Authors 2019


Suad Aldarra is a Syrian Data Scientist and Lead of Techfugees Chapter in Ireland. She studied and worked as a Software Engineer in Damascus until her life changed with the Syrian conflict and was forced to leave the country by the end of 2012 heading to Egypt. In 2014, she moved to Ireland to start a new life where she worked with Fujitsu Ireland and then UNICEF Innovation office. Today, Suad holds a Master’s degree in Data Analytics from NUI, Galway. Her project, won Techfugees Global Challenges Awards 2018 and is a finalist at the European DatSci & AI Awards 2019.


Sharon ArbuthnotSharon Arbuthnot is a Senior Researcher at Queen’s University Belfast and an expert on lexicography and medieval glossaries. She has published widely on medieval Irish language and literature and her research includes an edition of ‘The Fitness of Names’ (Cóir Anmann) relating the stories of how many early Irish heroes got their names.





Kevin Barry is the author of three novels and two story collections.  He also writes plays and screenplays. He lives in Co Sligo.




Boland, Rosita, credit Brenda FitzsimonRosita Boland is a senior features writer at the Irish Times, specialising in human interest stories. She was a 2009 Nieman Fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. She won ‘Journalist of the Year’ at the 2018 Newsbrands Ireland journalism awards.




Niamh Boyce - main author pic - high resNiamh Boyce was named Newcomer of the Year at the 2013 Irish Book Awards for The Herbalist, her first novel (‘The most entertaining yet substantial historical novel since Joseph O’Connor’s Star of the Sea’ Irish Times) which was also a Number One bestseller. She won the 2012 Hennesssy XO New Irish Writer Of The Year Award and Emerging Poetry Award for her poem ‘Kitty’. Her short fiction has been widely published in anthologies. Her Kind is her second novel.




Michael BranaganMichael Branagan is an historian and author with a BA in History and English, and an MA in History. He lives in Dublin. Extensive research work for this title has been facilitated through the support of Dublin Port Authority.





Declan Burke author picDeclan Burke is the author of six novels. Eightball Boogie (2003), Absolute Zero Cool (2011) and Slaughter’s Hound (2012) were shortlisted in the crime fiction section for the Irish Book Awards. Absolute Zero Cool won the Goldsboro Award in 2012. He is also the editor of Down These Green Streets (2011) and Trouble is Our Business (2016), and the co-editor, with John Connolly, of Books to Die For (2013), which won the Anthony Award for Best Non-Fiction Crime. The Lammisters, a comic novel, is published by No Alibis Press.




James Butler author picJames Butler’s background is in education and drama. He holds an MPhil in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin. For many years he taught in a school in Tallaght, setting up a theatre group who went on to write plays performed in the Civic Theatre. In 2005 his first play for children, Stuck in the Mud, was nominated for an Irish Times Theatre Award. In 2011 his play for teenagers The Teen Commandments was included in the Trinity College London Anthology of Award Winning Plays. In 2016 his radio play The Carpet Clown was produced by RTÉ Drama On One as part of The PJ O’Connor Awards. His latest play, Scattered, explores the transition made by children from primary school to secondary, and was performed in Clonmel in 2018.

Dangerous Games is his first novel. It is for young teenagers (12+), and will appeal especially to boys.


Carson, Jan, credit Jonathan RyderJan Carson (Belfast Stories, Doire Press) is a writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast. Her first novel, Malcolm Orange Disappears, was published in 2014 to critical acclaim, followed by a short story collection, Children’s Children (2016), and a flash fiction anthology, Postcard Stories (2017). Her work has appeared in numerous journals and on BBC Radio 3 and 4. In 2016 she won the Harper’s Bazaar short story competition and was shortlisted for the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize. She specializes in running arts projects and events with older people, especially those living with dementia. The Fire Starters is her second novel.


LorcanCollinsheadshotLorcan Collins was born and raised in Dublin. He founded the popular 1916 Walking Tour ( He is co-author of The Easter Rising: A Guide to Dublin in 1916 (2000), creator and co-editor of the 16 Lives series of books and author of James Connolly (2012) and 1916: The Rising Handbook (2016). His latest book Ireland’s War of Independence 1919-21: The IRA’s Guerrilla Campaign was published in Spring 2019.



coverWriter Lucy Costigan and photographer Michael Cullen are from Wexford. Their previous collaboration, Strangest Genius: The Stained Glass of Harry Clarke, was shortlisted for Best Irish-Published Book of the year by the Irish Book Awards in 2010 and for Book of the Decade by Dublin Book Festival in 2016.





Caitríona DalyCaitríona Daly is a playwright from Dublin. She is a graduate from The Lir Academy and the Royal Court’s Young Playwrights Programme and an alumnus of the Irish Theatre Institute’s Six in the Attic initiative. Her plays have been produced both nationally and internationally. Most recently she was nominated for the Fishamble New Writing Award in 2017 and an Irish Times Theatre Award for Best New Play in 2016. She is currently under commission with Fishamble: The New Play Company.



Image Border Editor: file, drámadóir, scriptscríbhneoir, aistritheoir agus leabhrógaí í Celia de Fréine a scríobhann i nGaeilge agus i mBéarla. I measc na ngradam atá buaite aici dá cuid filíochta tá Duais Patrick Kavanagh (1994) agus Gradam Litríochta Chló Iar-Chonnacht (2004). Ocht gcnuasach filíochta atá foilsithe aici go dtí seo. Is iad cuir amach seo dom : riddle me this (Arlen House, 2014), Blood Debts (Scotus Press, 2014) agus A lesson in Can’t (Scotus Press, 2014) na leabhair is deireanaí óna peann. Is duine de chomhbhunaitheoirí Umbrella Theatre Company í, an compántas a léirigh Luíse, dráma bunaithe ar shaol Luíse Ghabhánach Ní Dhufaigh in 2016. Tuilleadh eolais: Bhí a leabhar Luíse Ghabhánach Ní Dhufaigh: CEANNRÓDAÍ ar Ghearrliosta na Irish Book Awards do Ghradam Love Leabhar Gaeilge 2018 agus bhuaigh sé Duais Leabhar Taighde na Bliana an American Conference for Irish Studies (ACIS) 2018.

Celia de Fréine is a multi-faceted writer who writes in both Irish and English. She has been awarded many accolades for her poetry and scriptwriting and her plays have been staged regularly. Eight of her poetry collections have been published to date, including riddle me this (Arlen House, 2014), Blood Debts (Scotus Press, 2014) and A lesson in Can’t (Scotus Press, 2014). LeabhairCOMHAR published her dramatic version of Cúirt an Mheán Oíche/The Midnight Court by Brian Merriman in 2017. She is co-founder of Umbrella Theatre company, the company which presented Luíse, a play based on the lifeof Louise Gavan Duffy, in 2016/2017. Luíse Ghabhánach Ní Dhufaigh: Ceannródaí [Pioneer], her first prose publication, was awarded the Reference Book of the Year in the American Conference for Irish Studies (ACIS) last year.


