Festival Time! Cork, Ireland and Wraclow, Poland.

I’m really looking forward to Cork International Short Story Festival next week. I’m especially excited to be chairing an event with Edge Hill Prize-winner Kirsty Gunn and one of my all-time favourite writers Claire Keegan. I’ll also get to see my good friend Liadain O’Donovan give out the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, on behalf of her father, to Carys Davies, that evening.

Liadain O'Donovan at 13th International Conference on the Short Story, Vienna '14.

Liadain O’Donovan at 13th International Conference on the Short Story, Vienna ’14.

After returning home to Brighton, I head off to Wroclaw, Poland on Oct 1 to attend the Międzynarodowy Festiwal Opowiadania – International Short Story Festival where I’m honoured to be joining the other international guests Jon Boilard, Clare Wigfall & Colin Barrett. I’m reading on Saturday Oct 3. You can check out the programme here.

Maybe I’ll see some of you in Cork or Poland. Come and say ‘hello’.




Cork International Short Story Festival. Sept 22-26.

I am very excited to be attending the Cork International Short Story Festival for the second year (you can download the programme here). It will be my third visit to Cork, having read at last year’s short story festival and  the Cork World Book Festival this April for the Irish launch of The Good Son. I love this city and have made some great friends there. I love The Penny Dreadful lit mag that comes out of Cork too.


At this year’s festival I won’t be reading, instead I have the honour of chairing an event with this year’s Edge Hill Prize-winner Kirsty Gunn and one of my favourite short story writers Claire Keegan, on Saturday 26th.

If you love short stories I urge you to go to Cork this year. The festival is chock full of the finest short story writers from around the world. Festival Director Patrick Cotter always puts on a great programme and this year is no exception. You get to hear authors read and hang out with them too if you’re lucky. You can also takes classes. This year there are courses delivered by new Irish sensation Danielle McLaughlin who has just had her second short story published in The New Yorker.


There’s also a course with Claire Keegan. I brought Claire to the London Short Story Festival last year and watching the writers leave her masterclass was quite a sight. They were stunned. I asked a few for feedback and they said they’d never experienced anything like it. One said she got more from that afternoon than the whole of her 2 year MA course! Don’t miss this opportunity.

Among the many other writers there you have Toby Litt, Frank O’Connor Award-winner Carys Davies and Helen Link from the USA. I hope to see some of you there.