Chris Agee is a poet, essayist, photographer and editor. His third collection of poems, Next to Nothing, was shortlisted in Britain for the 2009 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. He recently edited Balkan Essays, the sixth volume of Hubert Butler’s essays, and is the Editor of Irish Pages. He lives in Belfast, and divides his time between Ireland, Scotland and Croatia.
Dr Harry Barry is a highly respected Irish author and medic, with 36 years of experience as a GP and a particular interest in mental health and suicide prevention. He is the author of numerous bestselling books addressing various aspects of mental health including depression and toxic stress. Dr Barry has become a well-known figure in the Irish media and is the go-to expert on all areas of mental health, regularly contributing to articles in the national newspapers and as a guest on various radio and television programmes including a monthly guest spot on RTE Radio, Sean O’Rourke show. His YouTube video on panic attacks has had 650k views. He also a past member of the board of Aware.ie, an lrish charity which provides support, education and information around depression.
John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. He is the author of eleven novels for adults, five for young readers and a collection of short stories. Perhaps best known for his 2006 multi-award-winning book The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, John’s other novels, notably The Absolutist and A History of Lonelieness, have been widely praised and are international bestsellers. Most recently, The Heart’s Invisible Furies was a Richard & Judy Bookclub word-of-mouth bestseller. His novels are published in over fifty languages.
Niall Breslin (Bressie) is an Irish musician and producer. He is currently studying for a Masters in Mindfulness Based Interventions with UCD. His first book, Me and My Mate Jeffrey, was a number one bestseller.
Marian Broderick is a writer and editor who lives and works in London. She is second-generation Irish; her parents are from Donegal and Limerick. She spent every summer of her childhood in Ireland and has developed strong links with the place and the people. Wild Irish Women: Extraordinary Lives from History proved hugely popular on publication in 2001 and has since sold almost 30,000 copies. Marian furthered her research to bring the reader more wild Irish women in her latest book, Bold Brilliant and Bad: Irish Women from History.
Juanita Browne, a Zoology graduate with an MA in Media Studies, has almost 20 years’ experience across television, radio, magazines, books, and newspapers. Juanita’s books include ‘Ireland’s Mammals’ (2005); ‘Kildare’s Natural Heritage’ (2008), ‘Put the Kettle On – the Irish love affair with tea’ (2013); and ‘My First Book of Irish Animals’ (2014), which was shortlisted for the Literacy Association of Ireland Children’s Book Award 2015. Juanita’s latest job involves working with the National Biodiversity Data Centre, on a project called the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan – conserving bees, bumblebees and the wildflowers and hedgerows they depend on.
Toby Buckley recently completed his MA in poetry at Queen’s University Belfast as the first recipient of the Ruth West Poetry Scholarship. His work has been published in The Tangerine, Poetry Ireland Review and The Stinging Fly, as well as a number of different zines. He currently works as a freelance writer and runs an independent arts zine called Bombinate.
Caroline Busher is the Irish Times best-selling author of The Ghosts of Magnificent Children and The Girl Who Ate The Stars (Poolbeg Press). Caroline graduated with a First Class Honours MA in Creative Writing. She is the recipient of many awards. She is the Reader in Residence with Wexford Public Library Services (2017). Caroline is a Heritage Expert with the Heritage Council of Ireland, the Festival Manager of Towers and Tales book festival in Lismore Castle and Vice Chair of Wexford Literary Festival. Caroline is represented by Trace Literary Agency (USA).
Jason Byrne is one of Ireland’s most popular comedians and a judge on Virgin Media’s Ireland’s Got Talent. He has a huge international career as a stand-up comedian and many television credits to his name, including Wild Things on Sky One.
Patricia Byrne is captivated by Achill Island. Her book The Veiled Woman of Achill: Island Outrage and a Playboy Drama was published by The Collins Press in 2012. Her memoir essay ‘Milk Bottles in Limerick’ was named one of the Notable Essays of the Year in Best American Essays 2017. Her work has featured in New Hibernia Review, The Irish Times (Irishwoman’s Diary), RTÉ’s Sunday Miscellany and The Irish Story among other outlets. A graduate of the NUI Galway writer programme, she lives in Limerick. www.patriciabyrneauthor.com
June Caldwell‘s acclaimed collection of short stories, Room Little Darker, is published by New Island Books and forthcoming from Head of Zeus. Her story “SOMAT” was published in the award-winning anthology The Long Gaze Back, and was chosen as a favourite by The Sunday Times. June’s fiction has been published in The Stinging Fly, The Moth, Winter Papers, The Lonely Crowd and The Broken Spiral anthology. She has won the Moth International Short Story Prize, and been shortlisted for many others, including: the Calvino Prize in Fabulist Fiction, the Colm Toíbín International Short Story Award, the Lorian Hemingway Prize, and the Sunday Business Post/Penguin Ireland Short Story Prize. Her first novel, Little Town Moone, is forthcoming from John Murray. Her short story “Leitrim Flip” is featured in The Other Irish Tradition.
Tina Callaghan is a writer of speculative fiction, both for children and adults. Her stories involve elements of history, mythology and the supernatural. Her short stories have appeared alongside horror and science-fiction greats Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Ray Bradbury and Robert Bloch.