Patrick DeeleyPatrick Deeley is a poet, memoirist and children’s writer from Loughrea, County Galway. He is a full-time writer, having taken early retirement from his post as administrative principal of a primary school in Ballyfermot, Dublin in 2012. He worked as a member of the Council of Poetry Ireland from 1984 to 1989. His seven collections with Dedalus Press are: Intimate Strangers (1986); Names for Love (1990); Turane: The Hidden Village (1995); Decoding Samara (2000); The Bones of Creation (2008); Groundswell: New and Selected (2013) and The End of the World (2019). He won the American-based Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for 2019.  Other awards include the inaugural Dermot Healy International Poetry Prize in 2014, the WOW 2 Award for 2015, a merit award as runner-up in The Patrick Kavanagh Competition (1981) and Bursaries in Literature for 1999 and 2017 from The Arts Council of Ireland.  His poem ‘Woodman’ was selected as one of Ireland’s 100 Favourite Poems following a survey by The Irish Times in 2001.  His poems have been translated to French, Italian, Spanish, Ukranian and other languages.  A selection of poems, Territoire/Territory appeared from Alidades Press in 2010.  Le Ossa della Creazione was published by Kolibris Edizione in 2011.

His writing has featured in leading literary journals in Ireland, the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, including The Rialto, Irish Pages, The Stinging Fly, Poetry Ireland Review, French Literary Review, Arc Poetry Journal, Envoi, Chapman, The Literary Review, The Atlanta Review, The Guardian and The Daily Mail, and in numerous other literary outlets as well as on RTE Radio and Television.  The RTE Radio documentary series, The Poet and the Place, dedicated a programme to his work, as did RTE TV’s The Poet’s Eye. His best-selling, critically acclaimed memoir, The Hurley Maker’s Son, published by Transworld in 2016, was chosen by The Irish Times, Eason Books, The Pat Kenny Show and other outlets as their Book Choice of the Month, and was featured on RTE’s Today with Seán  O’Rourke and BBC Radio 4’s Midweek, as well as being shortlisted for the 2016 Irish Non-fiction Book of the Year Award. His books for children, published by O’Brien Press, include The Lost Orchard, winner of The Bisto Book Award and The Eilis Dillon Book of the Year Award in 2001.

Contact Patrick Deeley at MOB 0857759585 or


donleavy magArticleJames Patrick ‘Mike’ Donleavy (1926–2017) was born to Irish immigrants in Brooklyn, New York, and was raised in The Bronx. He later enlisted and served in the US Navy and in 1946 went to Trinity College Dublin on the GI Bill. He later became an Irish citizen and settled along the shores of Lough Owel near Mullingar in County Westmeath. Donleavy published more than twenty books during his lifetime including The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B (1968), A Fairy Tale of New York (1973), The Onion Eaters (1971) and Schultz (1979), along with several works of non-fiction such as The Unexpurgated Code: A Complete Manual of Survival and Manners (1975). His most famous work The Ginger Man (1955) has, as Brendan Behan forecast, gone around the world. Never out of print in English, this book has been translated into two dozen languages, including Mandarin, and has sold more than 45 million copies worldwide. Donleavy’s final finished novel, A Letter Marked Personal, has recently been published by The Lilliput Press.


peter donnellyPeter Donnelly is an award-winning illustrator and picturebook maker. He has illustrated many books in both Irish and English including the very successful series Questions and Answers about Space, Food and World History for Usborne Publishing.

His first self-penned picturebook The President’s Glasses was a number one best-seller and was shortlisted for a Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book of the Year Award in 2017. Peter’s new book The President’s Cat was published in September by Gill Books.




Rob Doyle B&W-9388Rob Doyle’s debut novel Here Are The Young Men won wide critical acclaim when it was first published by The Lilliput Press in 2014. His fiction, essays, and criticism have appeared in The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Stinging Fly, The Dublin Review, Gorse, The Moth and The Penny Dreadful amongst others. Doyle’s work has also appeared on RTÉ national radio and the BBC World Service and has been translated into French and Serbian. He studied Philosophy and Psychoanalysis at Trinity College Dublin and currently lives in Berlin, Germany. His new novel Threshold will be published by Bloomsbury in January.


25/11/2014. - STAFF H&S - byline pic - Martin Doyle, The Irish Times. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times Dara Mac Donaill Dara MacDonaillMartin Doyle is Books Editor of The Irish Times, which he joined in 2007. He started his career in London in 1990 with The Irish World. He joined The Irish Post as a reporter in 1992 and rose to become Editor before moving in 2001 to The Times. He edited A History of The Irish Post, which was published in 2000 to mark the newspaper’s 30th anniversary. A native of Banbridge, Co Down, he is a graduate of the University of St Andrews in Scotland, where he studied French and German. He was an extra in Father Ted and is still dining out on it.



Adrian DuncanAdrian Duncan is an Irish visual artist who originally trained as a structural engineer. His short-form fiction has appeared in The Stinging Fly, Gorse, The Moth, The Dublin Review and Meridian (US), amongst others. His feature film, ‘Floating Structures’ on Irish engineer Peter Rice, co-directed with Feargal Ward, premiered at this year’s Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival. He also recently co-directed a music video with Feargal for Joy Division’s Day of the Lords as part of their Unknown Pleasures Reimagined project. Adrian currently lives in Berlin, Germany, where he continues to write.


christine dwyer hickeyChristine Dwyer Hickey is a novelist and short story writer. She has published 8 novels, one collection of short stories and a full-length play. Her latest novel is The Narrow Land published by Atlantic UK earlier this year. Her novel The Cold Eye of Heaven won the Kerrygroup Novel of the Year in 2012 and she has been nominated and shortlisted for various prizes over the years including the Orange Prize and the Impac award. She has won several short story awards the most recent of which was the Irish Short Story of the Year in 2017 at the Irish Book Awards. Her work has been widely translated into European and Arabic languages and she is a member of Aosdana.




wendy erskine 1 portraitWendy Erskine’s work has been published in various magazines and anthologies and has been broadcast on RTÉ Radio One and BBC Radio 4. Sweet Home, her critically acclaimed debut collection of stories, was published in Ireland in 2018 by The Stinging Fly Press and in the UK in 2019 by Picador. It is currently shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize having previously been long-listed for the Gordon Burn Prize and shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize.




Oisin-Fagan-e1478548654153Oisín Fagan has had short fiction published in The Stinging Fly, with work featured in the Irish Museum of Modern Art. In 2016, he won the inaugural Penny Dreadful Novella Prize for The Hierophants. Hostages, his debut collection, was also published in 2016 by New Island and in 2018 by Head of Zeus. His debut novel, Nobber, was released by JM Originals in July, 2019.




DBF-2019-EventImages-600x900.inddLinda Fährlin is a visual artist. She is a member of Illustrators Ireland, Illustrators Guild of Ireland and the Association of Illustrators UK.






BryanFanningBryan Fanning is Professor of Migration and Social Policy at University College Dublin. He has published extensively on immigration and social change in Ireland. His previous books include Racism and Social Change in the Republic of Ireland, Histories of the Irish Future, Irish Adventures in Nation Building and as editor, Studies: An Irish Century 1912–2012.





