Recent books from Northern Ireland you really should be reading

Recent books from Northern Ireland you really should be reading!

Thanks to Cathy Brown’s blog in response to Anna Burns Booker Prize win. Cathy name checks The Good Son among some wonderful books from Northern Ireland. Have a read 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

Secret Library Podcast

Recently I did an interview with writer Caroline Donohue and you can listen to it as of today. Caroline asked excellent questions and we had a great chat – I talk far too much! Here’s what Caroline says on her site. I hope you enjoy it.

The Secret Library

Paul McVeigh wrote a story in an afternoon that took twenty years.

How is that possible? We gather images over time, trying to figure out how they fit together. Paul had pieces of a story that didn’t quite fit until suddenly, they did. And then the story came out almost all at once in a single sitting. How do you know when it’s time to write a story? And how do you know when to give up on an idea? These are questions that have plagued so many writers and my clients. Paul was the perfect person to discuss them with. Having written fiction, theater, comedy, and a writing teacher himself, Paul has a breadth of experience and a sensitivity to this topic that will blow you away. His debut novel, The Good Son won countless awards and becomes a favorite of everyone who reads it.

This conversation was both deep and funny, an incredible dive into the places where writing comes from and how to know when you’ve got a story that won’t let you go. This promises to be one you’ll listen to more than once. I have been waiting and waiting to share this one! I’m so glad it’s time for you to hear it.

Discussed in Episode 69 with Paul McVeigh:

  • Turning the original short story into the novel The Good Son | Mentioned: Article about the process on Paul’s blog
  • How ideas evolve into stories
  • Getting clear about what is meant and how people often say things to cover up what they mean
  • Writing for the stage and what it taught Paul about dialog
  • Why you’re bananas if you don’t keep a notebook
  • The elements of the story Paul wrote in an afternoon after pondering for 20 years
  • Collecting three distinct elements to build a story
  • Creating a story that is the duration of a hug
  • Stephen Johnson’s spark file
  • Why good writing is never wasted
  • Paul is waiting for this ability to match his intention
  • Being a risk-taker as well as a writer
  • The real question: What will possibly go wrong if I give it a try?
  • Making friends with the best writers and how this will help your own work
  • Connecting by going in with an offer, not with an ask
  • Find writers who are better from you and learn from them
  • How working with actors helped him find meaning behind the dialogue
  • Turning the short story into a novel
  • Writing with a child as protagonist
  • How writing about the Troubles in Ireland forced Paul to relive that time
  • Going deep with your writing so it becomes more universal
  • Learning to look back with kindness and forgiveness
  • The importance of intention in writing
  • Basking in having completed the book.

The Good Son 3rd Editon

Buy Here

Winner of The Polari Prize

“Pungently funny and shot through with streaks of aching sadness.” Patrick Gale
“I devoured it in a day, but I’ve thought about it for many, many more.” Lisa McInerney
“A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.” Donal Ryan

Extra Date in Melbourne Added

What Every Debut Novelist Needs to Know

Prepare for your upcoming publication and give your debut the best chance for success.
In this workshop, you’ll discuss how to keep momentum going once your book is out in the world. This talk will give you the key do’s and don’ts from a master communicator and award winning novelist.
You will learn
how to make that debut stand out
how to plan ahead for the day they get that book contract
how to prepare for publication day and
how to kickstart new interest in your novel

About Paul McVeigh
Paul McVeigh’s debut novel, ‘The Good Son’, won The Polari First Novel Prize, The McCrea Literary Award, was Brighton’s City Reads 2016 and part of the UK’s World Book Night 2017. His short stories have appeared in journals and anthologies, on BBC Radio 3,4 & 5 and he is the founder of London Short Story Festival. His work has appeared on TV, on stage in London’s West End and has been translated into 7 languages.
This workshop is made possible with the generous assistance of Culture Ireland and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Cancellation Policy

176 Little Lonsdale Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000

Date: 20 November 2017 – 6:00 to 7:30 PM
Rating: Emerging

The Good Son 3rd Editon

Buy Here

Winner of The Polari Prize

“Pungently funny and shot through with streaks of aching sadness.” Patrick Gale
“I devoured it in a day, but I’ve thought about it for many, many more.” Lisa McInerney
“A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.” Donal Ryan


My New Story on BBC Radio 3 – Hurry!

The Speed of Life – Short Stories: Jenn Ashworth, Paul McVeigh & Kirsty Logan

Stories on the theme of this year’s Free Thinking Festival, commissioned by New Writing North and Word Factory.

Last weekend I travelled to Gateshead to record a short story for BBC Radio 3 along with Jenn Ashworth and Kirsty Logan. You can listen to or download these 3 short stories (total 25mins) for the next 25 days only on BBC IPlayer here.

Later tonight you can listen to the BBC 3 event we recorded with George Saunders ‘How Short is a Short Story?’ too.

I hope you enjoy.


George and me BBC 3

Presenter Matthew Sweet, Jenn Ashworth, George Saunders, Kirsty Logan & Me



Novel vs Short Story: me, Simon van Booy & Fiona McFarlane

Honoured to be sharing the stage with Fiona McFarlane and Simon van Booy in my favourite venue in the world! Hope some of you can some. Here’s the skinny…

Tonight three authors will debate the pleasures and pitfalls of the two forms as readers and writers of both. Award-winning Simon van Booy joins us from the USA and Fiona McFarlane visits us from Australia, making her first UK appearance. Paul McVeigh, author and co-founder of London Short Story Festival completes the panel with literary agent Carrie Kania chairing. Lively readings, engaging conversations and signings with a glass of wine.

Simon Van Booy is the author of three collections of short stories and three novels, with his most recent novel ‘Father’s Day’, just published in the UK by One World. In 2010, he won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award for his collection Love Begins in Winter. His fiction has been translated into seventeen languages.

Fiona McFarlane’s novel, The Night Guest, will be published in 19 countries and 15 languages, and won a NSW Premier’s Prize and Fiona was named a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist for 2014. Fiona’s short stories have been published in the New Yorker her debut collection ‘The High Places’ is out now.

Paul McVeigh’s debut novel ‘The Good Son’ was chosen as Brighton’s City Reads 2016 and has been shortlisted for numerous awards. His short stories have been published in journals and anthologies and read on BBC Radio 4 and 5. Paul is also the co-founder of the London Short Story Festival and associate director of Word Factory the UK’s premier short story salon.

£5 tickets are available in store, by telephone 020 7851 2400 or by