Brendan Barrington is editor of The Dublin Review. He is also an editor at Penguin Ireland.
Nicola Barr is a literary agent at The Bent Agency, based in London. She represents literary and commercial fiction for adults and children, and nonfiction in the areas of sports, popular science, popular culture, and social and cultural history. She’s worked as an editor (at Flamingo, the literary imprint of HarperCollins), a foreign-rights agent at The Susijn Agency, and a book reviewer for the Guardian and the Observer. She’s determined to increase the number of Irish clients on her list.
Eileen Battersby is a graduate of University College Dublin. An Irish Times staff arts journalist and literary reviewer, she is a four-time recipient of the National Arts Journalist of the Year award, and was named National Critic of the Year in 2012. Second Readings: From Beckett to Black Beauty was published in 2009, Ordinary Dogs – a Story of Two Lives was published in 2011, Teethmarks on My Tongue (Dalkey Archive Press) is her first novel.
Sam Blake is a pseudonym for Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, the founder of The Inkwell Group publishing consultancy and the national writing resources website. Vanessa/Sam has been writing fiction since her husband set sail across the Atlantic for eight weeks and she had an idea for a book. The first in Sam Blake’s Cat Connolly trilogy, Little Bones (Bonnier 2016) went straight into the Irish top 10 with four weeks at No 1. In Deep Water (2017) was another bestseller with No Turning Back due in Spring 2018.
Dermot Bolger is a poet, playwright, and novelist. At the age of eighteen, he established the innovative Raven Arts Press, and in 1992 he co-founded New Island Books. Some of his most recent works include the poetry collection That Which Is Suddenly Precious (2015), as well as his latest novel The Lonely Sea and Sky (2016). This year also saw the publication of Francis Ledwidge: Selected Poems, a collection edited by Bolger honouring the centenary of Ledwidge’s tragic death as a soldier fighting in Flanders.
Francis Brennan is a national treasure and the bestselling author of It’s the Little Things and Counting My Blessings. He fronts one of Ireland’s most popular TV shows, At Your Service, where his wit and charm have endeared him to a mass of fans across the country. Together with his brother John he is co-owner of the five-star Park Hotel Kenmare. His latest book is Francis Brennan’s Book of Household Management.
June Caldwell is an experienced journalist and novelist, and holds an MA in Creative Writing from Queen’s University Belfast. Room Little Darker, her acclaimed collection of short stories, was published by New Island Books in May 2017. Her story ‘SOMAT’ was published in the award-winning anthology The Long Gaze Back, and was chosen as a favourite by The Sunday Times. Her fiction has been published in The Stinging Fly, The Moth, Winter Papers, and The Lonely Crowd. She is a prizewinner of the Moth International Short Story Prize.
Julieann Campbell is an award-winning poet, author and oral history facilitator who published her first solo collection of poetry, Milk Teeth, in 2015, funded by Arts Council of Northern Ireland. A former reporter for the Derry Journal and former Chair of the Bloody Sunday Trust, her first non-fiction book, Setting the Truth Free: The Inside Story of the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign (Liberties Press, 2012), won the 2013 Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize. As editor, Julieann published Beyond the Silence: Women’s Unheard Voices from the Troubles (Guildhall Press, 2016), and ‘Harrowing of the Heart: The Poetry of Bloody Sunday’ (Guildhall Press, 2008). As Heritage and Programmes Co-ordinator with the Museum of Free Derry, Julieann now oversees its oral history initiative, gathering first-hand accounts for the museum’s National Civil Rights Archive.
Myles Campbell works for the Office of Public Works at Dublin Castle in the recently established Collections, Research and Interpretation Office. He is co-editor of The Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle: An Architectural History (2015) and has contributed peer-reviewed articles and chapters to books by various academic publishers. His work on Making Majesty has earned him the inaugural George B. Clarke Prize.
Tory Campbell lives in Belfast. Her poems have been published in local anthologies, The Stinging Fly and The Irish Independent. Tory was shortlisted for the 2012 Hennessy Literary Award for Emerging Poetry and was highly commended in the 2014 Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award. She was the winner of the Belfast heat of All Ireland Poetry Slam, and second place for the All Ulster Slam in 2016. Tory is one of the Lagan Press 12NOW up-and-coming New Original Writers. When she is not writing, Tory teaches yoga to people with additional needs.
Gráinne Clear is the Publishing Manager and Art Director of Little Island and has been involved in all areas of publishing including editorial, PR, design, and marketing. She founded the children’s radio programmes, Little Pages and The Word and is also a storyteller of Irish tales for adults and children.
Lorcan Collins founded the 1916 Rebellion Walking Tour in 1996 and the Michael Collins Walking Tour in 2016. For the past 21 years, he has conducted thousands of tours around Dublin City and the sites of the revolutionary period. He co-authored The Easter Rising (O’Brien Press) with Conor Kostick. Collins also conceived the idea and was Series Co-Editor of 16 Lives, a collection of sixteen books on the executed leaders of the Rising. His biography of James Connolly (O’Brien Press) was published in 2012 as part of 16 Lives (www.16lives.com). Last year his extensively researched book 1916: The Rising Handbook was published to much acclaim. He has lectured extensively in the United States, having visited over thirty Colleges and Universities and is also a regular contributor to historical journals, radio and TV. Lorcan’s tour event with Dublin Book Festival this year will concentrate on the life and times of Michael Collins to mark the publication of Joe Connell’s new book Michael Collins: Dublin 1916-22 (Wordwell, 2017).
Joseph E.A. Connell Jnr is the author of Dublin Rising 1916, Who’s Who in the Dublin Rising 1916 and Michael Collins: Dublin 1916–22 published by Wordwell. He writes a bi-monthly column in History Ireland and is a regular contributor to Newstalk’s Talking History programme. Joe was born in California and lives and works as a lawyer in Florida. He also has a military background which allows him to analyse and explain clearly the complexities of the military aspects of the Rising and War of Independence. In his earlier years, his brief career as an American footballer was curtailed by injury. Joe usually visits Dublin once a year and lectures regularly on the revolutionary period of Irish history.
Aileen Cox Blundell is a mum of three. When her daughter, Jade, was born in 2002, the only way to get her to eat anything was to place the food in front of her and let her take control and feed herself. Seeing the incredible benefits of allowing her own children to experiment with food at an early age led her to create the popular blog and website Baby-Led Feeding, which recently won awards for both Best Irish Parenting Blog and Best Irish Food and Drink Blog. Aileen lives in Swords with her husband, Conor, and their three foodie children, Jade, Dylan and Oscar
Colin Dardis is a poet, editor and freelance arts facilitator from Northern Ireland. He co-runs Poetry NI, and is editor for Lagan Online. One of Eyewear Publishing’s Best New British and Irish Poets 2016, a collection with Eyewear, the x of y, is forthcoming in 2018. A past recipient of the Artist Career Enhancement Scheme from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Colin is a past winner of the Glebe House Harmony Trust and Fun Palaces #WriteScience Poetry Competitions (both 2015) and the Edit Red Writers’ Choice Award for Poetry. His work has been widely published throughout Ireland, UK and USA.