JenniferFarleyJennifer Farley is an illustrator and designer. She draws pictures for children’s books, maps, apps, t-shirts, graphics for websites and promotional events. She is a member and previously a director of Illustrators Ireland. Jennifer has a master’s degree in Design and has been teaching Photoshop, Illustrator and Design Theory for over 14 years. Jennifer is the author and illustrator of Island of Adventures which was published in 2018. She is the illustrator for the upcoming book Shooting for the Stars by Norah Patten. Jennifer is originally from Dublin, but is now living the country life with her husband and their two dogs, Otto and Juno.




Liam Fennelly photoLiam Fennelly is Co-author of Countdown To Launch (Oak Tree Press), the highly-recommended manual for start-ups based on the BMAP process. He is a chartered engineer and holds an MBA from Warwick Business School. He has over 40 years’ experience working for multinational and Irish businesses. A serial entrepreneur, he has been involved at founder/director level in seven start-ups. These have included technical sales and service, real estate, import and distribution, master franchising, digital media and training. A mentor and business consultant for over 15 years, he is a former three-term president of the MBA Association of Ireland




Gabriel-FitzmauriceGabriel Fitzmaurice was born, in 1952, in the village of Moyvane, Co. Kerry where he still lives. For over 30 years he taught in the local primary school from which he retired as principal in 2007. He is author of more than 60 books, including collections of poetry in English and Irish as well as several collections of verse for children. He has translated extensively from the Irish and has edited a number of anthologies of poetry in English and Irish. He has published volumes of essays and collections of songs and ballads. Poems of his have been set to music and recorded by Brian Kennedy and performed by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. He frequently broadcasts on radio and television on culture and the arts.



MarieLouiseFitzpatrick2Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick is a celebrated Irish author and illustrator for children. She has won ten CBI Awards, including four for Book of the Year. First published in 1991, The Sleeping Giant won the Bisto Award for Best Picture Book and quickly became a bestseller and a beloved classic. Marie-Louise has written and illustrated many children’s books, including The Sleeping Giant, There, You, Me and the Big Blue Sea, Izzy and Skunk, I’m a Tiger Too, I am I, The New Kid and Owl Bat Bat Owl.




Writer Nicole Flattery. Photographed by Conor Horgan in Paris, December 2017. Single use no fee.Nicole Flattery’s stories have been published in The Irish Times, The Dublin Review, The White Review, Winter Papers, The Letters Page and The Stinging Fly. She is a recipient of a Next Generation Artists’ Award from the Arts Council and The White Review Short Story Prize. Originally from Mullingar, Nicole now lives in Galway. Show Them A Good Time, her first collection of stories, was published by The Stinging Fly Press (Ireland) and Bloomsbury (UK) earlier this year.




Erin Fornoff Aug 2017-7197 (1)Erin Fornoff, an American-born Irish citizen from the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina.  She has performed her poetry at hundreds of festivals and events across Ireland, UK, and the USA, including three times at Glastonbury Festival and two national Irish tours with poet Hollie McNish. She has featured on BBC3 The Verb with Phillip Pullman, at Hozier and James Taylor concerts, and performed a commissioned piece on the cultural revitalisation of Ireland for RTE Arena’s Culture Night at Dublin Castle.  Her poem ‘Hymn to the Reckless’ featured on posters and curriculum nationwide for Ireland’s National Poetry Day. Her work has featured in Best English and Irish Poets 2016, and won the Stanza Slam and Listowel Originals Competition. She was included in the 2014 Poetry Ireland Introductions Series and released a chapbook, ‘Folk Heroes,’ the same year. Her debut collection Hymn to the Reckless (Dedalus Press 2017) was shortlisted for the Shine/Strong Award for best first collection and named by The Millions as a ‘Must Read.’ She received an Arts Council bursary for her first novel and has an MPhil with Distinction in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin.


Patrick freynePatrick Freyne is a writer of journalism, essays and stories. He works for the Irish Times and his work has appeared in the Dublin Review and Banshee. A collection of his essays will be published by Penguin Ireland in 2020.





SFA 2018 Picture Conor McCabe Photography Sean Gallagher. A recognised champion of business, Sean has over the past 20 years mentored hundreds of start-up and emerging entrepreneurs. He founded a number of companies in technology, commercial real estate and consulting, been an investor in ‘Dragon’s Den’ (‘Shark Tank’ in the USA), a finalist in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards and was a runner-up in the 2011 Irish presidential election. Sean was previously appointed by the Irish Government to the boards of FÁS (the country’s national employment and training agency) and Intertrade Ireland, which promotes economic co-operation across Ireland where he served as Chair of the board’s Equity Network Initiative helping to promote venture capital and business angel investment in early-stage businesses.



John Gibney picJohn Gibney received his doctorate from Trinity College Dublin and is DFAT 100 Project Coordinator with the Royal Irish Academy’s Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series. He has lectured at Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin and has been a research fellow at the University of Notre Dame and NUI Galway. He has written widely on early modern and modern Irish history, and his books include A Short History of Ireland, 1500–2000 (Yale University Press, 2018).




Anne GriffinAnne Griffin is the winner of the John McGahern Award for Literature.  Shortlisted for the Hennessey New Irish Writing Award and The Sunday Business Post Short Story Competition, Anne’s work has been featured in, amongst others, The Irish Times and The Stinging Fly.  She’s worked in Waterstones branches in both Dublin and London, and for various charities. Born in Dublin, Anne now lives in Mullingar, Ireland, with her husband and son.  When All is Said is her debut novel.




SarahGriffinSarah Maria Griffin‘s first novel, Spare and Found Parts, was published by Titan Books in Spring 2018 and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards that year. Her second, Other Words For Smoke, arrived in April 2019. Her collection of essays about emigration, Not Lost, was published by New Island Press in 2013. Her nonfiction has appeared in Winter Papers, Guts, The Stinging Fly and The Irish Times. She was the recipient of an Arts Council Bursary for Literature in 2017 and 2018, and is a winner of the European Science Fiction Chrysalis Award. She was the Writer in Residence in Maynooth University in 2017/18, the DLR Writer In Residence in 2018/19. She is presently developing a high-fantasy series of novels for the music festival, Tomorrowland – and her work was featured as part of the 2019 festival’s theme, The Book of Wisdom. She tweets @griffski.



meg grehan author picMeg Grehan is a young writer originally from County Louth but now hiding away in Donegal in the northwest of Ireland, with a very ginger girlfriend, an even more ginger dog and an undisclosed number of cats (none of whom is ginger). She has written for online newspapers and journals such as The Arcade.

Her first book, The Space Between, a verse novel for the YA audience, won the Eilis Dillon award at the 2018 Children’s Books Ireland awards. She is currently studying Film and likes cake and rain; dislikes going outside – which makes the rain a bit difficult to appreciate to the full. Her latest book, The Deepest Breath, also in verse, is for a younger age group and, like The Space Between, deals with LGBT issues in a gentle and empathetic way


Hugo HamiltonHugo Hamilton is the author of nine novels, two memoirs and a collection of short stories. His work has won several international awards, including the 1992 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the 2003 French Prix Femina Etranger, the 2004 Italian Premio Giuseppe Berto and a DAAD scholarship in Berlin. He has also worked as a writer-in-residence at Trinity College, Dublin. Hamilton was born and lives in Dublin




Katie HannonKatie Hannon is the presenter of RTÉ Radio 1’s Late Debate. She has worked in RTÉ news and current affairs, as Prime Time Political Correspondent, and this summer has been a regular reporter on RTÉ Radio 1’s Drivetime. In November 2018, Katie Hannon’s documentary Whistleblower: The Maurice McCabe Story aired on RTÉ One.  At the annual Women in Media Event Katie was named as the recipient of the Mary Cummins Award for Outstanding Journalism at the Women in Media Conference in Ballybunion, Co Kerry in April of 2019. Maurice and Lorraine McCabe were among those to pay tribute to her during the awards.