Andrea Carter graduated in law from Trinity College, Dublin before qualifying as a solicitor and moving to the Inishowen peninsula in Co. Donegal where she ran the most northerly solicitors practice in the country for a time. In 2006, she transferred to the Bar and moved to Dublin to practise as a barrister before turning to write crime novels. Carter writes a series set in Inishowen published by Little, Brown, soon to be adapted for television. Her latest book Murder at Greysbridge was published in October.
Ciaran Carty: Since incurring the wrath of his first editor in 1960 by making Hitchcock’s Psycho his film of the year, veteran cineast Ciaran Carty has consistently championed the arts, developing a career as one of Ireland’s leading critics and broadcasters. He was deputy editor of The Sunday Independent (1961–65) before becoming arts editor for The Sunday Tribune (1985–2011). Since 1988 he has edited the New Irish Writing page for both the Tribune and the Irish Independent, and is curator of the prestigious annual Hennessy Literary Awards. He is the author of Confessions of a Sewer Rat (1995), a two-volume biography of the artist Robert Ballagh (1985, 2011), and has co-edited, with Dermot Bolger, two anthologies of Hennessy fiction (1995, 2006).
June Considine was born in Dublin where she still lives. She has written extensively both for children and adults. Considine is the author of the Luvenders Trilogy, a fantasy for children, seven popular teen books that make up The Beachwood Series, as well as View from a Blind Bridge and The Glass Triangle. Her adult novels include When the Bough Breaks (2002) and Deceptions (2004). Considine has also written scripts for children’s radio and television and her stories are included in a number of teenage short story anthologies. Her latest work is a novel, Prodigal Sister.
Sarah Crossan is a poet and novelist who writes for teenagers and young adults. She was announced as Ireland’s fifth Laureate na nÓg in May 2018. Her theme as Laureate is #WeAreThePoets, a two-year project inspiring young people to express themselves through poetry and verse. Sarah’s verse novel One won the CILIP Carnegie Medal and the CBI Book of the Year Award, as well as The Bookseller YA Book Prize and the CLiPPA Poetry Award. Her earlier novels The Weight of Water and Apple and Rain were both shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the CBI Book of the Year Award. Last year, Sarah published We Come Apart, her first collaboration with Costa Children’s Book Award winner Brian Conaghan. Her latest novel for teenagers, Moonrise, won the Children’s Choice Award at the CBI Book of the Year Awards 2018, it was also shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award, The Bookseller YA Book Prize and the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards DEPT51@Eason Teen/Young Adult Book of the Year.
Dr. Frank Cullen is a researcher at the Royal Irish Academy working on the Irish Historic Towns Atlas and the Dictionary of Irish Biography projects. He completed his PhD in history at Maynooth University (2005) examining the development of nineteenth-century Dublin and Belfast. He is author of Dublin 1847: city of the Ordnance Survey (Dublin, 2015).
Madeleine D’Arcy graduated in law from University College Cork in 1982. She is qualified as a solicitor in Ireland and in the UK. In London, she worked in criminal legal aid. She later became a senior editor at Butterworth Law Publishers. She also worked for Cork Refugee Legal Centre.In 2010 she received a Hennessy Literary Award for First Fiction and the overall award of New Irish Writer. Her short story collection, Waiting For The Bullet (Doire Press, 2014), won the Edge Hill Readers’ Choice Prize 2015 (UK). She holds an MA in Creative Writing from UCC. She and Danielle McLaughlin co-host Fiction at the Friary, a monthly fiction event in Cork City.
Mariel Deegan is General Manager of New Island Books, where she has worked since 2013 across all areas of the publication process. New Island commissions in the areas of both crime and literary fiction, and general interest non-fiction, particularly history, biography and memoir.
Martina Devlin is an author and journalist. Her latest book is Truth & Dare: Short Stories about Women Who Shaped Ireland. Novels include About Sisterland, set in the near future in a world ruled by women; and The House Where It Happened, a ghost story inspired by a mass witchcraft trial in Ireland. Prizes include the Royal Society of Literature’s VS Pritchett Prize and a Hennessy Literary Award, while she was three times shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards. A current affairs commentator for the Irish Independent, she was named columnist of the year by the National Newspapers of Ireland. Martina is vice-chairperson of the Irish Writers Centre, and is currently working on a PhD at Trinity College Dublin.
Moyra Donaldson is an award-winning poet from county Down. She has published seven collections of poetry, most recently Selected Poems in 2012 and The Goose Tree in 2014 from Liberties Press. She has been widely published internationally in magazines, journals and anthologies in Europe, Australia, and the USA. Her poems have featured on BBC radio and television and on American national radio and television. Her new poetry collection Holding to Air is forthcoming from Doire Press in Spring 2019.
Peter 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‘s widely acclaimed first novel, Here Are the Young Men, was chosen as a book of the year by The Irish Times, The Independent, the Sunday Times, and Sunday Business Post, and shortlisted in the Best Newcomer category for the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards. The Guardian called his second book This is The Ritual “a powerful and provocative novel and easily the most honest account of young Irish people for many years”. His work has appeared in The Guardian, Observer, Irish Times, Dublin Review, and elsewhere. His short story “John-Paul Finnegan, Paltry Realist” was published in Dalkey Archive Press’s flagship publication Best European Fiction in 2016. Rob is the editor of The Other Irish Tradition, due for publication this month.