Philip Davison has had seven novels published: The Book-Thief’s Heartbeat, Twist and Shout, The Illustrator, The Crooked Man, McKenzie’s Friend, The Long Suit and A Burnable Town. The Crooked Man was adapted for television (broadcast on ITV). He has written nine plays for radio. His stage play The Invisible Mending Company was performed on the Abbey Theatre’s Peacock stage. He has co-written two television dramas: Exposure and Criminal Conversation (broadcast on RTÉ and Channel 4). He has co-scripted Learning Gravity (broadcast on BBC and RTÉ), a documentary film on poet and undertaker Thomas Lynch. In 2008, he was elected to Aosdána.
Patricia Deevy is Penguin Ireland’s editorial director. Her areas of publication span a wide range between fiction (commercial and accessible literary fiction) and non-fiction (everything from current affairs to cookery). Among the many authors she has worked with are Liz Nugent, Sinéad Moriarty, Paul Howard, Vanessa Ronan, Niamh Boyce, the Happy Pear twins, Matt Cooper, Paul Williams, Maureen Gaffney and Ruadhán Mac Cormaic. Before joining Penguin Ireland when it opened in 2002 Patricia was a journalist for 14 years.
William Derham works for the Office of Public Works at Dublin Castle in the recently established Collections, Research and Interpretation Office. He is co-editor of The Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle: An Architectural History (2015) and is the author of Lost Ireland: 1860–1960 (2016).
Martina Devlin is an author and journalist. Her novels include About Sisterland, The House Where It Happened and Ship of Dreams. Non-fiction includes Banksters, co-authored with RTÉ’s David Murphy. Prizes range from the Royal Society of Literature’s VS Pritchett Memorial Prize to a Hennessy Literary Prize, while she has been shortlisted three times for the Irish Book Awards. She writes a weekly current affairs column for the Irish Independent and has been named National Newspapers of Ireland commentator of the year. She is vice-chair of the Irish Writers Centre, and a PhD candidate at Trinity College Dublin – researching Somerville and Ross.
Zoë Devlin has been interested in wildflowers and the environment since childhood. After retirement, she fulfilled an ambition to bring together her twin interests of botany and photography. By developing her own website, www.wildflowersofireland.net, Zoë has created a forum for others interested in seeking out, identifying and sharing wildflowers in Ireland. She won the Distinguished Recorder Award from the National Biodiversity Data Centre in 2016.
Bryan Dobson is a journalist and presenter with RTÉ News. Until recently co-presenter of the RTÉ Six-One Television News, he recently took up a new appointment as one of the presenting team on RTÉ’s flagship breakfast radio current affairs programme Morning Ireland. Bryan has worked for more than three decades in RTÉ News, much of that time as a news anchor covering major events including the 9-11 attacks, Irish local, general and Presidential elections, the Good Friday Agreement, US Presidential elections, the State Visit to Ireland of Queen Elizabeth and, most recently, last year’s commemorations of the 1916 Rising.
Rob Doyle is the author of two highly acclaimed books, This Is the Ritual and Here Are the Young Men, both published by Bloomsbury/Lilliput. His work has appeared in The Guardian, Observer, Irish Times, Dublin Review and elsewhere. Rob Doyle is editor of the Dalkey Archive’s Anthology of Irish Literature, due for publication in 2017.
Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin in 1958. He is the author of 11 acclaimed novels including The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van, two collections of short stories and Rory & Ita, a memoir about his parents. His most recent novel is The Guts. He won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.
Martin Drury is a practitioner and policy-maker with nearly 40 years’ experience in a variety of key roles in the arts in Ireland. He is currently self-employed, engaged in a range of projects as advisor, curator and theatre director. Since 1979 he has been variously Arts Education Officer (Sligo/Leitrim); Artistic Director of TEAM Theatre; Education Officer of the Arts Council; author of the Dublin Arts Report; founder director of The Ark which he developed (1992-1995) and then led until 2001; Arts Director and then Strategic Development Director at the Arts Council. He has also spent periods of time as a theatre director and dramaturg, directing more than twenty productions for Druid Theatre, Opera Theatre Company, Second Age, TEAM, The Ark, and the Abbey Theatre where he was an Associate Director for a number of years. His pro bono work includes being a member of the board of Music Generation, Ireland’s National Music Education Programme and of Create the national development agency for collaborative arts.
Myles Dungan is a historian and broadcaster with RTÉ, presenting The History Show on RTÉ Radio 1, and author of numerous books on wide-ranging topics in history, to include On This Day: Volume 2 – Irish Histories from Drivetime on RTÉ Radio 1 (New Island Books). The second volume of his popular ‘On This Day’ segment from Drivetime on RTÉ Radio 1 brings together a selection of fascinating, hilarious and uncanny historical tales featuring Irish people around the world, from Katie Daly, the Irish-American bootlegger, to pirates in Dollar Bay and the Native American Choctaw Tribe who came to the aid of the Irish during the Famine.
Catherine Dunne is the author of ten novels, the most recent being The Years That Followed. The Things We Know Now won the 700th anniversary Giovanni Boccaccio International Prize for Fiction in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Eason Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. She has also published one work of non-fiction: a social history of Irish immigrants in London called An Unconsidered People. Catherine’s novels have been shortlisted for, among others, the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award and the Italian Booksellers’ Prize. Her work has been translated into several languages. In 2015, she was long-listed for the first Laureate for Irish Fiction Award.
Christine Dwyer Hickey has published seven novels, one short story collection and a full-length play. The Cold Eye of Heaven won The Kerrygroup Irish Novel of the Year 2012 and was nominated for the International IMPAC award. Her novel Tatty was nominated for The Orange Prize and was listed as one of the 50 Irish Novels of the Decade. Last Train from Liguria was nominated for the Prix L’Européen de Littérature. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and magazines worldwide and have won several awards. The story Back to Bones was longlisted for The Sunday Times EFG competition 2017. Her play Snow Angels premiered at the Project Arts Centre in 2014. She has just completed her eighth novel The House on Parkgate Street and Other Dublin Stories. Her work has been widely translated. She is a member of Aosdana.
Donal Fallon is a historian and broadcaster based in Dublin. He is editor of Dublin social history blog ‘Come Here To Me’, and a frequent contributor to Irish radio. His work has appeared in History Ireland, Jacobin and The Irish Times.
Clodagh Finn has been writing and editing for over 25 years. She spent 10 years at the Irish Examiner where she was a senior reporter, feature writer and columnist. After moving to France she became a freelance writer and editor for Agence France Presse, Bayard Presse, Time Out and UNESCO. More recently, she has worked with the Irish Independent. She has also contributed to RTÉ, The Irish Times, the Sunday Tribune and the Sunday Business Post.
Christopher Fitz-Simon is a former Artistic Director of the Irish Theatre Company, the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, and the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. He has lectured in Ireland, Britain, Canada, the US, South America and throughout Europe. Among his books are The Boys (2002), Eleven Houses (2007) and Buffoonery and Easy Sentiment (2011).
Pádraic Fogarty a professional ecologist from Castleknock in Dublin, holds degrees in Environmental Protection, Environment and Geography. Having served as chairman of the Irish Wildlife Trust, he now works as its campaigns officer and editor of the magazine Irish Wildlife. He is married with two children.
Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin is the founder of The Inkwell Group publishing consultancy and the national writing resources website Writing.ie. She is Ireland’s leading literary scout who has assisted many award-winning and bestselling authors to publication. Vanessa writes crime as Sam Blake – the first in her Cat Connolly trilogy, Little Bones (Bonnier 2016) went straight into the Irish top 10 and stayed at there for 8 weeks, with four weeks at No 1. In Deep Water (2017) was another bestseller with No Turning Back due in Spring 2018.
Lisa Frank was born and raised in Los Angeles but lived in the Pacific Northwest for several years before moving to Ireland in 2007. She won second place in the 2016 Francis MacManus Award and was a joint-winner of the 2015 Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair competition. She’s the editor of Galway Stories, featuring many of Ireland’s best fiction writers, and is co-director of Doire Press.
Mia Gallagher is the author of two critically acclaimed novels: HellFire (Penguin Ireland, 2006), which received the Irish Tatler Literature Award, and Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland (New Island, 2016), which was longlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Award. Her short fiction won the START award in 2005 and has been shortlisted for Hennessy, Fish and Trevor/Bowen Awards. Mia is the 2017 Farmleigh Writer-in-Residence and a contributing editor to the Stinging Fly. She is currently working on a story collection and a new novel, with the assistance of an Arts Council of Ireland bursary.
Carlo Gébler was born Dublin, the eldest son of writer parents Ernest Gébler and Edna O’Brien. He is a prolific writer whose most recent works include The Dead Eight (2011), The Projectionist (2014), and The Wing Orderly’s Tales (2016). He lives in Co. Fermanagh and is a member of Aosdána. Gébler’s forthcoming novel, The Innocent of Falkland Road, explores the coming-of-age of a young boy living in 1960s London, and is due to be released this September.
John Gibney has been guiding people on historic walking tours of the city and lecturing in history for over two decades. He knows every story the streets have to tell. As well as lecturing in history at Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin, he has been a research fellow at the University of Notre Dame and NUI Galway. He co-developed and edited the Decade of Centenaries website (www.decadeofcentenaries.com) created by History Ireland in partnership with the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. He lives in Dublin and is the author of a number of history books.
Anthony Glavin is one of Ireland’s foremost editors, is author of two short story collections, One For Sorrow and The Draughtsman and The Unicorn and two novels, Nighthawk Alley and Colours Other Than Blue. Editor of New Irish Writing in the Irish Press from 1986-88, he served as commissioning editor for New Island Books from 1996 to 2004.
Tommy Graham is a founder (1993) and editor of History Ireland magazine and convener of its lively Hedge Schools, an ongoing series of roundtable discussions of historical and contemporary interest, which debuted at the 2010 Electric Picnic. He lectures in history and politics at Griffith College, Dublin, and is founder and director of Historical Walking Tours of Dublin. A presenter of Newstalk’s Talking History, he’s also a regular contributor to the station’s Moncrieff Show.
Sarah Maria Griffin lives in Dublin, Ireland, in a small red brick house by the sea, with her husband and cat. She writes about monsters, growing up, and everything those two things have in common. Her quarter-life memoir, Not Lost: A Story About Leaving Home was released to acclaim in 2013 and Spare and Found Parts, her first novel, was released in 2016.
Lisa Harding an actress, playwright, and author, and is perhaps best known for playing Connie in RTÉ’s Fair City. A recipient of the MPhil in creative writing from Trinity College Dublin, Lisa has written many short stories and plays. Her debut novel, Harvesting, which tells the harrowing story of two teenage girls thrown together in a Dublin brothel, was published this year and was inspired by her involvement with a campaign against sex trafficking run by the Children’s Rights Alliance.
Bernice Harrison is a journalist at The Irish Times where she has mostly worked as a feature writer and reviewer. Lately, she is getting back into broadcasting – and book reviewing – through the Irish Times Women’s Podcast, where once a month a book club gathers to chat about all kinds of books.
Jack Harte has published two novels and three critically acclaimed short story collections. The Irish Independent declared his novel, In the wake of the Bagger (2006), to be ‘one of the great books about Ireland’. His fiction has been translated into 12 languages. In 2015 Harte made his debut as a playwright with Language of the Mute (New Theatre) which toured nationally, followed by The Mysterious History of Things (Viking Theatre, 2016). Jack Harte founded the Irish Writers Union and the Irish Writers Centre. More info: www.jackharte.com.
Róisín Ingle is Deputy Features Editor at The Irish Times and producer of the award-winning Women’s Podcast. She is the author of two collections of her Irish Times magazine columns – Pieces of Me and Public Displays of Emotion – and The Daughterhood, with Natasha Fennell. She is the editor of Maeve’s Times, a collection of Maeve Binchy’s journalism. She lives in Dublin with her partner and twin daughters.
Alison Jameson grew up on a farm in the Irish midlands, a secluded and beautiful place that continues to inspire her work. She is the bestselling author of This Man and Me, which was nominated for the IMPAC Literary Award, and Under My Skin. Her third novel, Little Beauty, was published by Doubleday Ireland in 2013. Her latest novel is This Family of Things. An English and History graduate of University College Dublin, she worked in advertising for many years before becoming an author. Home is Dublin where she lives with her husband and son.
Arja Kajermo has contributed cartoons to the feminist publisher Attic Press and occasionally to the Sunday Press, the Irish Times, Image magazine, Magill and others. Her strip ‘Dublin Four’ ran in the Sunday Tribune. She now draws the strip ‘Tuula’ in the Sunday edition of a Swedish daily newspaper. In 2014 she was shortlisted for the prestigious Davy Byrnes Award for her short story The Iron Age, upon which this novel is based. Arja lives in Dublin.
Ethna Kennon is a VAT specialist and advises a range of Irish and multinational clients. She has recently co-authored A Practical Guide to Value-added Tax (Chartered Accountantsof Ireland) which explains the main VAT issues regularly encountered by Irish businesses.
Dave Kenny is a journalist, bestselling author and broadcaster. His books include The Little Buke of Dublin, Erindipity: The Irish Miscellany, Erindipity Rides Again, The Trib: Highlights from the Sunday Tribune, The Brilliant Irish Flute (Warner Music), The Press Gang, which is a collective memoir by 60 former Irish Press journalists, and The Splendid Years (Memoirs of rebel Abbey actress, Maire Nic Shiubhlaigh). His last book, Mr Pussy: Before I Forget to Remember was nominated for an Irish Book Award in 2016. Dave has appeared countless times on national TV and radio and had his own series, Kenny Wild, on Irish TV (Sky 191). He has written for and/or edited the Irish/Evening/Sunday Press, Sunday Tribune (Assoc Ed), Daily Mail, Sunday Times, Irish Times, The Western Australian, Irish Independent, Sunday Independent, The Examiner, and the Evening Herald (Deputy Ed). He hosts literary events for UNESCO Dublin City of literature, Dublin City Libraries, Waterford and Dalkey Book Festivals. He is a staff journalist on the Irish Daily Mail.
Mary Kenny is an author, broadcaster, playwright and journalist. She is a regular columnist for the Irish Independent and has written for over 30 newspapers and magazines over the course of her career. Kenny, as a founding member of the Irish Women’s Liberation Movement in 1970, has seen many shifts, changes, and developments in the field of women’s rights and what it means to be a feminist over the past five decades. Her forthcoming book, Am I A Feminist? Are You?, presents Kenny’s unique perspective on feminism and serves as a powerful contribution to the contemporary public debate.