Since joining Prime Time as a reporter in 2004 she has covered a wide variety of issues including major investigations into banking, failures in child protection, vaccine trials in children’s homes and most notably the Garda whistleblower controversies. She has won the Irish Goods Council Young Journalist of the Year, the John Healy National Print Award as well as the ‘Story of the Year’ in the 2012 GSK Medical Media Awards and 2017 Justice Media Award for television news. She is the author of ‘The Naked Politician’, an account of the reality of life in the trenches of Irish politics, published in 2004.


Shane Hegarty photoShane Hegarty is a children’s author. His Darkmouth fantasy-adventure series has been translated into over a dozen languages and is being adapted for a big screen animation. The first in his new series Boot – about a lost toy robot – is out now. He says The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the biggest influence on his writing. That and coffee.




ronanhession1Rónán Hession is an Irish writer based in Dublin. His debut novel Leonard and Hungry Paul was published by Bluemoose Books in March 2019 and was selected for the BBC Radio 2 Book Club and the Rick O’Shea Book Club. Leonard and Hungry Paul is due to be published in the US and Canada in 2020 by Melville House Books.

As Mumblin’ Deaf Ro, he has released three albums of storytelling songs. His third album Dictionary Crimes was nominated for the Choice Music Prize for Irish album of the year.



Caelainn HoganCaelainn Hogan was born in Dublin in 1988, and grew up a stone’s throw from Ireland’s biggest holding centre for adoptions. Her journalism has featured in The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, The New Yorker, VICE magazine, The Guardian, Al Jazeera English, The Irish Times and The Dublin Review. Republic of Shame is her first book.




David HoranDavid Horan is a theatre director and playwright. He is the Artistic Director of Bewley’s Café Theatre and a core Acting Tutor at The Lir Academy. Most recently, he co-wrote and co-directed CLASS with Iseult Golden, which played the Bush Theatre in London, won an Edinburgh Fringe First and a ZeBBie Award from the Writers Guild of Ireland for Best Theatre Script in 2018.





Gill Publishers - Team headshots - Photography by Ruth Medjber www.ruthlessimagery.comNicki Howard is Director of Gill Books, which is part of Gill, Ireland’s largest publisher and distributor. The company’s origins date back to 1856 when M.H. Gill & Son, whose portfolio included printing and bookselling, was founded in Dublin. The bookshop, which stood on O’Connell Street for 123 years, is referenced in James Joyce’s Ulysses. After the recent buyout of the Macmillan shareholding, Gill is once again a fully Irish-owned, independent company.

Nicki began her publishing career in New York 20 years ago working on children’s properties including R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps and Mary-Kate and Ashely Olsen. At Gill Books, Nicki oversees the publication of a bestselling and award-winning list which includes biography, cookery, history, current affairs, MBS, gift books, reference and lifestyle. She has recently led the expansion of Gill Books by entering the children’s and fiction markets with titles including Irelandopedia, The President’s Glasses, Oh My God What a Complete Aisling and The Gospel According to Blindboy. Nicki also sits on the Gill Executive board and the board of Publishing Ireland.


BobJohnstonBob Johnston is the owner of The Gutter Bookshop in Temple Bar and Dalkey. He has worked as a bookseller for the last 30 years including jobs as an events manager for Waterstone’s, and as the head office book buyer for chains including Hughes & Hughes and Blackwell’s UK. When he’s not selling books, he’s either reading them or talking about them





Madeleine KeaneMadeleine Keane is an editor, lecturer and award-winning travel journalist. She was educated at UCD and Trinity. She worked in the editorial departments of Irish Tatler, Image Magazine and the publishing house Chatto & Windus. She joined the Sunday Independent in 1988 and has been its Literary Editor for the last 18 years. She co-founded the Irish Book Awards and curated two writers’ festivals.

She also presented a books programme for RTE TV (‘First Edition’) and has written a non-fiction careers guide for teenagers (What Will I Be? Mercier Press 1995). She was a member of the steering committee for the successful Dublin City of Literature Unesco bid. She regularly writes about books, theatre and travel. She has broadcast on tv and radio about books and publishing and presents at literary festivals and events. She lectures on writing at UCD and the Irish Writers’ Centre.


Sara Keating is a writer, storyteller and cultural journalist. She writes a monthly review column for The Irish Times, and a weekly theatre column for the Sunday Business Post. She is Associate Writer with the dlr Mountains to Sea Book Festival for 2019.


DBF-2019-EventImages-600x900.inddThroughout Paul Kelly’s childhood his father, Patrick Kelly, sent John Hinde postcards to him in California when he was visiting the land of his youth. By the time he was nine, Paul was accompanying his father on these trips, and developed his own love of Ireland. His father died in 2015, and in 2018, Paul came back to live in Ireland with his family. Return to Sender is his tribute to John Hinde, whose jewel-bright Ireland was the stuff of his childhood dreams. It’s also a tribute to his father.




Louise KennedyLouise Kennedy is a PhD candidate at Queens University Belfast where she is completing a thesis is entitled ‘Journey Out of Print: The Life and Writing of Norah Hoult (1898-1984)’. Louise’s own writing has won prizes and been published in journals such as The Stinging Fly, The Tangerine and Banshee. She is short-listed for the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 2019.




thomas kilroy hanvey photgraphThomas Kilroy is one of Ireland’s most distinguished living playwrights. He wrote his coming of age memoir, Over the Backyard Wall: A Memory Book, after having a cataract operation which shocked his memory into being and imparted him with a uniquely tactile and sensuous perception of his own past.




TarsilaKruseTarsila Krüse is an award-winning children’s book illustrator born in Brazil and based in Dublin, passionate about languages, books and drawing (and pistachio ice-cream). Her favourite things to draw are people and animals, especially dogs! She loves visiting schools and libraries and facilitating illustration workshops around the country. Tarsila has several picture books published as Gaeilge and in English., @tarsilakruse



2.8.13 Dublin. Dr Leeann Lane. Photo by Derek SpeirsLeeann Lane is a lecturer in the School of History and Geography, Dublin City University. She is author of Rosamond Jacob: Third Person Singular (UCD Press 2010). She is a member of the Expert Advisory Group on Centenaries appointed by the government in 2012.





Aine Lawlor 030Aine Lawlor joined RTÉ in September 1984 as a trainee journalist, working on a number of radio and television programmes. She then became a reporter/presenter in January 1988, eventually leading to her becoming a presenter on Morning Ireland which she joined in 1995 and presented for over 17 years. She has worked on The Pat Kenny Show, Today at 5, RTÉ 2fm News and a variety of television programmes, including The Nature of Things, Tuesday File and as narrator for the highly-acclaimed series on clerical sexual abuse in Irish institutions, States of Fear.

