Listowel Writers’ Week Festival 2018 Programme Released


Guests appearing will include: Edna O’Brien, Colm Tóibín, Margaret Drabble, Anthony Horowitz, Alex Preston, Eimear McBride, Pauline Bewick, Billy Collins, Ruth Fitzmaurice, Carlo Gébler, Jon McGregor, Michael Longley, Colette Bryce, William Sieghart, Louise O’Neill, Julie Parsons, Alex Barclay, Lidia Yuknavitch, David Nihill, Sally Rooney, Mary Morrissy, Gerald Dawe, Eleanor McEvoy, Fergal Keane, Adrian Dunbar, Scarlett Sabet, Rikke Schmidt, Rachael English, John O’Donnell, Caoilinn Hughes, Mark Roper, Brian Kirk, Vincent Browne, Katie Hannon, Mary Kenny, Emer McLysaght, Sarah Breen and Laurence Geary

Listowel Writers’ Week has this week, announced the programme for its 47th Festival, taking place between the 30th May and 3rd June, 2018.

Featuring some of the world’s greatest writers, the Festival events span five days and showcase the latest ideas in the Arts and Current Affairs, alongside a rich schedule of music, theatre, comedy and entertainment for all ages. A galaxy of literary stars will gather to present new work and revisit old favourites. The National Children’s Literary Festival Programme, to be launched next week, will feature a host of writers, storytellers and illustrators to give young readers and writers the opportunity to meet their heroes and get creative.

The festival will be opened by renowned poet Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill on Wednesday 30th May 2018 at 8pm.

Liz Dunn, Chairperson of the Festival said; “The programme this year really does reflect a cornucopia of fantastic events of interest to all readers and writers. I wish I had a Tardis so that I could attend everything on offer! I would urge our visitors to book promptly as I am confident that these events will be booked out early.”

In an age of communication that is increasingly characterised by abbreviated content, Listowel Writers’ Week promotes self-discovery through the long-form, immersive experience whilst offering opportunities for informed conversation and the chance for inspiration to take hold in the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere of the heritage town of Listowel.


Award-winning novelists who will discuss their work include: Edna O’Brien, Colm Tóibín, Margaret Drabble, Anthony Horowitz, Alex Preston, Eimear McBride, Ruth Fitzmaurice, Carlo Gébler, Jon McGregor, Louise O’Neill, Julie Parsons, Alex Barclay, Lidia Yuknavitch, Sally Rooney, Mary Morrissy, Rachael English, Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen.

Shortlisted Kerry Group novelists Sally Rooney, Lisa Harding, Frank McGuinness, Bernard McLaverty and Paul Lynch will attend Opening Night at which one of them will walk away with the prize of €15,000.

Shortlisted Pigott Poetry Poets, Sinead Morrissey, Michael Longley and Colette Bryce will attend Opening Night at which one of them will receive the prize of €8,000

Listowel Writers’ Week were much saddened to learn that the Ennis Book Club Festival was forced to completely cancel their festival this year due to Storm Emma and it was felt that, as a fellow festival, we should extend the hand of camaraderie and invite them to host one of their cancelled events during our own Festival.  As a result, we are thrilled to host a special Ennis Book Club Festival event featuring Sally Rooney and Mary Morrissy on the 31st May.

Recognising the importance of poetry, events will take centre stage featuring Billy Collins, Michael Longley, Colette Bryce, Scarlett Sabet, Caoilinn Hughes, John O’Donnell, Mark Roper and Brian Kirk.

Conversations around Current Affairs and Irish politics will be facilitated by Vincent Browne, Katie Hannon, Michael O’Regan and Rachael English.

The past is to be reimagined and discussed by leading historians and writers including Cathriona Crowe, Fergal Keane, Ciara Breathnach, John Borgonovo and Adrian Dunbar

Health and wellbeing will feature with events hosted by Professor Ian Robertson and on Friday and Saturday, William Sieghart will bring his famous Poetry Pharmacy to the Festival.

Lunchtime Theatre productions will include Two of Clubs, Fruitcake, My Left Nut and two rarely seen John B Keane short plays, Pure of Heart and Backwater

Evening Theatre includes The Good Father, Unforgotten, After Sarah Miles and Rag Man.

There will be book launches from Caoilinn Hughes, John O’Donnell, Gabriel Fitzmaurice and James Finnegan.

Art Exhibitions will feature a major showing of current works by Pauline Bewick and illustrative works by Brenda Fitzmaurice

The Festival will begin each day with a Morning Walk and each themed walk will take a different route around the heritage town of Listowel.

There are many FREE events at Listowel Writers’ Week and these include Wild Voices @ The Library in association with the Writer in Resident at Kerry County Council, Anne Marie Ní Churreáin, Poetry Corners, Literary Pub Trails, outdoor poetry readings, a Pop-Up Gaeltacht and a Cúirt Filíochta.

Tickets for all events will go on sale this Thursday, 12th April from 9am on the website