Anne Enright was born in Dublin in 1962, studied English and Philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin, and went on to study for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. She is a former RTE television producer. Her short stories have appeared in several magazines including The New Yorker and The Paris Review, and she won the 2004 Davy Byrnes Irish Writing Award for her short story, ‘Honey’. Her short story collection, The Portable Virgin was published in 1991, and won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. Her most recent novel is The Green Road (2015), which won the Irish Novel of the Year. In 2015, Enright was appointed as the inaugural Laureate of Irish Fiction by Taoiseach Enda Kenny. During her time as Laureate for Irish Fiction, Enright promoted people’s engagement with Irish literature through public lectures and creative writing classes. She spent one semester at University College Dublin and one semester at New York University. She joined the University College Dublin School of English as Professor of Fiction in September 2018.
Donal Fallon, from Dublin, is one of the three contributors to the popular ComeHereToMe history blog and has worked as a walking tour guide in the city. His work has appeared in The Irish Times and History Ireland, and he is a regular contributor to Newstalk and RTÉ Radio. His other books include a biography of Major John MacBride (2015) and a history of the Nelson Pillar (2014).
Arnold Thomas Fanning’s short stories, articles, and essays have been published in The Dublin Review, Banshee, the Irish Times, the Sunday Business Post, Crazyhorse Magazine, The Phoenix Anthology of New Irish Writing, gorse, Longreads.com, and The Lonely Crowd, while a new essay is forthcoming in Paper Visual Art Journal. His work has also been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and RTÉ Radio 1 including for Arena and A Living Word. His most recent play McKenna’s Fort won the Oscar Wilde Award for Best New Writing in the 13th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, and in 2017 he received an Arts Council Bursary in Literature. Mind on Fire: A Memoir of Madness and Recovery, his first book, is published by Penguin Ireland.
Bryan Fanning is University College Dublin’s Professor of Migration and Social Policy. In addition to the recently-published Migration and the Making of Ireland his books include Histories of the Irish Future and Racism and Social Change in the Republic of Ireland.
John Fanning was born in Dublin in 1973. He is the director of La Muse, an artists and writers retreat in southern France. Ezekiel is his debut novel. You can read more about John and his work here: johnfanning.me
Tony Farmar (1946-2017) was the co-founder and publisher, with Anna Farmar, of A&A Farmar, a highly respected independent Irish publishing house. An author, academic, and life-long student of the history of Irish publishing, Tony was the co-founder and former Chair of the Association of Freelance Editors Proofreaders and Indexers (AFEPI), President of Publishing Ireland 2005/6, and former Chair of the Irish Copyright Licensing Authority (ICLA), 2006-2010. Tony died in December of 2017.
Jack Fennell is a writer, editor, translator and researcher whose academic publications include pieces on science fiction, utopian and dystopian literature, monsters, Irish literature, and the legal philosophy of comic books. He is the author of Irish Science Fiction (2014), a contributing translator for The Short Fiction of Flann O’Brien (2013), and a former Visiting Fellow at the Moore Institute in NUI Galway. He lives in Limerick.
Patricia Forde lives in Galway, in the west of Ireland. She has published five books for children, and written two plays, as well as several television drama series for children and teenagers. She has worked as a writer on both English and Irish language soap operas. In another life, she was a primary school teacher and the artistic director of Galway Arts Festival.
John Gibney, from Dublin, is DFAT 100 Project Coordinator with the Royal Irish Academy’s Documents on Irish Foreign Policy project. He has lectured at TCD and UCD and been a research fellow at the University of Notre Dame and NUI Galway. He worked on the ‘Historical Walking Tours of Dublin’ until 2015 and has written several successful history books.
Sinéad Gleeson’s essays have appeared in Granta, Winter Papers, Gorse and Banshee and Elsewhere Journal. Her short stories have been published in the anthologies Looking at the Stars, The Broken Spiral, Repeal the 8th and Being Various, Faber’s forthcoming collection of New Irish Writing (May 2019). She is the editor of three short anthologies, including the award-winning collections, The Long Gaze Back: an Anthology of Irish Women Writers (2015) and The Glass Shore: Short Stories by Women Writers from the North of Ireland (2016). Her debut book of essays, Constellations will be published by Picador in Spring 2019.
Tommy Graham is a founder (1993) and editor of History Ireland magazine and convener of its lively Hedge Schools, an ongoing series of round table discussions of historical and contemporary interest, which debuted at the Electric Picnic in 2010. Since 2012 he has lectured in history and politics at Griffith College, Dublin, and is founder (1986) 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.
Aga Grandowicz : As a child, Aga Grandowicz always wanted to be a vet or an ichthyologist (a scientist who studies fish), but she changed her mind before she started college and became an art director and a graphic designer instead. Originally from Gdynia in Poland, she’s been living and working in Dublin since 2006. She is happiest when drawing furry animals and old trees or designing corporate identity.