She was awarded Best News Broadcaster of the Year at the prestigious PPI Radio Awards in October 2012 and went on to be inducted into the PPI Hall of Fame in 2014. In August 2013, she joined RTÉ’s flagship lunchtime radio news programme News at One as alternating presenter and was also appointed as presenter of The Week in Politics on RTÉ One television. In November 2013, she presented a two-part documentary Facing Cancer which followed her as she re-traced the steps of her journey to overcome breast cancer. She has also recently presented Big Week on the Farm, Ploughing Live and Bloom Live on RTÉ One. She is married to Ian Wilson, and they have four children.


Pat LiddyPat Liddy founded a large walking tour company in 2004, Pat Liddy’s Walking Tours of Dublin, which brings thousands of visitors annually to many of the famous as well as the not so well-known quarters of the city. On a regular basis Pat leads historic walks in the very popular Walk & Talk series, an initiative of Dublin City Council. In May 2011, Pat received the prestigious Lord Mayor’s Award in recognition of his dedication to raising awareness of Dublin’s architectural and cultural heritage.




Jed Lynch Illustration picJed Lynch is a human author from Cork in Ireland. He claims to have co-written a number of plays, including one about a floating house and another about a giant singing brain, but Little Island is not prepared to swear to this in court.

Murder Most Fowl is the first thing that he has co-written with a turkey. Seamus, a private detective who just happens to be a turkey, provides the exciting storylines based on the cases he has worked on, as well as all of the feathers, wings and beaks in the partnership. Jed, on the other hand, provides the hands. He has a pet reindeer and a toddler at home and is learning to play the trumpet. Badly.


Alice Lyons Headshots BW Portrait (121)Alice Lyons is a versatile artist, film-maker and Kavanagh Award-winning poet. Originally from the US, she has lived in the west of Ireland for over twenty years. She was a Radcliffe Fellow in Poetry and New Media at Harvard University 2015/16 and throughout her career has created work that brings literature into new contexts, media and communities. She lectures in creative writing at IT Sligo and is currently poet-in-residence with the Yeats Society, Sligo. Her debut novel, Oona, published by The Lilliput Press, will be released in March 2020.



Gillies MacBain_Headshot_Brian Redmond AIPPA RoscreaGillies Macbain arrived in Ireland in 1963. After seeking refuge for a short time at the monastery of Mount Melleray in County Waterford, he made the permanent move to Ireland in 1964. From then, he worked in various capacities as a footman, a butler, an actor and a farmer. He currently lives in a castle in Templemore, County Tipperary, and foregoes the trappings of modern life including computers. Instead, Macbain favours handwritten correspondence and embraces life as a budding new author. His memoir The Last Footman was recently published by The Lilliput Press.


picture larry

Larry Mac Hale is Ceo & owner of Argosy Books, Ireland’s largest independent book wholesaler and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. He mentors businesses within the remit of Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices of Dublin City and Fingal with particular emphasis on start-ups, business strategy and businesses seeking investors and bank finance. Larry is a director and a past Chairman of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards.



Catherine MacCarthy

Catherine Phil MacCarthy was born and grew up in Co. Limerick and studied at University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, and Central School of Speech and Drama, London. She taught at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and at The Drama Centre, University College Dublin, before turning full-time to writing in 1999. She lives in Dublin. Her collections include The Invisible Threshold (2012), Suntrap (2007), the blue globe (1998), This Hour of the Tide (1994), and One Room an Everywhere, a novel, (2003). She is a former editor of Poetry Ireland Review (1998/99). She received the eighteenth Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry from the University of St Thomas Center for Irish Studies at St Paul, Minnesota, in April 2014. Other awards include an artist’s residency at Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris during the Spring of 2013; the Dromineer Literary Festival Poetry Prize in 2012, judged by Fiona Sampson and The Fish International Poetry Prize in 2010, judged by Matthew Sweeney. She worked as Writer in Residence for the City of Dublin (1994), and at the Department of Anglo-Irish Literature, University College, Dublin (2002) and she tutored in Poetry and Creative Writing at Irish Writers Centre; Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Dun Laoghaire; and at St Patrick’s College, Dromcondra. Readings include Poetry Festivals in Ireland and abroad and also at Irish Studies Centres: Glucksman Ireland House, NYU; Villanova University; Boston College; University of Massachusetts at Boston; and Concordia University Montreal.


Niall MacMonagleNiall MacMonagle is a writer and critic and broadcasts frequently on RTE Radio 1. He writes a weekly art column for the Sunday Independent and has edited the Lifelines anthologies, Real Cool, Outside In, Slow Time, Off the Wall, The Open Door Book of Poetry, TEXT A Transition Year English Reader, Windharp Poems of Ireland Since 1916 and the Leaving Certificate poetry anthology Poetry Now. He has served on the boards of the National Library of Ireland and the Seamus Heaney Foundation and, in 2017, was awarded an honorary doctorate by UCD for services to literature



Ian Maleney 3 Photo Credit Gareth SmythIan Maleney is a writer based in Dublin. Born and raised in Co. Offaly, he works as a freelance arts journalist, primarily for the Irish Times, and as the online editor at the Stinging Fly. His essays have been published by Winter Papers, gorse, and the Dublin Review. He is the founder of Fallow Media, an interdisciplinary publication for music, photography, and long-form writing on the internet. Minor Monuments is his debut.




Pat McCabePatrick McCabe was born in Clones, County Monaghan, Ireland, in 1955. Shortlisted twice for the Man Booker Prize and winner of the Irish Times Fiction Award forThe Butcher Boy, his other novels include The Dead School, Breakfast on Pluto, Winterwood and Heartland.  He has also written for radio, stage and screen and is a member of Aosdána.





Mary McCarthyMary McCarthy is a freelance journalist writing for a number of publications. She is an avid reader and an iron-willed book club administrator. @maryknowsbees






David McCullaghDavid McCullagh is a broadcaster with RTÉ, presenting Prime Time on television and This Week on radio. He is the author of A Makeshift Majority, a history of the first Inter-Party Government; The Reluctant Taoiseach, a biography of John A. Costello; and most recently of a two volume biography of Éamon de Valera – Rise: 1882-1932 and Rule: 1932-1975.




Henry McDonald author pic resizedHenry McDonald is a staff writer for The Guardian and The Observer and has been a journalist covering conflicts around the world but specialising in the Northern Ireland Troubles for more than 30 years. He is the author of eight critically acclaimed non-fiction books including the histories of terror groups ranging from the INLA to the UVF. McDonald grew up in central Belfast and witnessed first-hand many of the key early events of the Troubles from Internment in 1971 to the carnage of Bloody Friday a year later. He was a punk rocker in the 1970s as well as a follower of Cliftonville Football Club, which he supports to this day. Two Souls is his second novel.


OisinMcGannOisín McGann is a best-selling and award-winning writer-illustrator. He has produced dozens of books and short stories for all ages of reader, including twelve novels, in genres ranging from comedy horror to conspiracy thriller, from science fiction and fantasy to historical fiction. These include the Mad Grandad series, Headbomz: Wreckin’ Yer Head, and novels such as The Gods and Their Machines, Rat Runners and The Wildenstern Saga. Visit his website at




Danielle McLaughlin 0084Danielle McLaughlin’s stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines such as The Stinging Fly, The Irish Times, Southword, and The New Yorker.  Her debut collection of short stories Dinosaurs on Other Planets was published in Ireland by The Stinging Fly Press in 2015. In 2019, she was awarded a Windham-Campbell Prize, and she was Writer in Residence 2018-2019 at UCC.




