Bonnie Greer, Finn Kennedy, Stacey Gregg & Me

Arts Council and Royal Society of Literature announce third NI Writers Day

The third NI Writers Day will take place on Monday 26th September 2022 and shine a spotlight on the art of writing for stage and screen, providing a platform for discussion, sharing industry insights and celebrating the work of local writers.

Headed up by esteemed playwright, novelist, critic and broadcaster Bonnie Greer, recently announced a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the event will unfold in two sessions. 

The first, an intimate lunchtime writing workshop with Bonnie for 12 playwrights wanting to hone their craft. Participants will have the chance to read one of Bonnie Greer’s latest scripts and hear about her life in theatre, having studied with David Mamet and Elaine Kazan, taught playwriting to students and formerly incarcerated women, and seen her plays performed to great acclaim around the world.

The evening event will feature a panel discussion in the Lyric’s Naughton Studio and is open to the public. 

Chaired by Bonnie Greer, it will celebrate Northern Ireland-born playwrights, who have gained local and international acclaim for their work. The line-up will include writer and theatre director Fionnuala Kennedy whose play, Removed, produced by Prime Cut Productions, in partnership with Voice of Young People in Care (VOYPIC), won the 2020 Zebbie award for Best Play and is set to tour internationally in 2023. Director and performer Stacy Gregg, will also share their experiences of the industry, having written extensively for television and worked with global broadcasting platforms. Most recently they directed a block of The Baby (Sky/HBO) and wrote and directed the feature film Here Before, which premiered at South by Southwest.

This event marks the third Arts Council and RSL NI Writers Day collaboration and the first in the series to take place live.

Tickets

Tickets for Bonnie Greer’s lunchtime writing workshop are free but numbers are strictly limited. To apply please send a short paragraph about yourself and a two page writing sample to info@rsliterature.org before 5pm on Thursday 15 September. The sample should be a script or a piece of writing relating to performance. You will be contacted the following week as to whether you have a place held in the workshop.

Tickets to the evening event, NI Writers Day 3, can be booked via the Lyric Theatre box office from 1pm on Wednesday 9th August and are priced at £5. Contact the Lyric box office to book your seat on 02890 381 081 or go to: https://lyrictheatre.co.uk/whats-on/royal-society-of-literature-panel-discussion-with-bonnie-greer.

*POSTPONED*Panelist on Shared Island Dialogue

Shared Island Dialogue series Arts and Culture on a Shared Island

11.35 – 12.15 MAC, Belfast. Free.

Panel 1: Arts & culture on a shared island – challenges & opportunities

To explore North/South and East/West perspectives, opportunities and challenges in supporting and promoting artists and arts organisations; hear artists and arts organisations’ views on operating on an all-island basis and on deepening cultural interaction exchange on the island of Ireland. Asking – what does a shared island mean for the arts and culture sector?

Panellists

  • –  Maureen Kennelly, Director, Arts Council
  • –  Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland
  • –  Jimmy Fay, Director, Lyric Theatre, Belfast
  • –  Paul McVeigh, Author

For the day’s events click here.

Chairing Julia Armfield & Paul Mendez at Birmingham Lit Fest

Julia Armfield & Paul Mendez

8th October, Birmingham Rep, 2-3pm

Two of the UK’s most exciting voices in queer writing, Julia Armfield (Our Wives Under the Sea) and Paul Mendez (Rainbow Milk) talk to our Guest Curator Paul McVeigh about their novels, their writing and the LGBTQ+ writing scene, which is finally seeing the celebration it deserves.

Julia Armfield is a fiction writer and occasional playwright. She was shortlisted for the 2019 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. She was commended in the Moth Short Story Prize 2017, longlisted for the Deborah Rogers Award 2018, and won the White Review short story prize 2018.Her critically acclaimed short story collection, salt slow, was published in2019. Our Wives Under the Sea is her first novel.

Paul Mendez is a British writer, based in Birmingham. His debut novel Rainbow Milk (Dialogue, 2020), an Observer Best Debuts choice, was shortlisted for the Polari First Novel Prize, the Gordon Burn Prize, the Jhalak Prize, the Lambda Literary Award in Gay Fiction and a British Book Award (Fiction Debut). He has written for VogueAnOtherEsquireHarper’s BazaarThe Face, the London Review of Books, the TLS,the WritersMosaic and the BBC. He is currently adapting Rainbow Milk for television, and is a student on the MA programme in Black British Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Tickets here.