Peter Gray is the author of ‘The Great Irish Famine, 1845-1850’ in J. Kelly (ed.), Cambridge History of Ireland, Vol.3 Cambridge University Press, 2018.
Sarah Maria Griffin: ‘a first novel Spare and Found Parts was published by Greenwillow Books in October 2016 and will be in early 2018 by Titan. Her non-fiction has appeared in Buzzfeed, The Rumpus, Guts and Winter Pages. Her collection of essays about emigration, Not Lost, was published by New Island Press in 2013. She was the recipient of the European Science Fiction Awards, Chrysalis Award in 2017. She tweets at @griffski
Richard Halperin: Richard’s poetry has been widely published in journals and magazines in Ireland and the U.K. The poem ‘Snow Falling, Lady Murasaki Watching’ is on permanent display at the Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo. The present volume is his fourth collection for Salmon. The others are Quiet in a Quiet House, 2016; Shy White Tiger, 2013; and Anniversary, 2010. Anniversary was published in Japanese by Kindaibungei-sha Press, Tokyo. 2012. Prior to retirement from humanitarian administration work in 2005, he was Chief of Teacher Education for UNESCO, where he edited Reading and Writing Poetry: The Recommendations of Poets from Many Lands on the Teaching of Poetry in Secondary Schools, Paris, 2005, downloadable gratis in English, French and Spanish.
Carmel Harrington is an Irish Times bestselling author and lives in Co. Wexford with her husband and children. She is a regular on Irish TV, as one of the panellists on TV3’s Elaine show, co-founder and Chair of Wexford Literary Festival & co-founder of the creative writing initiative The Inspiration Project. Two of her novels have been shortlisted in the popular fiction category of the Irish Book Awards. A Thousand Roads Home is her seventh novel.
Samantha Holman is the Executive Director of the Irish Copyright Licensing Agency- the body which represents author’s and publisher’s reprographic rights. She is currently also a substitute director of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations as well as Chair of the IFRRO European Group. She is a co-opted director of the Irish Visual Arts Rights Organisation and a director of the Copyright Association of Ireland and the charity PRISM DLR.
Fred Johnston has published eight collections of poetry and his poetry and prose have appeared widely, in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada and in France. In 1972, he was a recipient of a Hennessy Literary Award for Prose. With Neil Jordan and Peter Sheridan, he established The Irish Writers’ Co-operative in the mid-Seventies. He received Sunday Independent Awards for prose and poetry respectively in the1980s. In 2004, he was appointed Writer-in-residence to the Princess Grace Irish Library at Monaco. In 2016, he was a recipient of a Katherine and Patrick Kavanagh fellowship. He has published four novels and two collections of short stories, as well as plays, including ‘No Earthly Pole’,, on the explorations of Sir John Franklin, which was performed at Galway’s Punchbag Theatre.
Madeleine 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 17 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.
Allison Keating is a Chartered Psychologist practising at her own clinic for the last 13 years. She has a keen interest in destigmatizing mental health issues and is a major advocate of Positive Psychology. She has been the resident Psychologist on TV3’s Ireland AM, The Morning Show and currently on Sunday AM. She also participated in RTE 2’s ‘Then Comes Marriage’ 6 part series. Allison is a regular on the Ray D’arcy show and also contributes to Dave Fanning, Matt Cooper and Ryan Tubridy and many other shows and newspapers.
Colm Keegan is a writer and poet from Dublin, Ireland. Since 2005, he has been shortlisted four times for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award, for both poetry and fiction and won the All Ireland Poetry Slam in 2010. His first book Don’t Go There was released to critical acclaim in 2012. His latest collection Randomer is out now and available from Salmon poetry. In 2014 he was awarded a residency in the LexIcon, Ireland’s largest public library. He has developed numerous creative writing projects for schools and colleges across the country. He is a creative writing teacher and co-founder of the Inklinks Project, a creative writing initiative for young writers.In 2011, he was nominated for the Dublin Fringe’s ‘Little Gem’ Award for the spoken-word play Three Men Talking About Things They Kinda Know About – which has toured Ireland and sold out in Bristol, London and Paris. His play For Saoirse was staged in the Axis Theatre in 2016. In January 2017 his short play, The Process was staged in the Abbey Theatre as part of 24 Hour Plays. He also writes for television. He was a co-founder and board member of Lingo, Ireland’s first Spoken Word festival.
Margaret Kelleher is Professor and Chair of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at UCD. Her books include The Feminization of Famine (1997), The Cambridge History of Irish Literature (2006), co-edited with Philip O’Leary, and Ireland and Quebec: Interdisciplinary Essays on History, Culture and Society (2016), co-edited with Michael Kenneally. From 2009 to 2016 she was Chairperson of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures. Her book, The Maamtrasna Murders: Language, Life and Death in Nineteenth-Century Ireland, is newly published by UCD Press.
Mary Kennedy: One of Ireland’s best-loved broadcasters, Mary’s career in RTE has spanned more than three decades, including presenting the Eurovision Song Contest in 1995. She is co-presenter of Nationwide and author of the best-selling books What Matters, Lines I Love, Paper Tigers; and Lines for Living. A mum of four, she lives in Dublin.
