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.