Rachel Killeen enjoyed a varied career in business, corporate and treasury banking for over 20 years. In 2008, she traded her corporate heels for hiking boots to travel, to write – Client Science – a professional services marketing book and to establish Killeen Communications. Rachel’s latest book – Digital Marketing – aims to help smart businesses to win the online customer loyalty battle by simplifying message, media and method. The book helps you to choose your digital media judiciously; to use your customer insights wisely and to make online marketing a happy, successful and advantageous endeavour. Rachel is now a professional writer and speaker inspiring businesses to innovate and flourish.
Brian Kirk is an award-winning poet and short story writer from Clondlakin in Dublin. He was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh Award in 2014 and 2015. He was highly commended in the iYeats International poetry competition in 2011 and 2012, shortlisted for the Fermoy Poetry Competition in 2013 and commended in the Galway University Hospital Arts Trust Poetry Competition in 2014. He won the Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Award for Poetry in 2014, the Bailieborough Poetry Prize in 2015 and the Galway RCC Poetry Award in 2016. His poem film Red Line Haiku was featured at the Red Line Book Festival in October 2015 and was subsequently shortlisted for the Ó Bhéal Poetry Film Competition in 2016. He was awarded Creative Flow Dundalk FM Poet of the Year in 2015.In 2017 he was placed second in the Poetry On The Lake Poetry Competition, highly commended in the Robert Monteith Poetry Competition and placed third in the North West Words Poetry Competition. His poetry has been nominated for the Forward Prize and Pushcart Prize. His novel for 9 -12-year-olds The Rising Son was published in December 2015. He is a member of the Hibernian Poetry Workshop and he blogs at www.briankirkwriter.com.
Pat Liddy, a Dubliner by birth, has always been fascinated by the history, the natural environment and the architecture of his native city. As an artist and writer Pat has long and enthusiastically promoted this unique heritage through his broadcasting on TV and radio, through books, newspaper articles, his popular Dublin Visitor Map and now through the medium of his acclaimed walking tour company.
Sarah Liddy has been working in Irish book publishing for 15 years – primarily in commissioning roles. She now commissions non-fiction for Gill Books in the areas of cookery, lifestyle, MBS and current affairs. In 2017, her authors include Andrea Hayes, Aoife Dooley, Michael Murphy and Colm Williamson of Waterford Whispers News.
Paul Lynch is the prize-winning author of Grace, The Black Snow and Red Sky in Morning. He won the French booksellers’ prize Prix Libr’à Nous for Best Foreign Novel and was a finalist for the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (Best Foreign Book Prize). He won the Prix des Lecteurs Privat, and was nominated for France’s Prix Femina, the Prix du Premier Roman (First Novel Prize) and the Prix du Roman Fnac (Fnac Novel Prize), as well as being shortlisted at Ireland’s Bord Gais Irish Books of the Year. In the US, both his novels were Amazon.com books of the month and he was selected by Barnes and Noble for the Discover Great New Writers series. Paul was born in Limerick in 1977, grew up in Co Donegal, and lives in Dublin with his wife and daughter.
Rosemary Mac Cabe is a journalist, blogger and personal trainer based in Dublin. She has written for The Irish Times, Image, Irish Tatler, The Sunday Business Post, STELLAR and U magazine. She’s currently on a hiatus from journalism, working full-time at Lift Training Studios in Smithfield.
Dorothy Macardle (1889-1958), was an Irish novelist, playwright, journalist and historian, was born in Dundalk in 1889 to a wealthy brewing family, and educated at Alexandra College and University College, Dublin. A Republican and member of Cumann na mBan, Macardle was imprisoned for her activities during the Irish Civil War, and later worked as a journalist with the Irish Press. Her monumental history, The Irish Republic, was published in 1937, and her account of the plight of children in war-torn Europe, Children of Europe, in 1949. Her plays were produced at the Abbey and Gate theatres, and among her works of fiction are Earth-Bound: Nine Stories of Ireland (1924), Uneasy Freehold/The Uninvited (1942), and Fantastic Summer/The Unforeseen (1946). She died in Drogheda in 1958.
Eoin Macken studied Psychology in UCD, Dublin before pursuing an acting and filmmaking career. He is best-known for his role in BBC’s hit show Merlin as Gwaine, as Gavin Cluxton on RTÉ’s Fair City and in the lead role of TC Callahan in the upcoming NBC/Sony prime time show The NightShift in America this summer. He also appeared in BBC’s Small Island, Paul Mercier’s Studs, The Tudors and Mike Figgis’ latest film Suspension of Disbelief. Eoin was the cinematographer on the international award-winning Charlie Casanova, Mark O Connor’s 2012 Galway Film Fleadh success Stalker, while directing the 2013 Frightfest Film Festival Premiering Horror Film The Inside, an acclaimed indie horror that was released across the UK, USA and Australia, and the 2009 documentary The Fashion of Modelling that aired on RTÉ. Eoin wrote, directed and produced the indie feature Cold which premiered in the Galway Film Fleadh last year starring Jack Reynor, Tom Hopper and himself in 2014.
Martin Malone is the author of seven novels, a memoir, two short story collections and several radio plays. He has also written for TV and stage. His first novel Us won the John B Keane/Sunday Independent Literature Award and was shortlisted for the Kerry Ingredients Irish Fiction Award. His second novel After Kafra was optioned by and scripted for RTÉ TV. The Broken Cedar was nominated for the IMPAC Award and shortlisted for an Irish Fiction Award. His short stories have been widely broadcast and published, and have won national competitions, including ‘Valley of the Peacock Angel’, which was nominated for the 2012 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Prize and published in The Sunday Times. He has received several Arts Council of Ireland bursaries for literature and is the inaugural winner of the Cecil D Lewis Award for Literature. His prose appears in the Irish National Art Gallery’s anthology Lines of Vision: Irish Writers on Art. He is a former soldier with six tours of duty in Lebanon and Iraq. This Cruel Station was published in the spring by Doire Press.
Adrian Martinis the author of the best-selling cookbook Fakeaway: Fast Food Made Healthy. Adrian is an energetic and enthusiastic young Irish chef from County Cavan, Ireland, who brings to the table an exciting and invigorating passion to the cooking fore. Having discovered and developed his flair for all things cuisine from a very young age, Chef Adrian went on to train in some of Ireland’s most renowned restaurants including Neven Maguire’s MacNean House (where he worked for six years) and the Michelin Star Bon Appetite restaurant in Malahide. Adrian is currently an Ambassador for Nordmende Smart Living, and also earned a degree in Culinary Arts from the School of Tourism, Killybegs. Now, when he’s not making one of his regular television appearances, you can find Chef Adrian travelling the length and breadth of the country with a primary focus to educate both Primary and Secondary School level schoolgoers on the importance and value of good food. Through weekly visits and cookery demonstrations, Adrian teaches the kids of today about the importance of healthy food and the tools they’ll need to practice great and simple cooking. Adrian also hosts a number of cookery demonstration for various charities, GAA Clubs, ICA Groups, Festival Communities and assorted community endeavours.