Dave Kenny is a journalist, bestselling non-fiction author and broadcaster. His books include The Little Buke of Dublin, Erindipity: The Irish Miscellany and Erindipity Rides Again), The Trib: Highlights from the Sunday Tribune, The Press Gang (Tales from the Glory Days of Irish newspapers and The Splendid Years (Memoirs of a Rebel Abbey Actress).
Conor Kostick is an award-winning historian and novelist living in Dublin. Former Chairperson of the Irish Writers Union and the Irish Copyright Licensing Agency, Conor currently sits on the board of the National Library of Ireland and the advisory board of National Braille Production. He is commissioning editor for Level Up, an imprint of Ockham Publishing.
Caitriona Lally studied English Literature in Trinity College Dublin. She has had a colourful employment history, working as an abstract writer and a copywriter, as well as a home helper in New York and an English teacher in Japan. Caitriona is the winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature 2018 for emerging Irish writers at Trinity College Dublin.
Cethan Leahy is a writer, filmmaker, and editor of Irish literary magazine The Penny Dreadful. His short stories are published in The Looking Glass, Wordlegs and Five Dials and he has written two Fiction Express eBooks for Middle Grade, The Chosen One (and his mum and his dad and his sister) and Prince Charming and his Quest for a Wife. Cethan’s animation short The Beast of Bath was broadcast on national television. His short film The Amazing appeared in Cork film anthology Cork, Like in 2013. His radio programmes, including children’s drama Tales from the Fairy Fort, have appeared on LifeFM and RTÉJnrdigital radio. He has also contributed illustration work to Cork comics press Turncoat Press.
Paddy Lennon: Award-winning artist Paddy Lennon was born in Dublin and currently lives in Wexford. His works are held in private and corporate collections worldwide. He has exhibited his work in numerous solo and group shows, both in Ireland and internationally. His most recent shows were in Xiamen, Shenzhen and Guanzhou in China, and Abu Dhabi, UAE and Geneva Switzerland.
Pat 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.
Fuchsia MacAree is an illustrator from the border of Clare and Tipperary, now living and working in Dublin. Her work has appeared in exhibitions and publications worldwide.
Proinsias Mac a’ Bhaird is from Aranmore, Donegal. His first book Cogar san Fharraige (Coiscéim, 2002) dealt with Aranmore folklore. He has published poetry collections and teen fiction, as well as short stories and plays. Tairngreacht (LeabhairCOMHAR) is his third novel.
Rob Maguire hails from Bray, Co.Wicklow, and has worked as a musician, a script supervisor, a journalist, a blogger and a bookseller. Now an advertising copywriter, Rob spends his time coming up with madcap ideas – such as writing a book about animals, despite being allergic to them.
Darragh Martin went to New York on a Fulbright scholarship to Columbia University, where he completed his PhD in Theatre. He then moved to London from New York in 2016. As a gay writer, Darragh is a passionate campaigner for LGBTQ+ rights, as well as having been involved with different activist campaigns since university, most recently climate change and migrant rights. Darragh has also been involved with different writing initiatives, including teaching theatre in Riker’s Island women’s jail in New York, and a school in Guatemala, volunteering with 826 NYC & the Hackney Pirates.
He has written several plays including, An Air Balloon Across Antarctica (Edinburgh + Melbourne fringe); The Map of Lost Things (First Irish Festival in New York) and Why Pluto is a Planet (Samuel French One Act Festival). Other work for children includes ‘Nora and the Sky Snake’, a current commission to write a new children’s story about climate change and Antarctica, and a children’s novel, The Keeper, which was shortlisted for Children’s Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards in 2013. Occasionally, Darragh performs with a drag mermaid climate-change group. Future Popes of Ireland is his first adult novel.
Patrick McCabe was born in Clones, Co. Monaghan in 1955. He has published many novels, including The Dead School and The Butcher Boy. His movies include The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto, both directed by Neil Jordan. His novel Heartland, which he describes as an ʻoutlaw country songʼ, an ʻelectric hillbilly operaʼ, has been published by New Island. He is currently performing in ‘the analogue monologues’, written and directed by himself. Pat is married with two grown-up children, to the artist Margot Quinn. His longstanding relationship with Dermot Healy goes back to 1977 and the first issue of The Drumlin,as well as an argument about Isaac Babel and fourteen pints in Tullyvin. He misses him greatly.
Aoibheann McCann is originally from Donegal. She now lives in Galway where she writes fiction, non-fiction and the occasional poem. She has been published in various literary journals and has been recently translated into Italian.Her work has been anthologised by Pankhurst Press (UK), New Binary Press and Arlen House. Aoibheann has been shortlisted for Words on Waves and Sunday Business Post/Penguin Ireland Short Story Competitions. She is currently working on her first collection of short fiction to be published next year. Marina is her first novel.
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 resents the broadcaster’s flagship current affairs programme, Prime Time.
