked to be an ambassador for this prestigious prize.

The shortlist has just been announced.

Sarah Hall, prize-winning novelist and short story writer, has been shortlisted for the third time for ‘Sudden Traveller’. She won the award in 2013 for ‘Mrs Fox’. Hall is joined on the shortlist by composer and debut novelist Kerry Andrew for To Belong To’, Commonwealth Short Story Prize winner and debut novelist Ingrid Persaud for ‘The Sweet Sop’, rising talent Kiare Ladner for ‘Van Rensburg’s Card’ and creative writing lecturer and novelist Nell Stevens for The Minutes’. The Award is one of the most prestigious for a single short story, with the winning author receiving £15,000.

Keep your eye out for some exclusive content from me.

That Killer First Page, Workshop, Dublin, Oct 13.