Felicity McCall has been a BBC staff journalist for 20 years during the NI conflict, Felicity McCall began the Millennium as a full-time writer and occasional broadcaster, arts facilitator, producer, and actor. Her twenty published titles include fiction, non-fiction, young adult fiction, plays and graphic novels and she has contributed to three anthologies. The co-founder of two and director of three theatre companies, she has had a dozen plays staged professionally and four screenplay credits. A Grievance Officer with the National Union of Journalists, she is currently the first female jobshare Cathaoirleach of the Irish Executive of the National Union of Journalists. The former Ireland officer of the lobby group, Portia, she continues to work with miscarriage of justice cases.
Freya McClements is a writer and journalist from Derry. Her first collection of short stories, The Dangerous Edge of Things, was published in 2012 (Guildhall Press) with the support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and her debut novel is due for publication in 2018, again with the support of ACNI. In 2017 she was selected as one of the participants in the Irish Writers’ Centre XBorders project, and has begun working on a fresh collection of short stories inspired by the project. Freya is also a freelance journalist, reviewer, and columnist with The Irish Times, reporting on north-west news as well as writing the Irishwoman’s Diary column and literary reviews and features. In 2017 she won the Saboteur Award for Best Reviewer in the UK/Ireland. A staff journalist and producer with the BBC in Northern Ireland for almost ten years, she continues to make documentaries for BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Foyle/Ulster.
Jane McClenaghan has had a life-long passion for good food. She grew up in Northern Ireland in a family where growing, cooking and eating healthy food was part of life. Fully qualified in Food Science and Nutritional Therapy, she runs successful clinical practices in Belfast and Holywood, supporting people with a variety of health issues, and was recently awarded the UK CAM (Complementary & Alternative Medicine) Award for outstanding practice – the first time this award had been given to someone from Northern Ireland. She is the author of The Vital Nutrition Cookbook and The Vital Nutrition Handbook has just been released.
David McCullagh is the author of The Reluctant Taoiseach, a biography of John A. Costello, and A Makeshift Majority, a history of the first inter-party government. He began working as a journalist with the Evening Press before joining RTÉ, where he currently presents the broadcaster’s flagship current affairs programme, Prime Time.
Kirstie McDermott is a media professional with 20 years’ experience. Her multi-disciplinary career has seen her work across the fields of web design, journalism and editing, lecturing and digital media and marketing. She was at the forefront of the content revolution, launching one of Ireland’s first ever blogs, Beaut.ie, and has created content for major media players such as Sunday Times Ireland, Image publications and INM. Kirstie was one of the founding lecturers at the National College of Ireland’s prestigious Digital Marketing course and has held the editorship of Stellar magazine, where she redeveloped the title and spearheaded the digital strategy for the whole VIP group. Currently, she’s Head of Content at 256, a globally-recognised strategic content marketing agency.
Bernie McGill was born and raised in Northern Ireland and attended Queen’s University, Belfast. Her first novel, The Butterfly Cabinet, was published by Headline Review in 2011. Bernie is also the author of Sleepwalkers, a collection of short fiction (shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize) and a contributor to The Long Gaze Back (New Island, 2015), an acclaimed anthology of Irish women writers spanning four centuries, and has numerous theatre credits to her name. Bernie lives in Portstewart, Northern Ireland, with her family.
Frank McGuinness is Professor of Creative Writing at University College Dublin. A world-renowned, award-winning playwright, his first great stage hit was the highly acclaimed Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme. His other plays include The Factory Girls, Innocence, Carthaginians, Someone Who’ll Watch over Me, Dolly West’s Kitchen and much more. His adaptations of classic plays include Lorca’s Yerma; Chekhov’s Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya; Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera and The Caucasian Chalk Circle; Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, A Doll’s House, Peer Gynt, The Lady from the Sea, John Gabriel Borkman, Ghosts, The Wild Duck and Rosmersholm; Strindberg’s Miss Julie; Euripides’ Hecuba and Helen; Racine’s Phaedra; and dramatisations of James Joyce’s The Dead and Du Maurier’s Rebecca. His television screenplays include Scout, The Hen House, Talk of Angels, Dancing at Lughnasa, A Short Stay in Switzerland and A Song for Jenny. He is the recipient of the London Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright, Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, Harvey’s Best Play Award, Cheltenham Literary Prize Plays and Players Award, Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize, London Fringe Award, New York Critics’ Circle Award, Writers’ Guild Award for Best Play, Best Revival Tony Award, Outer Critics’ Award, Prix de l’Intervision and Prix de l’Art Critique at the Prague International Television Awards. His first novel, Arimathea, was published by Brandon/O’Brien Press in 2013. His second novel, The Woodcutter and his Family, was published in September.
Emma McKervey is from Holywood, County Down, and won the 2015 PoetryNI/Translink Poetry Competition. In 2016 she was shortlisted for both the NI National Poetry Competition and the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards’ Poem of the Year Award. In 2017 she had two poems highly commended for the Seamus Heaney Prize. She is also a professionally-trained musician and a member of Women Aloud. The Rag Tree Speaks, her debut collection was published by Doire Press in October.
Ciarán McMenamin is an actor, born in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh in 1975, and now lives in London. He is a keen angler and is passionate about the Mancunian music scene and Manchester United. His debut novel is Skintown (Doubleday Ireland).
Ella McSweeney is a journalist and broadcaster specialising in farming, food and ecological issues. With a background in science, specialising in zoology, she has written for The Guardian newspaper, reported for BBC radio and presented on RTÉ radio and television. She is currently a postgraduate student in Food Policy at City University of London. (Picture taken by: Conor McCabe/Jason Clarke)
Declan Meade is the founding editor and publisher of The Stinging Fly magazine. In 2005 he set up The Stinging Fly Press. He has edited two anthologies of short stories for the imprint: These Are Our Lives (2006) and Let’s Be Alone Together (2008). He teaches a module on the business of publishing at the American College Dublin as part of their MFA in Creative Writing. (Photo taken by John Minihan)
Paula Mee BSC, Dip Dietetics, MSc in Health Sciences, MINDI, is a state registered dietitian and completed low FODMAP training in King’s College London. She has a dietetic clinic in Blackrock and her own nutrition consultancy. She contributes regularly to national TV, radio and print media. She is the co-author of Your Middle Years.
Andrew Meehan has had his short fiction published in The Stinging Fly, The Moth, Banshee and Winter Papers, as well as in TOWN & COUNTRY: The Faber Book of New Irish Stories, edited by Kevin Barry. His first short story Her Way of Saying No won him the New Writing Award at the Cúirt Literary Festival. Andrew also works as a screenwriter and, prior to writing full-time, was for many years Head of Development at the Irish Film Board.
Helen Moorhouse is an author, advertising copywriter and regular contributor to the Irish Independent. Helen worked in the independent radio sector for 13 years. She is a mum of two small girls and balances working from home with being a mum and fairly distracted housewife. Helen is originally from Mountmellick, Co Laois and now lives in Drumcondra, Dublin.
Richard Nairn is a writer and ecologist from Dublin. He studied Natural Sciences at Trinity College Dublin and was the first Director of BirdWatch Ireland. He provides ecological advice to local authorities and support to the UNESCO Biosphere designation of Dublin Bay. An active sailor, he has also walked all the shores of the bay.