Danielle McLaughlin previously worked in local government, and practised as a solicitor in the public, private and voluntary sectors, with a particular interest in Housing Law. She holds BCL and LLM degrees from UCC, and was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in 1996. Her short stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines such as The Stinging Fly, The Irish Times, Southword, and The New Yorker and have been broadcast on radio. Her debut collection of short stories Dinosaurs on Other Planets was published by The Stinging Fly Press in 2015. She is currently Writer-in-Residence at UCC.
Paula Meehan is an Irish poet and playwright. Born in Dublin in 1955, Meehan studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and at Eastern Washington University. She has published seven collections of poetry. She is a member of Aosdána and was the Ireland Chair of Poetry from 2013-2016. She has received many awards, including the Marten Toonder Award for Literature, The Butler Literary Award for Poetry, the Denis Devlin Memorial Award and the PPI Award for Radio Drama.
Christopher Moriarty holds a PhD from Trinity College Dublin where he studied archaeology, botany, geology and zoology. He spent the greater part of his career as a fishery biologist in the government service and has written numerous articles, scientific papers and books relating to the Liffey and other aspects of the Irish countryside. Since retirement, Christopher has continued to write, lecture and lead field-study groups on a wide range of heritage topics and made a substantial contribution to the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.
Lindie Naughton is a Dublin-based journalist and writer. Her books include Markievicz: A Most Outrageous Rebel, Markievicz: Prison Letters and Rebel Writings and Lady Icarus: The Life of Irish Aviator Lady Mary Heath, Faster, Higher, Stronger: A History of Ireland’s Olympians.
Éilís Ní Dhuibhne has published over twenty five books, including six collections of short stories, several novels, books for children, and plays. She has won three Bisto awards, an IBBY award, a Readers’ Association of Ireland award, several Oireachtas awards for novels in Irish, and the Butler Award for The Dancers Dancing, which was also shortlisted for The Orange Prize. In 2015 she was awarded the Irish PEN award for her outstanding contribution to Irish literature, and in 2016 she was given a Hennessy Hall of Fame award for lifetime achievement. She is a member of Aosdána, an ambassador for The Irish Writers’ Centre, and President of the Folklore of Ireland Society (An Cumann le Béaloideas Éireann).
Éanna Ní Lamhna is a biologist, environmental consultant, radio and television presenter, author and educator. She has a degree in Botany and Mircobiology and a H. Dip in Education from UCD. She is one of the Ireland’s best-known public figures in the area of nature and the enviroment and is a long-standing member of the panel of experts on RTÉ’s wildlife programme ‘Mooney goes Wild’. Originally from Louth, she now lives in Dublin, since 1967, and has been president of An Taisce since July 2004. Éanna is also the author of several other popular wildlife books: Talking Wild (2002), Wild and Wonderful (2004) and Straight Talking Wild (2006).
Réaltán Ní Leannáin teaches creative writing workshops and masterclasses to post-primary students. Her previous publications include Dílis (2015); An páiste deiridh (2012); Turas ailse (2011); Watching, featured in The Incubator, Issue 13, August 2017; and Doors, featured in The Incubator, Issue 14, December 2017
Alan Nolan is author and illustrator of Let’s Colour Ireland – a fun activity book about great places to visit in Ireland, Fintan’s Fifteen (2014), Conor’s Caveman (2015) and Sam Hannigan’s Woof Week (2017) all published by The O’Brien Press. He is also author and illustrator of The Big Break Detectives Casebook and the Murder Can Be Fatal mysteries.
Deirdre Nolan began her career in publishing in 1999 while working with The Bulletin in Sydney, Australia. Since then she has worked in editorial roles with Gill & Macmillan, New Island, Whitespace and Folens, before returning to Gill Books as Commissioning Editor in 2013. She studied at the National University of Ireland, Galway, where she gained a BA in English, Sociology and Politics, and an MA in English Literature and Publishing. She is on the board of the Dublin Book Festival and is frequently asked to speak at publishing events.
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 for readers big and small. Ivan attends the world’s major book fairs in Frankfurt and London, and is currently President 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.
Michael O’Brien and his father Thomas founded The O’Brien Press in 1974. The publishing house evolved out of a family-run printing and type house, and over the past 40 years has established a reputation for quality and excellence in publishing for adults and children.
Jennifer O’Connell is a journalist with the Irish Times. She writes a weekly column in the Saturday Magazine, and features and interviews for the Weekend section, Magazine, irishtimes.com and the main newspaper. She is a frequent conference speaker and a regular panellist on TV programmes, including Brendan O’Connor’s The Cutting Edge. In 2018, she was the presenter of Stressed, a two-part documentary series on stress for RTE One. In her previous lives, Jennifer was the founding editor of TheJournal.ie, an RTE TV News reporter, the producer of two TV documentary series for RTE, an assistant editor of The Sunday Business Post, a communications consultant and trainer, and a ghostwriter for a Silicon Valley CEO. She lives in Waterford with her husband, three children, two cats and a lot of books.