Emer Mclysaght and Sarah Breen photo credit Al Higgins 2Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen are best friends and co-authors of the phenomenally successful Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling and its follow-up, The Importance of Being Aisling – the bestselling fiction titles published in Ireland this century. Emer and Sarah are the creators of the characters and Facebook community that inspired the books, and are currently working with Element Pictures to bring Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling to the silver screen, as well as writing books four and five in the series.




Siobhan McSweeney ;Credit and Copyright: Helen MurraySiobhán McSweeney trained at Central School of Speech & Drama, London and Ecole Philippe Gaulier, Paris. She has worked at the Royal Court, RSC, National Theatre, Donmar, The Abbey and The Lyric, Belfast. TV and film credits include; Derry Girls, Porters, Extra Ordinary, The Fall, No Offence, and London Irish.




Aoife Murray pictureAoife Murray holds an MPhil in Popular Literature from Trinity College. She has worked at Children’s Books Ireland since 2012, working in public relations previously. Aoife lives in Dublin with her husband and son. She is currently Programme and Events Manager at the organisation.




Siobhán Murray - low resSiobhan Murray is a Resilience Coach, Burnout Expert, Psychotherapist, Motivational Speaker & Best Selling Author of The Burnout Solution. Siobhan holds a B.A. in Counselling and Psychotherapy, Diploma in Mindfulness, is a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and a certified Life Coach.  She is the CEO of Twisting the Jar, her company that specialises in Resilience and Burnout. Her best-selling book ‘The Burnout Solution’ is highly regarded and critically acclaimed, and she is currently working on her second book.

Siobhan’s corporate career spans three decades working in the entertainment industry, for artists such as Elton John; Corporate and Not-For-Profit sectors and was Head of Communications for McDonald’s Restaurants of Ireland. It was Siobhan’s own experience of Burnout coupled with her passion for understanding how our minds work and how the hectic pace we live our lives is creating an epidemic of Burnout both personally and professionally that inspired her to change careers and her lifestyle which is a continuing work in progress.

Siobhan is regularly featured globally on television, radio and print media and speaks internationally on a wide range of topics including Burnout and Resilience.


Ciara Ní ÉDubliner Ciara Ní É (sounds like KNEE YAY) is the founder of REIC, a monthly bilingual spoken word and open mic night that features poetry, music, storytelling and rap. She has performed her work in Ireland and internationally. She has been published in a variety of journals including Icarus and Comhar, and in 2018 she released a series of 4 poetry videos in partnership with the Irish Writers Centre. Ciara’s commission include UNESCO’s Dublin City of Literature video 2015, and a poem for Seó Beo Pheil na mBan on TG4, which received more than 300,000 views online.



Maire Ni MhaonaighMáire Ní Mhaonaigh is Professor of Celtic and Medieval Studies at the University of Cambridge. She has written extensively on medieval Irish literature and history and on Ireland’s place in the wider world. Her books include Brian Boru: Ireland’s Greatest King?, as well as a co-authored volume on Norse-Irish relationships, Norse Gaelic Contacts in a Viking World.




Robert-Nicholson-high-res-pRobert Nicholson has served as curator of the James Joyce Museum at the Joyce Tower in Sandycove, and of the Dublin Writers Museum. The Ulysses Guide was first published in 1988, establishing him as an authority on the locations of Joyce’s novel, and in 2007 he wrote and presented a video guide, James Joyce’s Dublin: The Ulysses Tour. He has been a director of the James Joyce Cultural Centre and the James Joyce Institute of Ireland, and a contributor to The James Joyce Broadsheet.




AlanNolanAlan Nolan lives and works in Bray, County Wicklow. He is co-creator (with Ian Whelan) of Sancho comic which was shortlisted for two Eagle awards, and is the author and illustrator of The Big Break Detectives Casebook, the ‘Murder Can Be Fatal’ series, Fintan’s Fifteen, Conor’s Caveman, Sam Hannigan’s Woof Week, Sam Hannigan and The Last Dodo, and the Irish World Book Day book for 2019, Sam Hannigan’s Rockstar Granny.




Tuohy, ShaneSéan Ó Tuathaigh was born and raised in Sligo and is a graduate of the MPhil in Creative Writing at TCD. Before that course, he taught English in Hanoi, Vietnam. After graduation, in 2016, he moved to the US for 18 months, where he worked as a refugee biographer in a resettlement agency. From that experience came Outlanders.




OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEoin O’Brien is Adjunct Professor of Molecular Pharmacology at the Conway Institute of Bimolecular and Biomedical Research, University College Dublin. He is a Past-President of the Irish Heart Foundation and the Irish Skin Foundation. He has published many scientific papers on hypertension research and is a recognised international authority on blood pressure measurement.

Professor O’Brien has a keen interest in international humanitarian affairs and is a member of the Board of the Center for International Humanitarian Cooperation at Fordham University, New York, and is member of the Committee on Blood Pressure Measurement in Low Resource Settings at the World Health Organization in Geneva.

He has written a number of books on medical historical subjects, which include Conscience and Conflict: A Biography of Sir Dominic Corrigan, and A Portrait of Irish Medicine: an illustrated history of Irish Medicine and he has recorded for posterity in text and photography the histories of three of Dublin’s voluntary hospitals– The Charitable Infirmary (Jervis Street), St. Laurence’s Hospital (The Richmond) and the City of Dublin Skin & Cancer Hospital (Hume Street).

Professor O’Brien has also written books on literary subjects that include: A.J. Leventhal 1896-1979: Dublin Scholar: wit and man of letters, and the artist Nevill Johnson, Nevill Johnson: Paint the smell of grass. He has written an acclaimed study on the relevance of time and place in the writings of Samuel Beckett – The Beckett Country: Samuel Beckett’s Ireland and he published Beckett’s first novel Dream of Fair to Middling Women in 1992. His collected essays – The Weight of Compassion & Other Essays was published by Lilliput Press in 2012 and his latest book, co-edited with Professor Gerald Dawe, The poems of Ethna MacCarthy, will be published by Lilliput Press in September 2019.


Ivan O'Brien Head shot 2/2/2016Ivan O’Brien is Managing Director of The O’Brien Press, a family-owned book publishing company based in Dublin. An interest in science led to several years investigating the stars before the world of books drew him back. Ivan built the website and worked in both sales and production before broadening his job to become MD in 2006. The world of books is changing all the time and The O’Brien Press has changed with it, embracing modern technologies and constantly exploring new areas of publishing for readers big and small. Ivan attends the world’s major bookfairs in Frankfurt and London. When he’s not working you’ll find him with his wonderful children, singing in a choir or out on a bike, climbing a remote hill somewhere.



fintan o tooleFintan O’Toole is a columnist with the Irish Times and author of many books, most recently Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain.






