Interviewing Anne Enright

Anne Enright in Conversation

I’m excited to interview Man Booker Prize Winner Anne Enright for the second time, this time on home turf. The first time was in Waterstones Piccadilly for Word Factory earlier this year. We also sat on some panels together whilst at a literature festival in Morges, Switzerland.


Next February 9th, I’ll be interviewing her at the Seamus Heaney Homeplace, here’s the blurb…

‘Booker Prize-winning novelist Anne Enright is one of the most celebrated writers working in Ireland today. Her work is part of a great tradition of Irish writing that explores themes of family life, relationships, love, repression and memory.

Enright won the 2007 Booker Prize for her novel The Gathering, a story about the pull of family and the lure of home. Her first novel was The Wig My Father Wore and subsequent works have included What Are You Like?, The Forgotten Waltz and her most recent The Green Road. Her awards also include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Encore Award and the Irish Novel of the Year.

From 2015 to 2018 she was the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction and we are delighted to welcome her to The Helicon where she will talk about her work and career with Paul McVeigh.’

Come along, it should be a wonderful night.

A Writer’s Life For Me

It’s been quite a week!

I flew to London last Thursday to teach a class The Author & Social Media and to read at an event A Novel Affair, both at the Irish Cultural Centre. It was a great class, and the event went really well – after readings from the authors, there was a long and interesting Q&A from the audience made up of writers.


Alan McMonagle and me

On Friday I interviewed Booker-winner Anne Enright at the biggest bookshop in Europe, Waterstones Piccadilly. The packed event was a real insight to Enright’s writing process and I’ve never heard her read so well.

Anne Enright and me

After a sold-out class in Lewes on Saturday I went to Brighton where The Good Son was the City Reads and to see old friends.

I was back in London on Monday for meetings with my old pal and BBC National Short Story Award-winner KJ Orr and my agent Carrie Kania.

On Tuesday I went Swansea in Wales for the shortlisting meeting for the Dylan Thomas Prize and got to meet some of the panel. The next day I taught at Swansea University before flying back to Belfast.


It’s wonderful traveling around doing interesting work and meeting fascinating people but there are times when a night in your own bed is priceless. So, after a day at home I’m heading off now to Dublin for the weekend. I’m delighted to be reading at The Franco-Irish Literary Festival with events taking place at the Alliance Francaise and Dublin Castle. You can download the programme and come along to see Rob Doyle, Lisa McInerney and Anne Enright – the events are free!

You can check my other upcoming events in the flyer below. Come up and say hello!

March-June 2018

Interviewing Anne Enright in London

Last year I had the honour of sharing the stage with Anne Enright at Le Livre Sur les Quais in Switzerland last year. This St Patrick’s Eve I’ll be interviewing her live on stage in London for Word Factory. More info below…

anne enrighgt


SPECIAL EVENT – An Evening with Anne Enright

On the eve of St Patrick’s Day, meet one of the most celebrated literary figures of our age. Man Booker prize winner Anne Enright is the Laureate for Irish Fiction, an acclaimed novelist, short story writer and essayist. Her books include The Wig My Father Wore, The Gathering and The Portable Virgin. In this one-off London event, reading new work commissioned by Word Factory for the Change Maker series, Anne will explore the boundaries of short fiction in new work and her writing life, in conversation with Word Factory associate director Paul McVeigh. Paul, who lives in Belfast, is author of the acclaimed The Good Son, set in the Northern Ireland of the 1970’s.


Salon limited to 80 places.

Date and Time

Fri 16 March 2018

19:00 – 20:30 GMT

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203-206 Piccadilly



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Those Killer First Chapters: July 2

Those Killer First Chapters: How to grip your reader right from the beginning. Get the attention of literary agents and editors. Literary agent Carrie Kania will give her insights and will read your submission letter when you’re ready.

Simon van Booy will pop in to answer your questions on getting attention on both sides of the Atlantic – for novels, short stories and non-fiction.

Free entry into the evening salon and a copy of The Good Son. Saturday July 2 Waterstones Piccadilly.

More info here.

New Book Cover

Currently finalist for The People’s Book Prize & longlisted for The Polari Prize
Chosen as
Brighton’s City Reads 2016
Shortlisted: The Guardian’s
‘Not The Booker’ Prize
The Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award
ELLE Magazine
Best Books of 2015
The Irish Independent Top Reads of 2015
One of
The Reading Agency Staff Picks Best of 2015
Wales Arts Review –
Fiction of the Year
Number 1 Beach Read
The Pool
Gransnet Best Christmas Read for 2015
Savidge Reads and Pam Reader Blogs Books of the Year

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

My class ‘Those Killer First Chapters: Getting the attention of agents and editors’ is back. Waterstones Piccadilly, London, July 2.

My class ‘Those Killer First Chapters: Getting the attention of agents and editors’ is back. Waterstones Piccadilly, London, July 2.

