I’m chairing Iain Archer, Lucy Caldwell, and ‘Derry Girls’ writer Lisa McGee

An Evening with Iain Archer, Lucy Caldwell, and Lisa McGee, chaired by Paul McVeigh.

The three Seamus Heaney Centre Fellows for 2019, Iain Archer, Lucy Caldwell, and Lisa McGee will reflect on their diverse creative practices, in conversation with writer Paul McVeigh.

This is the closing event for the Writing Through Conflict symposium, hosted by the School of AEL and the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s, in partnership with National Museums NI.

Iain Archer is a Grammy nominated musician from Bangor, who has written and produced for artists such as Snow Patrol, Jake Bugg, Liam Gallagher and James Bay. He has received two Ivor Novello Awards and a third nomination. As well as his critically acclaimed solo career, Iain is a member of the band Tired Pony.

Lucy Caldwell is an award-winning Belfast-born author of three novels, several stage plays and radio dramas, and a collection of short stories. She is the editor of Being Various: New Irish Short Stories (Faber, 2019).

Lisa McGee is a stage and screen writer from Derry, she studied Drama at Queen’s University Belfast. Her plays include The Heights, Nineteen Ninety Two, and Girls and Dolls, and Jump, which has been adapted into a film. Lisa is the acclaimed writer and creator behind the hit Channel 4 sitcom’s London Irish and Derry Girls.

Date And Time: Tue, 5 March 2019, 18:00 – 19:00

Location: Ulster Museum, Belfast BT7 1NG

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Maria Edgeworth Festival

The Maria Edgeworth Festival and society produce events celebrating the legacy of Maria Edgeworth – this is very exciting to me as I read Castle Rackrent at university. They also promote and celebrate the rich cultural and literary heritage of County Longford. This year is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of her family to Edgeworthstown. I’m delighted to be judging their short story competition (and giving out the prize at the fest), teaching a class and reading from my work.

Here’s my events…

11th May 2019

11.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m. Short Story Workshop with Paul McVeigh (click to book)
Venue: The Old Schoolhouse, Edgeworthstown

8.00 p.m. Anniversary Celebration (click to book)
Venue: The Manor Church, Edgeworthstown
Poetry and Short Story Readings, featuring Nuala O’Connor and Paul McVeigh
Story & Song with Aidan O’Hara
Music and song with Eleanor Quaine and Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann.
Presentation of prizes to competition winners.
Refreshments served

Check out the rest of the events here…

“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

Performing at the Barbican

Barbican OpenFest: Art 50

Presented with Sky Arts

I’ll reading/performing a short story, commissioned especially for this incredible project, at the Barbican, London on Feb 23rd.

It will be part of the Postcards From the Future event – ’50 years from now what will the UK look like? Four respected wordsmiths Paul McVeigh, Dreda Say Mitchell, Tony Mason and A. L. Kennedy write and perform a monologue sending us a postcard from 2069.’

Here’s some more about the project…

“Free and open to all, the day will showcase works from Sky Arts’ Art 50 which invited artists of all kinds, from all walks of life, from all artistic genres, to create a piece of work which says something important about national identity in 2019. Come celebrate the diversity and creativity of a nation through dance, music, photography and film. Highlights of the performances, shows and activities throughout the day will be the chance to see brand new work from contemporary dance group Boy Blue and Ivor Novello award winner, Nitin Sawhney with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain – all for free.”

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Being Various: Cover Reveal

Ain’t she pretty?

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My short story ‘The Swimmers’ is in here alongside these wonderful writers – Darren Anderson, Kevin Barry, Jan Carson, Jill Crawford, Wendy Erskine, Nicole Flattery, Yan Ge, Sinead Gleeson, David Hayden, Arja Kajermo, Eimear McBride, Lisa McInerney,  Belinda McKeon, Adrian McKinty, Danielle McLaughlin, Peter Murphy,  Stuart Neville, Louise O’Neill, Sheila Purdy, Elske Rahill, Sally Rooney and Kit de Waal.

Edited by Lucy Caldwell, published by Faber.

Out May 1.

My Christmas Story in The Irish Times

A very short story from me for Christmas in The Irish Times today – ‘Malibu Barbie Christmas’. I hope you enjoy it.

“Síofra wiggles, which is not a good sign as she’s started to wet the bed since the night she told them all to call her Baby Síofra again. Fintain sticks his hand under her bum. Dry as a bone.

“Good girl,” he says, like he’s proper Daddy.

“I’m holding it in for Santa,” says she.”

Head over for a 5 minute read.

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Proofs of ‘Being Various’

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Well, it’s getting close. You can get your hands on this in May 2019.

Lucy Caldwell has edited an anthology of Irish short stories, Being Various, and I was commisioned to take part.

Just look at the line-up!

 

Mine is the second story and I’ve been sent it to proof. Now, I’ve got a couple of little changes – a word here and there – time can bring to the surface some stumbling sentences or words that stand out and tenses that shifted. But I’ve also had second thoughts about the title. Not sure if I can change but I’ll find out soon enough.

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I’m excited because I think it’s one of the best stories I’ve written. I would need to feel that being alongside – Darren Anderson, Kevin Barry, Jan Carson, Jill Crawford, Wendy Erskin, Nicole Flattery, Yan Ge, Sinead Gleeson, David Hayden, Arja Kajermo, Eimear McBride, Lisa McInerney,  Belinda McKeon, Adrian McKinty, Danielle McLaughlin, Peter Murphy,  Stuart Neville, Louise O’Neill, Sheila Purdy, Elske Rahill, Sally Rooney and Kit de Waal.

I’ll let you know more news as I find out.