Faith O'GradyFaith O’Grady runs the literary department at the Lisa Richards Agency, Dublin, Ireland’s largest talent agency. She represents a wide range of writers of adult and children’s fiction and narrative non-fiction ( including Christine Dwyer Hickey, Alison Jameson, Paul Howard (aka Ross O’Carroll-Kelly), David O’Doherty (The Danger is Everywhere series), Amy Huberman, Matt Cooper, award-winning author Sheena Wilkinson, Niall Breslin (The Magic Moment, Take Five), and Gordon D’Arcy whose first book for 8-12 year olds, Gordon’s Game, is published autumn 2019.



NessaO'Mahony_3000x1700Nessa O’Mahony is a Dublin-born writer. She has published five books of poetry, the most recent being The Hollow Woman on the Island (Salmon 2019). She published her debut historic crime novel, The Branchman, with Arlen House in 2018.





Shane O'Mara. Photo: Bríd O'DonovanShane O’Mara is Professor of Experimental Brain Research at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin. He is Principal Investigator in, and was Director of the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, one of Europe’s leading research centres for neuroscience. He is also a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator and a Science Foundation Ireland Principal Investigator.

He is the author of two previous books, Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation and A Brain for Business – A Brain for Life. He has also written many scientific papers, as well as for the newspapers and magazines. He loves to walk wherever and whenever he can, with long urban walks in any walkable city a particular favourite.


Luke_O'Neill_Credit_The_Royal_SocietyLuke O’Neill is Professor of Biochemistry in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology at Trinity College Dublin. He has been ranked among the best immunologists in the world and is a fellow of the Royal Society. He has a popular weekly slot on Newstalk’s The Pat Kenny Show and is the author of Humanology (Gill Books).




Colm O'ReganColm O’Regan had a good job and a degree and everything but he gave it all up to try and be a comedian. He is also a columnist, broadcaster and anything else that will keep the wolf from the door. He heard there was fierce money in books so he has written five – the three bestselling books of Irish Mammies, Bolloxology, a title which neatly sums up his skillset and, most recently, Ann Devine, Ready For Her Close Up  a novel about a mother who volunteers for the local Tidy Towns group and ends up at the centre of a huge scandal. From Dripsey in County Cork, Colm now lives in Dublin but he’s up and down that road a good bit – especially since they put in the motorway.



P.O'Reilly (white top).July13Patricia O’Reilly has written 12 books, fiction and non-fiction. Her historical fiction includes The First Rose of Tralee, the story of the servant girl who inspired the annual Rose of Tralee International Festival; The Interview, what occurred between Irish Designer Eileen Gray and Bruce Chatwin, golden boy of Fleet Street when he interviewed her in 1972; A Type of Beauty, the story of Kathleen Newton, mistress and muse to French artist Jacques Tissot.

She has come the route of freelance feature writing; and radio plays, documentaries, and teaches the writing of Fiction in UCD and at Literary Festivals.



Bernard O'Shea- photo by Myles ShelleyBernard O’Shea is a stand-up comedian and broadcaster from Durrow, Co. Laois. He has written sketches for TodayFM and co-hosted breakfast shows on 2FM and iRadio. His television credits include RTÉ’s Republic of Telly, the sitcom Bridget & Eamon, which he co-wrote and costarred in, and most recently Marty and Bernard’s Big Adventure with Marty Morrissey.




Rick O'Shea 1 1Rick O’Shea has been a broadcaster with RTE since 2001, previously on RTE 2FM and as a presenter of RTE Radio 1’s The Poetry Programme. He currently presents weekday mornings on RTE Gold. He runs The Rick O’Shea Book Club (Ireland’s largest with over 26,000 members), hosts events and public interviews at book festivals all across the country, and has been the National Patron of Epilepsy Ireland since 2006. He is also a Book Ambassador for Easons, compiling the “Sinead And Rick’s Must Reads” lists 4 times a year with writer Sinead Moriarty. Rick has been curator of the Waterford Writers Weekend and was one of the judges for the 2018 Costa Book Awards in the UK.


Glenn H

Glenn Patterson (Belfast Stories, Doire Press) was born, and lives, in Belfast. He is the author of ten novels, including The International, The Mill for Grinding Old People Young (Belfast’s first One City One Book Choice]) and Gull, set in the DeLorean Motor Company’s Belfast factory in the early 1980s. He has published two collections of essays and articles – Lapsed Protestant and Here’s Me Here – and two other non-fiction works, the most recent of which, Backstop Land, has just been published.  He is the co-writer, with Colin Carberry, of Good Vibrations (BBC Films), which the pair later adapted for stage, and in 2016 he wrote the libretto for Long Story Short: the Belfast Opera, composed by Neil Martin. A new novel, Where Are We Now? will be published by Head of Zeus in March 2020. He is the Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University, Belfast.



Norah Patten was 11 years of age when she visited NASA on a family trip to the United States. From that moment on she was hooked on all things space. Norah has given talks at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition and helped to launch the Children’s Books Ireland Bold Girls campaign. She regularly appears on TV and radio. Shooting for the Stars, illustrated by Jennifer Farley, is Norah’s first book.




perry-caitriona-thumbnailCaitríona Perry is an award-winning Irish journalist.  She’s worked as a broadcast news correspondent since 2000, including a stint as RTÉ’s Washington Correspondent, and currently anchors RTÉ’s flagship news programme Six One. She has won awards for her television and radio reportage, including a National Justice Media Merit Award for TV News in June 2015. She has an undergraduate degree in Journalism (2002) and a master’s degree in International Relations (2010), both awarded by Dublin City University, which recently named her as one of the university’s distinguished alumni. Her first book, In America: Tales from Trump Country, was shortlisted for an Irish Book Award.



Kevin Power Photo 2 copy

Kevin Power is a writer and critic. His novel Bad Day in Blackrock was published by The Lilliput Press in 2008 and was produced as the film What Richard Did (2012). Power has been the recipient of many prizes including the Hennessy XO Award for Emerging Fiction and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and he was Creative Writing Fellow at St Patrick’s College from 2014-16. His writing has featured in various publications such as The Stinging Fly, The Dublin Review, New Irish Short Stories, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Irish Times, Literary Review, Irish Journal of American Studies, Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction, and The Dublin Review of Books. He also writes regularly for The Sunday Business Post. He currently teaches on the M.Phil in Creative Writing at Trinity College Dublin and his research focuses on the fields of 20th and 21st century American literature and film, contemporary Irish literature and science fiction.


Elske-Rahill-2-225x300Elske Rahill graduated from Trinity College Dublin with an M.Phil in Creative Writing and Gender and Women’s Studies. As an actor she appeared in the Abbey and Gate theatres and is the author of plays After Opium (2003) and How to Be Loved (2008). Her first novel, Between Dog and Wolf, was published by The Lilliput Press in 2013. In 2015 she released a collection of short stories on the subject of motherhood entitled In White Ink, published by Head of Zeus, and her latest work, An Unravelling, was published in June. She currently lives in Burgundy, France with her partner and four children where she continues to write.



Sue Rainsford is a recipient of an Arts CounciSue Rainsfordl Literature Bursary Award, the VAI/DCC Art Writing Award and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. Her debut novel, Follow Me To Ground, received the Kate O’Brien Award. She is Writer-in-Residence at Maynooth University.