Éilís Ní Dhuibhne was born in Dublin and graduated from UCD with BA in 1974, MPhil in 1976 and PhD in 1982. She is an Irish novelist, short story writer and playwright in both Irish and English. Her fiction includes The Dancers Dancing (1999), The Bray House (1990), Fox Swallow Scarecrow (2007) and The Shelter of Neighbours (2012), Hurlamaboc (2009) and several other books. Plays include: Dun na mBan Tri Thine (first performed in the Peacock 1996, and performed in the Taidhbhearc in July 2017), Milseog an tSamhraidh, Casadh an Taperecorder, Baboga, and an episode in Signatories (2016). She has several years experience as a scriptwriter for RTÉ and TG 4. Eilis has won many awards for her work, including the Stewart Parker Award for Drama, Bisto Book of the Year Award, several Oireachtas awards for play and novels, and a shortlisting for the Orange Prize for Fiction. She received the Irish Pen Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature in 2015, and a Hennessy Hall of Fame Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2016. She has been Writer Fellow at Trinity College Dublin and at UCD. She is a member of Aosdána.
David Norris is an Irish scholar, independent Senator, and gay and civil rights activist. Norris is a former university lecturer and a member of the Oireachtas, serving in Seanad Éireann since 1987. He was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in Ireland. A founder of the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform, he is also a prominent member of the Church of Ireland.
Ivan 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. Ivan attends the world’s major book fairs in Frankfurt and London, and is on the board of Publishing Ireland, the industry’s trade body. 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.
Billy O’Callaghan was born in Cork in 1974, and is the author of three previous short story collections: In Exile (2008) and In Too Deep (2009), both published by the Mercier Press, and The Things We Lose, The Things We Leave Behind (2013) published by New Island Books, the title story of which earned him the 2013 Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Award for Short Story of the Year. He was shortlisted for the Costa Short Story Award for The Boatman in January 2017. The Dead House is his first novel.
Aileen O’Carroll is the author of Working Time, Knowledge Work and Post-Industrial Society: Unpredictable Work (2014) and a contributor to Time & Society, Saothar and Sociology. She is the manager of the Irish Qualitative Data Archive and a research associate attached to the Life History and Social Change project.
Kerri O’Connell has qualifications in accountancy, tax and succession planning, as well as an international law degree and 20 years of experience in advising a wide variety of clients on tax and business issues. She trained and worked in two of the ‘Big 4’ accountancy firms and was tax partner in a medium-sized accountancy practice for 11 years. Kerri has a special interest in assisting Irish SMEs in all phases of the business cycle: start-up, expansion and sale/succession. She recently published Small and Expanding Businesses: Getting the Tax Right with Chartered Accountants Ireland.
Nuala O’Connor A(AKA Nuala Ní Chonchúir) was born in Dublin, she lives in East Galway. Her fifth short story collection Joyride to Jupiter was published to critical acclaim by New Island in June 2017. Penguin USA, Penguin Canada and Sandstone (UK) published Nuala’s third novel, Miss Emily, about the poet Emily Dickinson and her Irish maid. Miss Emily was shortlisted for the Bord Gáis Energy Eason Book Club Novel of the Year 2015 and longlisted for the 2017 International DUBLIN Literary Award. Nuala’s fourth novel, Becoming Belle, will be published in 2018; www.nualaoconnor.com.
Michael O’Loughlin has earned an enduring reputation as one of Ireland’s most vital and original voices in contemporary poetry. In addition to five collections of poems, he has published numerous translations, critical essays and reviews. Born in Dublin, he spent over 20 years living in Amsterdam and Barcelona before returning to his native city. Poems 1980-2015 brings together and celebrates a poetic career spanning nearly four decades and explores major themes such as identity, language, exile and return, with an exceptionally strong international outlook and a fierce dedication to social and historical justice.
Stella O’Malley is a psychotherapist, writer and public speaker with over ten years’ experience as a mental health professional. Much of Stella’s counselling and teaching work is with parents and young people. She is the author of the bestselling book Cotton Wool Kids and newly released Bully-Proof Kids.
Rick O’Shea has been a broadcaster with RTÉ since 2001. He is a regular moderator, interviewer, curator and panellist at book festivals and literary events around the country. In 2014, he set up “The Rick O’Shea Book Club” on Facebook – it’s currently Ireland’s largest book club with over 10,000 members. You can follow him on Twitter @rickoshea or join the Book Club at http://www.thebookclub.ie.
Fintan O’Toole is a columnist and literary editor with The Irish Times and Leonard L. Milberg lecturer in Irish Letters at Princeton University. He has written books on Irish history, politics, society and culture. He has been awarded the European Press Prize 2017 and the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2017 is a columnist and literary editor with The Irish Times and Leonard L. Milberg lecturer in Irish Letters at Princeton University. He has written books on Irish history, politics, society and culture. He has been awarded the European Press Prize 2017 and the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2017.
Geraldine O’Kane is a poet, creative writing facilitator, and mental health advocate. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies, journals and zines in Ireland, the UK and the US, including The Best New British and Irish Poets 2017 (Eyewear) and Washing Windows? Irish Women Write Poetry (Arlen House). She is founder and editor of Panning for Poems, an online and print micro-poetry journal, and co-host of Purely Poetry, a monthly poetry open mic night. In 2015 she gave a TED Talk for TEDx Belfast on poetry and mental health, and was a recipient of the Artist Career Enhancement Scheme from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Sean O’Reilly was born in Derry in 1969. He has published a collection of short stories, Curfew and Other Stories (2000) and three novels, Love and Sleep (2002), The Swing of Things (2004) and Watermark (2005). His latest book, Levitation, a novella and ten short stories, was published by The Stinging Fly Press in September 2017. He lives in Dublin.
Valerie Pakenham worked as a journalist in London at Condé Nast and the Daily Mail before her marriage to the writer Thomas Pakenham. Her most recent book is The Big House in Ireland, an anthology published in 2001. She has lived in Westmeath, fourteen miles from Maria Edgeworth’s old family home in Edgeworthstown, for over fifty years and is familiar with many of the places described in these letters. The Pakenham and Edgeworth families intermarried in the early eighteenth century and were close friends across several generations.
Julie Parsons was born in New Zealand in 1951 to Irish parents. Julie previously worked as a radio and television producer at RTÉ before writing her debut novel, Mary, Mary (1998), which was an instant critical and commercial success. Since then, Julie has proven herself to be one of Ireland’s most accomplished crime writers. Her first novel in nine years, The Therapy House (2017), is a fast-paced and multi-layered thriller in which a retired detective uncovers the dark secrets obscuring a mysterious crime.
Caitríona Perry is currently RTÉ’s Washington Correspondent. She has won awards for her television and radio reportage, including a Justice Media Merit Award for TV News in June 2015. She has a degree in journalism and a master’s degree in international relations from Dublin City University, where she was recently named one of the university’s distinguished alumni.
Stefanie Preissner, Munich-born but Mallow-raised, is the creator of hit comedy-drama series Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope – the show was originally commissioned by RTÉ and has since broadcast on BBC Three. Season 2 is currently in production in Dublin. She has also produced a series of short documentaries, How To Adult, with RTÉ Player. Her one-woman theatre show, Solpadeine Is My Boyfriend, enjoyed sell-out runs in Dublin before touring internationally to Bucharest, Edinburgh and Australia, and – as a radio play – it became RTÉ’s most downloaded podcast. Stefanie graduated from University College Cork with a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies and Spanish. Alongside her career as a screenwriter and playwright, she has won several awards as an actor. She is a regular contributor to Ireland’s Sunday Independent newspaper and her voice is well-recognised from her prolific voiceover career. She is currently working on a screenplay for Parallel Films and developing a TV pilot with Channel 4. Why Can’t Everything Just Stay the Same? is her first book. Stefanie lives in Dublin.