Joseph O’Connor is the author of eight novels, two collections of short stories and a number of bestselling works of non-fiction. He has also written radio diaries, film scripts and stage-plays. His novel Star of the Sea was an international bestseller, selling more than a million copies and being published in 38 languages. It won a multitude of prizes including France’s Prix Millepages, the Irish Post Award for Fiction, the Neilsen Bookscan Golden Book Award and the Prix Litteraire Zepter for European Novel of the Year. He received an honorary Doctorate in Literature from University College Dublin in 2011 and in 2012 he was awarded the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature. He is the inaugural Chair of the Frank McCourt Creative Writing programme at University of Limerick.
Nuala O’Connor was born in Dublin, Ireland, she lives in East Galway. Her fifth short story collection Joyride to Jupiter was published to critical acclaim by New Island in 2017; her story ‘Gooseen’ won the UK’s 2018 Short Fiction Prize and was published in Granta. Nuala’s fourth novel, Becoming Belle, is published in September 2018. www.nualaoconnor.com
Owen O’Doherty is an architect who lives in Dublin with his family, including two inventive kids. He has over twenty years’ experience working on all sorts of projects from small buildings to urban regenerations and has also taught urban design and architecture in Dublin and London. For the past nine years he has worked in Dublin City Council. This has included working on projects to develop skills and understanding of design and its role in innovation and improving our living environments.
John O’Donnell was called to the Bar in 1982. A Senior Counsel since 2001, he lives and works in Dublin. His work has been published and broadcast widely in Ireland and abroad. His fiction has been published in the Hennessy Book of Irish Fiction, the Sunday Tribune, the Sunday Independent, The Stinging Fly, online in Books Ireland and the Irish Times, and broadcast on RTE Radio’s The Book On One. In 2013 Shelley won the Hennessy Award for Emerging Fiction, and in 2016 Marks won the Cuirt International Festival of Literature New Writing Prize for Fiction. He has also published three poetry collections; his New And Selected Poems was published by Dedalus Press in 2018. Awards for poetry include the Irish National Poetry Prize, the Ireland Funds Prize and the Hennessy Award for Poetry.
Fergus O’Farrell has a BA and MA from UCD. His writing has appeared in The Irish Times, the London School of Economics Review of Books and History Ireland. He is the author of the only English-language biography of Cathal Brugha, published by UCD Press. He lives in London.
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 and No Turning Back was published in Spring 2018.
Luke O’Neill is professor of Biochemistry in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology at Trinity College Dublin. He has been dubbed the ‘best immunologist in the world’ and ranked in the top 1% of most-cited researchers in his field. In 2016 he was made a fellow of the Royal Society for his innovative work on the human immune system. He has a popular weekly slot on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show.
Ciarán O’Rourke was born in 1991 and took a degree English and History at Trinity College, Dublin. A winner of the Lena Maguire/Cúirt New Irish Writing Award, the Westport Poetry Prize, and the Fish Poetry Prize, his poems have appeared in a number of publications, including Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Review, The Irish Times, The London Magazine, New Welsh Review, The Spectator, and Irish Pages. His pocket-pamphlet Some Poems was published as a Moth Edition in 2011.
Lesley Pearse is one of the UK’s best loved novelists with fans across the globe and sales of over 7 million copies of her books worldwide. Previous titles include The Woman in the Woods, Dead to Me and Without a Trace. She now owns a cottage in a pretty village between Bristol and Bath which she is renovating, and a creek side retreat in Cornwall. Her three daughters, grandson, friends, dogs and gardening have brought her great happiness. She is president of the Bath and West Wiltshire branch of the N.S.P.C.C. the charity closest to her heart.
Emilie Pine is Associate Professor in Modern Drama at University College Dublin, Ireland. She has published widely on Irish culture, including reviews for RTÉ’s Arena, Irish Theatre Magazine and the Irish Times. Emilie has contributed to numerous academic publications as well as to the Stinging Fly. She is editor of the Irish University Review. Notes to Self is her first collection of essays.
Sorcha Pollak is a journalist with The Irish Times and the author of New to the Parish: Stories of Love, War and Adventure from Ireland’s Immigrants. In her current work she has a specific focus on migration and immigrant communities in Ireland. Before joining The Irish Times, Sorcha lived in London where she worked for the Guardian newspaper and TIME Magazine. She has also lived in the Peruvian city of Iquitos, Delhi, Seville and Paris. She has a BA in European Studies from Trinity College Dublin and an MSc in Media, Communication and Development from the London School of Economics.
Deirdre Raftery is Professor of the history of education, at the School of Education, University College Dublin. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and has held visiting fellowships at several universities, including the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. A Fulbright Alumna, Deirdre has eleven book publications and has contributed to television and radio documentaries in Ireland and the UK. Her work on the history of women religious has won several awards (Irish Research Council; Ireland-Canada University Foundation; University of Notre Dame Hibernian Award).
Sue Rainsford is a writer & researcher based in Dublin. She is a recipient of the VAI/DCC Critical Writing Award and the Arts Council Literature Bursary Award. Recent projects include The Freud Project Residency at IMMA, where she collaborated with Bridget O’Gorman to respond to Lucian Freud’s assertion ‘I want the paint to feel like flesh’ (October 2017-April 2018). She was recently awarded a fellowship at The MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire. Her debut novel, Follow Me To Ground, is available from New Island Books.