DBF-2019-EventImages-600x900.inddStephen Rea  is one of the foremost actors of his generation, coming to worldwide attention when he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for Neil Jordan’s The Crying Game in 1992. Rea has enjoyed acclaim on Irish and international stages.

His illustrious theatrical career spans decades with memorable moments including; establishing the ground-breaking Field Day Theatre Company with Brian Friel in the 1980s; collaborations with Sam Shephard which saw him star in Sam’s directorial début of his play Geography of a Horse Dreamer in 1974 and Rea’s appearances in Kicking a Dead Horse and Ages of the Moon both at the Abbey and in New York; his unforgettable performance in Enda Walsh’s Ballyturk (Landmark Productions & Galway International Arts Festival) and most recently, international critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic for his performance in Cyprus Avenue (Abbey Theatre & Royal Court Theatre production) which enjoyed a lengthy run in New York last year and the Royal Court in London earlier this year. 

This career has taken place in tandem with his award winning film and television career. Nominated for an Academy Award for his performance as Fergus in The Crying Game, his many film credits include Breakfast on Pluto, Michael Collins, V for Vendetta, The End of the Affair, Black ’47. On TV Stephen won critical acclaim for his performance in The Honourable Woman, which also garnered him a BAFTA award. 


Stewart RocheStewart Roche’s first play ‘Curious Tales for Christmas’ had its world premiere at Theatre Upstairs in December 2012 and has been published by Black Box publishing. His adaptation of Stoker’s short story ‘The Judge’s House’ ran in Bewley’s Café Theatre in 2013. A subsequent production came runner-up in the All-Ireland One Act Finals. His first original full-length play ‘Revenant’ had its world premiere in the New Theatre in November 2013 and was nominated for the Stewart Parker Award. Other plays include ‘Variance’, ‘Tracer’ and ‘Snake Eaters’. In August 2018, his play ‘The Fetch Wilson’ premiered at the Pleasance in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival




Lynn RuaneSenator Lynn Ruane is an independent member of Seanad Éireann, representing Trinity College graduates in the Oireachtas since 2016 and serving as the deputy leader of the Seanad Civil Engagement group during that time. She was elected to the Senate while President of Trinity College Dublin’s Students’ Union, where she gained entry as a mature student through the Trinity Access Programme. Her legislative priorities in office have focused on equality of access in education, gender equality & reproductive rights, tackling socio-economic inequality and advocating for progressive reforms of drug, migration and social welfare policies. Prior to her entry to politics, she developed addiction programmes for 15 years as a community worker in west Dublin. She is the author of the award-winning memoir, ‘People Like Me’.


Dave Rudden is the author of the award-winning Knights of the Borrowed Dark trilogy, as well as the Doctor Who anthology Twelve Angels Weeping. He enjoys cats, adventure and being cruel to fictional children. Follow him at @d_ruddenwrites.


Richie Sadlier 1Richie Sadlier is a former professional footballer, currently working as a television pundit and psychotherapist. He is a regular contributor to RTÉ radio, and the Second Captains sports podcasts, presenting The Player’s Chair. He also writes regularly for The Irish Times.





JulietteSaumandeUpdatedJuliette Saumande
is a French writer based in Dublin. She has published over 40 books in French and English. When she’s not writing, she can be found translating books, reading books, recommending books, talking about books and building forts with books. She enjoys things like tap-dancing and liquorice.




MSmithMichael Smith has been interested in Tom Crean since childhood and spent three years researching his book Iceman (The Collins Press). He has written nine books on Polar history and is a former award-winning journalist with The Guardian and The Observer.






Ciara Elizabeth Smyth is a playwright and theatre artist from Dublin. In 2017 her debut full-length play All honey was presented as part of Dublin Fringe Festival & received the Fishamble New Writing Award. In 2018 her play Pacemaker was shortlisted for Fishamble’s A Play for Ireland initiative & she was awarded Writer in Residence in The New Theatre. She presented We Can’t Have Monkeys in the House as her residency production, which then transferred to the Peacock Stage in August 2019 for the inaugural Young Curators Festival. Ciara was also chosen as the playwright for Rough Magic SEEDS Programme 2018-2020 and to participate in Abbey Works 2019 in the Abbey Theatre.



LucySweenyByrne_HighRes-13Lucy Sweeney Byrne‘s essays and stories have appeared in Banshee, The Dublin Review, The Stinging Fly, Litro, Grist and elsewhere. Her work was chosen for inclusion in the twenty-year anthology, Stinging Fly Stories. She was a semi-finalist for the Zone 3 Press Creative Nonfiction Book Award. Her first collection, Paris Syndrome, was published with Banshee Press in September 2019. She has twice been awarded a literature bursary from The Arts Council of Ireland.




DBF-2019-EventImages-600x900.inddJessica Traynor’s debut poetry collection, Liffey Swim (Dedalus Press, 2014), was shortlisted for the 2015 Strong/Shine Award. In 2016, it was named one of the best poetry debuts of the past five years on She’s currently under commission by BBC, and also by Music for Galway to write an opera with composer Elaine Agnew for Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture. A choral song cycle, ‘An Island Sings’, was commissioned by Poetry Ireland and Chamber Choir Ireland and was performed in the National Concert Hall in March 2019. Her second collection, ‘The Quick’, was published in 2018.

In 2019, she edited ‘Correspondences: An anthology to call for an end to direct provision’ with actor Stephen Rea, bringing together artists and writers in direct provision with Irish writers. Correspondences will launch at the Dublin Book Festival in 2019. She is the 2020 Carlow Writer in Residence, and is the recipient of the 2020 Banagher Public Art Commission.


Eibhear WalsheEibhear Walshe is a writer who lives in Cork, Ireland, where he lectures in the School of English at University College Cork and is Director of Creative Writing. He has published in the area of memoir, literary criticism and biography, and his books include Kate O’Brien: A Writing Life, (2006), Oscar’s Shadow: Wilde and Ireland, (2012), and A Different Story: the Writings if Colm Tóibín, (2013). His childhood memoir, Cissie’s Abbatoir, (2009) was broadcast on RTÉ’s ‘Book on One’. His novel, The Diary of Mary Travers, (2014), was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Novel of the Year Award in 2015 and longlisted for the 2016 International Dublin Literary Award. He was associate editor, with Catherine Marshall, of Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks, (2016), edited by Fintan O’Toole and shortlisted for the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards. His new novel, The Trumpet Shall Sound was published in 2019.


Margaret WardDr Margaret Ward is a well-known feminist historian. Her recently published work, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington: Suffragette and Sinn Feiner, her Memoirs and Political Writings (UCD Press 2017) has been very well received. She is the author of a number of other books, including Unmanageable Revolutionaries: Women and Irish Nationalism (Pluto Press 1996) and a biography of Maud Gonne. She is currently Honorary Senior Lecturer with the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen’s University of Belfast.




WEBB, S 28.11.08 0059Sarah Webb is a children’s author who combines writing with schools visits, reading and giving workshops at festivals, and teaching creative writing. She has won two Irish Book Awards for her children’s books (for A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea and Blazing a Trail), as well as the Children’s Books Ireland Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Books, awarded in 2015. Sarah worked for many years as a children’s bookseller and was writer in residence for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in 2016/2017: she is currently the Children’s Literary Advisor to Listowel Writers’ Week. For more, visit