Dublin Book Festival presents Queer Love with Emma Donaghue and Neil Hegarty

Join Dublin Book Festival for an evening of delving into Queer Love: An Anthlogy of Irish Fiction (Munster Literature). The anthology was conceived as an attempt to redress the lack of acknowledgement of LGBTQIA+ community and representation in Irish literary anthologies. At this online event, editor of the collection Paul McVeigh is joined by two of its contributors, Emma Donoghue and Neil Hegarty to discuss their contributions to the anthology, the importance of producing this anthology, and developing LGBTQIA+ presence and representation in the Irish literary community. 

Also available as a Podcast

FREE EVENT – BOOK HERE

Queer Love: Emma Donoghue, Declan Toohey & Shannon Yee in conversation with Paul McVeigh

Cork International Short Story Festival 2021

Thursday October 14th 9pm – Book Ticket

Queer Love: An Anthology of Irish Fiction is a new publication from Southword Editions which seeks to go some way to redress the lack of acknowledgement of the LGBTQI+ community in Irish literary anthologies, with a mixture of established writers of international standing, writers who have been making a splash in recent years and new emerging writers. The anthology has a mixture of previously published stories, newly commissioned work and those entered through our call out. Featuring stories by John Boyne, Emma Donoghue, Mary Dorcey, Neil Hegarty, James Hudson, Emer Lyons, Jamie O’Connell, Colm Tóibín, Declan Toohey, and Shannon Yee.

donoghue

Emma Donoghue, born in Dublin in 1969, is an award- winning novelist, playwright and screenwriter, living in Canada with her family. Her novel The Pull of the Stars became a bestseller in the US (New York Times), Canada, Ireland and Britain on publication in July 2020. Room was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange Prizes and has sold over two million copies. She adapted the novel into her first feature film, Room, directed by Lenny Abrahamson, which was nominated for four Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Actress (won by Brie Larson). Her short-story collections include Astray, Three and a Half Deaths (UK ebook), Touchy Subjects, The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits, and Kissing the Witch.

toohey

Declan Toohey is from County Kildare. His writing has appeared in Soft Punk, The Dublin Review of Books, The Blue Nib, Stone of Madness Press, and the anthologies Queer Love and Brevity is the Soul, among other outlets. Earlier this year, he was a co-winner of the IWC Novel Fair, and his debut novel, Perpetual Comedown, is forthcoming with New Island Books.

yee

Shannon Yee is an award-winning writer and producer. Her perspectives as an immigrant, ethnic minority, queer artist-parent with a disability living in NI are deeply embedded in her work. Shannon has received a number of awards and grants, including the ACNI Major Individual Artist Award (2017). Her Reassembled, Slightly Askew sonically immerses audiences in her autobiographical experience of nearly dying and subsequent acquired brain injury (www.reassembled.co.uk) , touring locally, nationally and internationally in arts festivals and medical training settings since 2015. Shannon’s published short stories are ‘The Brightening Up Side’( Belfast Stories; Doire Press, 2019), and ‘Thumbnails’ (Queer Love: An Anthology of Irish Fiction; Southword Editions, 2020). Her first dance film, Pandemic Parenting: Pandemonium, will be aired this autumn on BBC as part of the Culture in Quarantine commissions.

mcveigh

Paul McVeigh‘s debut novel, The Good Son, won The Polari First Novel Prize and The McCrea Literary Award and was shortlisted for many others including the Prix du Roman Cezam in France. His short stories have been read on BBC Radio 3, 4 & 5 and on Sky Arts. They have appeared in print in journals such as The Stinging Fly, and numerous anthologies including Faber’s Being Various: New Irish Short Stories and The Art of the Glimpse. He is associate director of Word Factory, ‘the UK’s national organisation for excellence in the short story’ (The Guardian), and he co-founded the London Short Story Festival. He was co-editor of the Belfast Storiesanthology and was fiction editor at Southword Journal. He edited The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working Class Writers, which includes new work by Kevin Barry, Roddy Doyle and Lisa McInerney.