Caroline Preston was born into an Irish family with a long military tradition. She studied History and Political Science at Trinity College Dublin and had a long and successful career in law. She now practices as an independent mediator and lives in County Meath. This Tumult is her first novel.
Nell Regan has published three collections of poetry, most recently One Still Thing (Enitharmon Press, 2014). She has been a Fellow at the International Writing Programme, University of Iowa and a Fulbright Scholar at UC Berkeley. Awards include an Arts Council Literature Bursary and 2016 Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship. Her poems and articles regularly appear in The Irish Times, Poetry Ireland Review, Cyphers and The Stinging Fly as well as in Russian and Chinese translation. Her early research work on Helena Molony was published in Female Activists: Irish Women and Change Eds Mary Cullen and Maria Luddy (Woodfield Press, 2001) and The Field Day Anthology while Arlen House has just published her full-length biography Helena Molony A Radical Life. She lives in Dublin where she works as a freelance educator and literary programmer. See also www.nellregan.com.
Alan Regnier was born in Soignies in 1964. He is a graduate of the University Higher education in THE ESAPV Mons, and of the educational capacity in IRAM (Mons). He was a screen printer from 1988-1989, the Manager of the SPRL Altamira from 1989-1992, and has been an art teacher in the Provincial Athenaeum of La Louvière and professor of computer graphics in the Arts and crafts of La Louvière since 1993. For many years, he has participated in personal and collective exhibitions in Belgium and abroad, as well as publishing and printings for artists and Belgian or foreign writers through several collections. Since 2003, he has been involved in animation workshops regarding the book in primary schools across Belgium, France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and Germany. Since 2011, he has organised the biennial event “MOTAMO”, the international exhibition of children’s books in the Athenaeum Provincial of La Louvière.
Seàn Rocks is the presenter of Arena, RTÉ Radio 1’s flagship arts, culture and entertainment programme. In that role, Seán has interviewed many major writers, actors, musicians and artists – including Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis, Edna O’Brien, Martin Sheen, Danny De Vito, Saoise Rónan, John Banville, Brendan Gleeson, Roddy Doyle, Steve Reich and Marina Carr. He has hosted numerous outside broadcasts from major arts festivals and anchored Arena’s live three-hour broadcasts from Meeting House Square during Culture Night 2013 and 2014. He has also hosted public interviews with figures in both the national and international arts world.
Simon Spain is founding Creative Producer of ArtPlay in Melbourne, and as a practising artist himself, Simon Spain has an experienced understanding of how many teaching artists approach their practice and deliver their work. Simon has made presentations around the world about his work and research at ArtPlay, and, after completing a Masters in Social Investment last year, has just embarked on a reflective practice PhD at RMIT in Melbourne. You can see a full summary of Simons work here and an online resume here. See more: www.simonspain.com.
Lucy Wolfe is a paediatric sleep consultant and mum of four children. She is the head of Sleep Matters, and has a proven track record in helping babies and children learn to sleep more soundly. She has completed extensive professional development in the area with continued training in Parent Mentoring and Relationship Studies (UCC). She is a regular contributor on the subject of baby sleep to RTÉ’s Today Show and TV3’s Ireland AM and Weekend AM.
School & Children’s Programme
Pauline Burgess lives in Carryduff Belfast with her husband Paul and daughter Emma. Educated in Queen’s. As a teacher of English in nearby Castlewellan, Pauline fell in love with children’s fiction and began writing for the teenage audience some years ago. She has also been inspired to write for the younger market by her daughter, Emma, who has loved books since she was a proverbial babe-in-arms. Emma’s riding experiences at Lessans’ Riding Stables, near Saintfield, County Down, prompted Pauline’s PonyFriends Forever series aimed at 5-8 year-olds, which were published in 2014 and 2015. Knock Back was partly inspired by some of the teenagers Pauline has taught over the past 25 years.
Caroline Busher graduated with a First Class Honours MA in Creative Writing from UCD. She is the Irish Times best-selling author of The Ghosts of Magnificent Children (Poolbeg Press) and is represented by Trace Literary Agency (USA). She is the recipient of many awards and was appointed the Reader in Residence with Wexford Public Library Services (2016-2017). Caroline is the Vice Chair of Wexford Literary Festival. Her forthcoming novel The Girl Who Ate The Stars will be released in October (2017) and is published by Poolbeg Press.
Anna Carey is a journalist and author from Dublin who has written for the Irish Times, Irish Independent and many other publications. Anna’s first book, The Real Rebecca, was published in 2011, and went on to win the Senior Children’s Book prize at the Irish Book Awards. Rebecca returned in the critically acclaimed Rebecca’s Rules, Rebecca Rocks and Rebecca is Always Right. The Making of Mollie, her first historical novel, was nominated for an Irish Book Award in 2017.
Alan Clarke is an award-winning Irish artist/illustrator. His work has been published and exhibited worldwide. At home, he is best known for providing illustrations for the ongoing Ross O’Carroll-Kelly series, as well as children’s books such as Something Beginning with P, and Eddie Lenihan’s Irish Tales of Mystery and Magic. His work has also appeared on numerous well-known album covers, festival posters, and advertising campaigns.
Sadhbh Devlin’s first Irish-language picturebook for children, Bí ag Spraoi Liom, was published by Futa Fata in July 2017. She is an award-winning blogger, a television researcher for Irish language television channel TG4 and the craft contributor to Easy Parenting magazine. She also reviews Irish language children’s books for Inis magazine. You can find her making crafts and playing with her young twins on her award-winning blog: www.wherewishescomefrom.com or writing about her adventures in children’s literature here: www.sadhbhdevlin.ie.
Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick has been making books for thirty years. She is the author/illustrator of Izzy and Skunk, The Sleeping Giant, There and Owl Bat Bat Owl. Her work has won the Bisto/Children’s Books Ireland overall award on four occasions.
Matt Griffin is from Kells, County Meath, and now lives in Ennis. He has garnered a reputation as one of the most eclectic graphic artists in contemporary illustration, collecting awards and accolades for his work in publishing, advertising and, in particular, the field of poster art. His passion for visual design was always married to one for writing. A Cage of Roots (2015) was his first novel in the Ayla Trilogy and was followed by Storm Weaver (2016) and The Spiral Path in 2017.
Lucinda Jacob is a children’s writer and creative writing teacher. She has written (and in some cases illustrated) several books for children, as well as scripts for children’s TV and radio. She is also a textile artist and works part-time as a librarian. Lucinda often visits schools and libraries, to read and talk to children about stories and poetry, and she often works with children, helping them to write poems of their own. She lives with her husband in Dún Laoghaire near Dublin. She has two grown-up daughters. Lots of Lucinda’s poems have been published in magazines and collections, but Hopscotch in the Sky is her first book of poems.