Thank you and congratulations Felicia Yap: “I attended Paul’s workshop two weeks before I went on submission. A truly enjoyable day and I learnt a lot. Sometimes, a single technical idea can make a real difference to our journeys as writers. I came away from Paul’s workshop with not one but several exciting possibilities. And yes, THE DAY AFTER YESTERDAY did get lots of attention merely two weeks later!” Selling for a 6 figure sum.

Click for more information and tickets.

Just 2 Places Left for Sat Feb 6

Just two places left for my class this Saturday Feb 6 in the beautiful Waterstones Piccadilly, London. Come to the biggest bookshop in Europe and learn about starting your novel off and getting those all important first killer chapters ready for submission to editors and agents. I’ll be joined by literary agent Carrie Kania who will be giving her tips too!

You can buy your tickets here.

City Reads

‘Those Killer First Chapters’ London, Feb 6

I’m teaching a new class. Here’s the details. I hope to see some of you there.

Those Killer First Chapters – Getting the attention of agents and editors

Waterstones Piccadilly, Saturday, 6 February 2016 from 10:00 to 17:00.


How to launch your novel

What a first chapter tells us

Writing fiction with emotional impact

How to show AND tell

Talking to your reader

Using Dialogue

Getting the attention of agents & editors

About Paul

Paul McVeigh’s debut novel ‘The Good Son’ was shortlisted for The Guardian’s ‘Not the Booker Prize’. It was a Gransnet Christmas read, Wales Arts Review Pick of the Year and one of ELLE Magazine’s Books of 2015 alongside Anne Enright and Ali Smith. This debut novel is on its second print, the audio book is about to be released and rights have been sold to France and Germany.

Paul’s short fiction has been published in journals and anthologies and been commissioned by BBC Radio 4 and read on Radio 5. He is co-founder of London Short Story Festival and Associate Director at Word Factory, the UK’s leading short story literary salon. He is also been a reader and judge for national and international writing competitions. Currently, he’s judging The Penny Dreadful Novella Prize alongside Guardian First Book Award-winner Colin Barrett and Costa shortlisted Sara Baume,


“Heartbreaking, gripping” The Guardian – “Excellent” The Independent – “Funny, moving, poignant. Brilliant.” Metro

“Darkly hilarious. One of the most charming and edearing characters I’ve come across in a long while.” ELLE Magazine

“Funny, shot through with streaks of aching sadness.” Patrick Gale

“A work of genius from a splendid writer.” Pulizter Prize-winning short story writer Robert Olen Butler.

“Absolutely loved it. The voice of that story so arresting.” Jackie Kay

“Beautiful and very moving.” Booker shortlisted Alison Moore

“(one of) Ireland’s most exciting and talented writers.  Incredibly moving; poignant but utterly real, funny and beautifully observant.” BBC Radio

You can read more here.

Paul’s ‘That Killer First Page’ class on submitting short stories to journals and competitions has sold out in Bath, Belfast, Brighton, Cork, London and Melbourne.

Comments on Paul’s classes:

“Practical, insightful application of knowledge to writing.”
“Fantastic! Practical, targeted advice like this is wonderful!”
“This was my fav course yet! Informative, entertaining, and engaging. Hard to beat!”

Places are limited. Book here.

*For concessions please contact Paul

Paul McVeigh, author

17 August 2014, London



The Good Son – Sold out!

Howdy folks! The great news is that The Good Son has sold out and is going to a new print run – Huzzah! There aren’t many copies around. Amazon and my publishers Salt have sold out, as are Easons Bookshops in Northern Ireland.

There are some you can order from Waterstones bookshop in Piccadilly, Waterstones online  and Blackwells online. And of course still available on your Kindle/Reader.

If you already have your copy you’re now in possession of the First Edition! Thanks for making The Good Son a big success.




Looking Like a Pro – Reading Live

Reading for Word Factory at Waterstones Piccadilly this week was a whole lot of fun. It was great to read alongside friends and colleagues. I can remember only a couple of years ago being so terrified I stopped reading and froze after just a few lines. Now I look like a pro.


The ceiling was bouncing from the music and dancing above and below there were readings from authors such as Booker Prize-winner Marlon James. Lots to distract and get nervous about.


I say look like a pro because I never feel like one. I think it’s all a confidence trick. Just pretend you’re a pro and see what happens. Readings can be funny things – a mixture of ‘can’t wait for my turn’ and ‘please let me disappear’. My legs were shaking so badly I had to keep shifting from my front leg to my back leg so they didn’t give way completely. I couldn’t stand still or both legs. On the other hand – or rather, the top half – I was giving it my all. If I’m totally honest I was showing off. I got lots of great feedback from people who had seen me read before and no-one noticed. Not one. That’ll do for me. And I really enjoyed it.


One great piece of advice you’re given is that when reading you should make an effort to look up from the page. It drives the energy out, the audience see more of your ‘performance’ and with some eye contact they become more engaged. And I just found out – by looking up you could catch some images like this… people really having a good laugh. Strong and genuine reactions to your work.

Thanks to James Lawson for the pics. A video of the reading is coming soon… yikes!