“Are you a new or emerging writer from a working class background? Would you like to be published alongside an Impac Award-winner, a Booker Prize-winner, two Sunday Times Short Story Award-winners, a senator, playwrights and poets? What about a professional development programme with the help of leading publishers and the Irish Writers Centre.”
Where I read from The Good Son, talk to Katy about books, World Book Day and The 32.
“On World Book Day, Kathy’s guests are writer Paul McVeigh, the cast of youth drama Crusaders and actor Matt Cavan. There’s music from Emma Horan, Johnny Fitch and the Leading Ladies, and Karishma Kusurkar has the pick of the podcasts.”
dlr LexIcon Library and Cultural Centre, Saturday March 28th, 1.30pm.
As editor, of ‘Belfast Stories’ anthology, I’ve been asked to chair this wonderful event. I do hope some of you can come.
“Chaired by novelist Paul McVeigh, we are pleased to welcome two of Belfast’s most compelling voices, Wendy Erskine and Lucy Caldwell for discussion and readings from Belfast stories. This collection of short fiction presents a composite view of local life which invites us to view Belfast afresh through the imaginations of some of its finest writers. Join us and hear each of our guests pay homage to contemporary Belfast in all its vivacity, multiplicity, and complexity.
Wendy Erskine lives in Belfast. Her debut collection of stories, Sweet Home, was published by The Stinging Fly Press in September 2018. It will be published by Picador in the UK in June 2019. Her stories have also been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and on RTÉ Radio One.
Lucy Caldwell is the multi–award winning author of three novels, several stage plays and radio dramas and, most recently, two collections of short stories: Multitudes(Faber, 2016) and Intimacies (forthcoming, Faber, 2020). She is also the editor of Being Various: New Irish Short Stories (Faber, 2019). Awards include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Irish Writers’ and Screenwriters’ Guild Award, the Commonwealth Writers’ Award (Canada & Europe), the Edge Hill Short Story Prize Readers’ Choice Award, a Fiction Uncovered Award, a K. Blundell Trust Award and a Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018.
The first batch of world-famous West Cork Literary Festival writing workshops are now on sale. I’m honoured to say I’ll be teaching the novel week long workshops (July 13-17) alongside the incredible Paul Muldoon for poetry and Cynan Jones for short story.
This year the festival will also host Anne Enright, Roxane Gay and Eimear McBride among many others.
The last time I was a West Cork it was wonderful and I met so many amazing writers and did events with Eoin McNamee, Glenn Patterson and Liz Nugent.
“Over the five days you will look at how to grow your story idea into a novel that grips your reader from start to finish. You will look at that crucial opening that hooks the reader, how to keep the narrative momentum going through that difficult middle and lead to a satisfying ‘inevitable surprise’ of an ending. You will look at creating believable complex characters that stand out and stay with your reader, the many uses of dialogue and how to find your voice. You will explore world building, the importance of setting and how it can become another character in your story. If you are happy to you can share your work-in-progress and get constructive problem-solving focused feedback. The course will finish with advice on what every debut novelist needs to know, covering agents, building a readership and an online presence, making industry connections and a behind-the-scenes look at those coveted literary prizes.”
Lyra McKee piece for The 32: Anthology of Irish Working Class Voices
Two bits of exciting news – ‘The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working Class Voices’, which I’m editing, has received a huge donation of £3,000 from the wonderful people behind The Spaniard Belfast, Muriel’s Kitchen, Panama Belfast and new owners of The Chester Bar.
I have also secured a piece of writing by Lyra McKee who had agreed to be in the anthology before her tragic death. You can read all about it in the Belfast Telegraph article by Claire McNeilly.
“I met Lyra through Anna Burns, the Booker Prize winner, and the three of us had lunch together – three working class Ardoyne authors from three different generations,” he said.
“She told me her book was coming out and I spoke to her about being part of the anthology – that was before her book deal – and then, heartbreakingly, the tragedy happened.
“I recently talked to her publishers, who are bringing out a new book from her next month, and after I explained the back story, they are now giving me an unpublished piece of her writing to include, which is really amazing.”
Update **This postponed due to tragic death of broadcaster Stephen Clements**
Nuala McKeever is sitting in for Lynette Fay on BBC Radio Ulster today with a mix of music and chat. The chat today is with me! We’ll be talking about The Good Son for sure and who knows – growing up in Belfast – books…