Chris Judge is an illustrator and children’s picture book author based in Dublin. He published his first picture book The Lonely Beast in 2011, which won the Irish Children’s Book of the Year at the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards. It was followed by two Beast sequels, and in 2014, Chris illustrated Roddy Doyle’s children’s book Brilliant and collaborated on a book for older children with comedian David O’Doherty called Danger is Everywhere! His second book with David O’Doherty was published in August 2015 as well as third Beast book in September 2015. David and Chris published their third Danger book this year.
Tarsila Krüse is a Brazilian-born children’s book illustrator living in Dublin with her husband, son and two little dogs, Pixel and Tag. Her début picturebook Ná Gabh ar Scoil! (written by Myra Zepf) was shortlisted for The CBI Book of The Year Awards and her second book Bliain na nAmhrán (written by Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin) won the CBI Judges’ Special Merit Award 2017. Her latest picturebook Bí ag spraoi liom! (written by Sadhbh Devlin) is all about making time for the special things in life and is available in all good bookshops
PJ Lynch was appointed the fourth Laureate na nÓg in May 2016. A world-renowned illustrator and author, PJ was born in Belfast, and became interested in art at an early age. He has been awarded the Christopher Medal three times, and he also won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal on two occasions. Recent titles include Mysterious Traveller, Once upon a Place, which was compiled by Eoin Colfer as Laureate na nÓg, and The Boy Who Fell Off The Mayflower, which is the first book PJ has also written. PJ‘s most recent project was illustrating Patrick and the President by Ryan Tubridy, set during the period when President Kennedy returned to his ancestral home in 1963.
Steve McCarthy is a Dublin based designer, illustrator and bearded gentleman. His style is bold, colourful and inspired by humour and wit. Working with a mix of practical and digital techniques, Steve’s work feels most comfortable somewhere between the yellow submarine and Dumbo’s pink elephants. His first children’s book Sally Go Round the Stars was nominated for the Bord Gais children’s book of the year and he worked as a background designer for the animated feature film Song of the Sea, which was nominated for an academy award. Steve plans to continue producing children’s picture books and use illustration in all manner of weird and wonderful projects.
Kunak McGann grew up in Drogheda back in the days when electronic tablets were unheard of (she can still remember the excitement when the family got a ZX Spectrum – ‘Luna Crabs’, anyone?) and playing out on the street was the most fun kids could imagine. Eventually, like everyone, she had to grow up and get a proper job. So now she works in publishing and lives in Kildare with her husband, two lively sons and one chilled-out dog. Kunak is author of The Train Driver, part of the Panda Cubs series published by The O’Brien Press. Red Rover, Red Rover is her first non-fiction publication.
Oisín McGann was born in Dublin in 1973, and Oisín spent his childhood between there and in Drogheda, County Louth. He studied art at Ballyfermot Senior College and Dún Laoghaire School of Art and Design, and went on to work in illustration, design and film animation. He moved to London in 1998, where he eventually found work as an art director and copywriter for an advertising agency. After three and a half years of advertising, he began to fear for his immortal soul. He returned to Ireland in the summer of 2002 much as he had left… with no job, no home and some meagre savings. He now lives in Meath and works as an author, freelance illustrator and artist.
Orna Ní Choileáin has won many awards at Oireachtas na Gaeilge and other festivals for her creative prose, poetry, plays and short stories. She is the author of two short story collections, Sciorrann an tAm, which was shortlisted for Gradam Uí Shúilleabháin in 2014, and Canary Wharf, along with a series of novels about Ailfí the Vampire and a number of other titles for young readers. LeabhairCOMHAR published Bóthar na Rós, her short novel for adult learners of Irish in 2016.
Lauren O’Neill is a curly-haired, Wexford-born illustrator and NCAD graduate who now lives and works in Dublin City. She spends most of her time in or near her home studio, drawing, eating biscuits or going on nature walks with her dog, Smudge. She often does drawing workshops for kids, usually learning more from them than they do from her. Her work can be found on the covers and interiors of several books for children, and she is the proud winner of the Children’s Books Ireland Honour Award for Illustration 2016 for Gulliver, a new retelling of Swift’s classic tale.
Seán O’Súilleabháin grew up in Tallaght, Dublin by the foothills of the Dublin mountains. He studied at University College Dublin and National University of Ireland, Galway, before travelling and working in China. Seán’s passion for the outdoors led him to move to Wicklow in 2005 where he began teaching in Coláiste Chraobh Abhann, Kilcoole. Seán has written and adapted numerous plays for adults and children, which have been performed in Ireland, China and Dubai. When not writing or teaching, Seán enjoys exploring the hills and valleys of Wicklow where he lives with his wife Emma.
Claire Savage published her debut children’s novel, Magical Masquerade, in April 2017, officially launching it at the Belfast Book Festival in June. Chosen as one of Lagan Online’s 12NOW (New Original Writers) for 2016/17, Claire also writes short stories and poetry, with stories published in The Lonely Crowd and The Incubator journals, SHIFT Lit – Derry magazine, The Launchpad and The Ghastling. Some of her poetry has also been published. In 2014 Claire received a National Lottery grant from the Arts Council NI as part of their Support for Individual Artists Programme. She works as a copywriter and journalist, running her own business on the North Coast of Northern Ireland.
Niamh Sharkey was Ireland’s second Laureate na nÓg. She is an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s picture books. Her books have won numerous awards including the prestigious Mother Goose Award for the Best New Illustrator and The Bisto Book of the Year for her first two picture books; Tales of Wisdom and Wonder and The Gigantic Turnip. She is the creator and executive producer of Henry Hugglemonster, an animated pre-school series, on Disney Junior. Niamh is the co-founder of the Towers and Tales Children’s Book Festival and Bookbag a book gifting initiative run in conjunction with Brown Bag Films and Children’s Books Ireland; www.niamhsharkey.com.
Sarah Webb writes for both children and adults. Her Ask Amy Green series has been shortlisted for the Queen of Teen Awards in the UK, The CBI Book Awards and the Irish Book Awards. The third book in The Songbird Cafe Girls: Aurora and the Popcorn Dolphin, has recently been published. A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea, her new rhyme and song collection illustrated by Steve McCarthy was published in September.
Sheena Wilkinson writes contemporary realistic fiction for children and young adults. Since the publication of her first novel, the multi-award-winning Taking Flight, she has been established as one of Ireland’s most acclaimed writers for children and teenagers. Taking Flight (2010) won the CBI Honour Award for Fiction as well as the Children’s Choice Award. It was named as a White Raven by the International Youth Library and got a place on the IBBY Honour List. Its sequel, Grounded (2012) also won the CBI Children’s Choice award as well as the overall Book of the Year. Too Many Ponies, for readers 9+, was also shortlisted for the CBI awards, making that three out of three. Sheena’s newest titles are Still Falling (2015), followed by Name upon Name, a historical novel for older children (August 2015). In 2013-14 she was the first CBI Bringing to Book Writer in Residence at the Church of Ireland College of Education in Rathmines. She is a professional mentor for NUI Galway, and tutors for the Arvon Foundation. Sheena lives in County Down, and travels extensively in Ireland and beyond, talking about books and writing.
Máire Zepf is the first Children’s Writing Fellow for Northern Ireland. Based at the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queens’s University, Belfast, she is on a sworn mission to inspire kids to write their own stories. She is an author of both picture books and chapter books in Irish, which have been translated internationally. She was nominated for Children’s Book of the Year in 2016 and three times nominated for the Reics Carlo Award.