Image credits: Paul McVeigh photographed by John Minihan

Free Event: In Conversation Australian Writers Cate Kennedy and Paddy O’Reilly

Australian Writers Cate Kennedy and Paddy O’Reilly in Conversation with Paul McVeigh

About this Event

Cate Kennedy is a novelist, short story writer and poet whose work features in the school syllabus in Australia. When writing about her favourite Australian fiction, the late Eileen Battersby recommended Cate Kennedy’s second short story collection Like a House on Fire (2012) and said: ‘Australia’s response to the art of Alice Munro, Cate Kennedy is a singular artist who looks to the ordinary in a small rural community and is particularly astute on exploring the fallout left by the aftermath of the personal disasters that change everything. Her debut collection, Dark Roots (2006) heralded the arrival of a fully-formed master of the form ….’ The Irish Times 

Paddy O’Reilly is a multiple award-winning Australian writer whose novels and stories have won and been shortlisted for many major awards, and have been published, anthologised and broadcast in Australia, China, Europe, the UK and the USA. 

‘In her latest collection, Peripheral Vision, Paddy O’Reilly proves to be one of Australia’s most accomplished authors of the long-wave story. Peripheral Vision has expansive energy, and will fascinate readers with a taste for open endings and vivid voices.’ The Australian

In conversation with me! I hope you can come along. Book free here.


The Good Son:
 Won The Polari Prize & The McCrea Literary Award

“The Good Son is a work of genius from a splendid writer.”

Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Olen Butler

“A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.” Donal Ryan

Appearing JLF Doha, Qatar

JLF Doha, Qatar: Dec 12-14

 

I’m excited to be heading to Qatar soon for JLF Doha. Here are my events at the Qatar National Library.

Fri 13th, 6:20 PM TO 7:05 PM, SPECIAL EVENT AREA 

Writing Conflict: Paul McVeigh, Ahmad Dallal, and Prayaag Akbar in conversation

In a world fraught with conflict, eminent writers speak of how they make sense of the disturbances and dystopias around us. Prayaag Akbar’s award-winning novel Leila, adapted into a popular Netflix series, addresses the ongoing conflicts in society. Paul McVeigh’s debut novel, The Good Son, tells the story of the Irish Troubles in turbulent Belfast. Writer and academic Ahmed Dallal has examined the conflicts of the Middle East.

2:55 PM TO 3:40 PM AUDITORIUM

What is Not Said:​​​​​​​ Celebrating the Short Story: Alex Shaw, Kaltam Jabor M. Al-kuwari and Paul McVeigh in conversation

The brevity of short fiction, illuminating transformative moments in life, eliminating all that is unnecessary, takes it to the heart of the reader. A session which investigates and celebrates the form and function of the short story. Conversations and contextual readings featuring Alex Shaw, author of the popular Aidan Snow SAS series, Kaltam Jabor M. Al-kuwari, the first Qatari women to author a collection of short stories, and Paul McVeigh, author of The Good Son and director and co-founder of London Short Story Festival, Paul McVeigh.

 

I hope to see some of you in Doha!

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Me, John Boyne, Kit de Waal & Roddy Doyle

thepoliticsoffiction-01.jpg

Well, this is a corker.

The Politics Of Fiction

Date Saturday 15 June 2019
Time 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Price£12 | £10
Venue: The Crescent Arts Centre

A Panel Discussion With Roddy Doyle, John Boyne & Kit De Waal Chaired By Paul McVeigh

Do fiction writers have a responsibility to engage with politics? The line between fiction and nonfiction is constantly blurred, especially in the post-truth climate of today. Fiction reflects the world around us, and the world around us at this particular moment in time is in crisis: politically, socially and culturally.

And so, in this tumultuous political climate, this panel will raise, and attempt to answer questions such as, whether fiction writers hold a responsibility to engage with and write about politics?; whether fiction can affect politics?; and whether all fiction is political?

Making up stories is an inherently political act, but that doesn’t mean that the stories are about politics. Does fiction have the ability to change minds? Come and enter into the conversation with these four writers as they discuss and shed light upon a question of pressing importance.

Hope to see some of you there.