Sally Rooney was born in 1991 in Castlebar, County Mayo. She holds degrees in English and American Literature from Trinity College, Dublin, the city where she now lives. She won the 2017 Sunday Times/Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award. Her work has appeared in The Dublin Review, The Stinging Fly and Granta. Rooney’s debut novel, Conversations with Friends, was published in 2017. Her most recent novel, Normal People, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize this year.
Dave Rudden is the author of the award-winning KNIGHTS OF THE BORROWED DARK trilogy, as well as the upcoming Doctor Who anthology TWELVE ANGELS WEEPING with BBC Books. He enjoys peril, good beard maintenance, and being cruel to fictional young people.
Paula Shields is a reader, writer, researcher, talker, and occasional listener. She makes documentaries for RTE TV, including the IFTA award-winning Fairytale of New York (2017), and 1968: The Long March, about a pivotal year in the US and northern Irish civil rights movements. A journalist since the 1990s, she has hosted many live public events – favourite interviewees include Claire Messud, Margaret Atwood and Donal Ryan. She is also Chair of the 2018 Irish Times Theatre Awards judging panel.
Will St Leger is an activist, artist and musician. He lives and works in Dublin, Ireland. Graduating in Design and Communications in 1994, he moved to London and set up a design company called, Sodium. In 1999, St Leger realised that his creative superpowers could be also used for good and joined Greenpeace. He was often involved in several high profile direct actions on oil rigs, nuclear power stations and army bases. On returning to Dublin in 2004 he began producing street art that mixed art and activism. As a well-known art interventionist, St Leger as been behind a number of bold installations, such as 100 fake landmines around Dublin’s parks to highlight landmine awareness and placing a life sized fake missile in the city centre for action on Syria. As a self-proclaimed, ‘Mindful Vandal’ St Leger tends to fuse together popular culture and historical icons with humour, often presenting new meanings. Typical themes centre on religion, human rights, war and the environment. Will is also one half of electronic synth-pop group called Faune.
Rosamund Taylor won the Mairtín Crawford Award for poetry at the Belfast Book Festival in 2017. She has been nominated for a Forward Prize for best single poem, and twice short-listed for the Montreal International Poetry Prize. Widely published, her work has recently appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, Magma, Banshee, and Best New British and Irish Poets Anthology 2018.
Fergal Tobin was Publishing Director of Gill & Macmillan (now Gill Books), Ireland’s largest publisher, for 28 years. During that time he has served multiple times as President of the Publishing Ireland and served from 2010 to 2012 as President of the Federation of European Publishers. Following his retirement from Gill in 2014, he has been a consultant to Irish Times Books and is the founder of www.writeproper.ie.
Csilly Toldy was born in Budapest. She is a writer, director, poet and artist. She received a Masters Degree in Creating Writing for Film and Television from Sheffield University in 2003. She participated in workshops lead by: Sundance, Arista,The National Film and Television School. With her scripts she won the Katapult Prize and The Special Prize of the Motion Pictures Association as the Hungarian winner of the Hartley-Merrill Prize. She lives in Northern Ireland in Rostrevor, at Carlingford Lough.
Melatu Uche Okorie is a writer and scholar. Born in Nigeria, she moved to Ireland in 2006. It was during her eight and a half years living in the direct provision system that she began to write. She has an M. Phil. in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin, and has had works published in numerous anthologies. In 2009, she won the Metro Éireann Writing Award for her story ‘Gathering Thoughts’. Melatu has a strong interest in issues concerning the rights of asylum seekers and migrant education in Ireland and is currently studying for a PhD in Education at Trinity College, Dublin. This Hostel Life is her first book.
William Wall is the author of five novels, most recently Grace’s Day (co-published by New Island and Head of Zeus, London, 2018), three collections of short stories, including The Islands (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017) for which he won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize and the Virginia Faulkner Award, and Hearing Voices Seeing Things (Doire Press, 2016), as well as four collections of poetry. His 2005 novel This is The Country was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His work has been translated into many languages and he translates from Italian.
Dr Margaret Ward is a feminist historian whose highly acclaimed book Unmanageable Revolutionaries: Women and Irish Nationalism, first published in 1983, has become a classic text. She has also written biographies of Maud Gonne and Hanna Sheehy Skeffington and edited works on the role of women in nationalist and suffrage movements in Ireland. She is currently Visiting Fellow in History at Queen’s University of Belfast. Her collection of Hanna Sheehy Skeffington’s writings, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington: Suffragette and Sinn Féiner (UCD Press, 2017), has met with critical acclaim.
Marie Whelton is from West Cork originally and is an Irish Lecturer in Marino Institute of Education. Along with academic articles and titles, she has written two novels for adult learners of Irish. Nuair a Stadann an Ceol was awarded a prize in the Oireachtas Literary Awards, and her second book, Leathbhádóirí was published by LeabhairCOMHAR last year. As Iarthar Chorcaí ó dhúchas do Marie Whelton. Is léachtóir le Gaeilge í in Institiúid Oideachais Marino. Anuas ar na leabhair agus na haistí acadúla atá foilsithe aici, tá dhá leabhar d’fhoghlaimeoirí fásta scríofa aici do LeabhairCOMHAR: Nuair a Stadann an Ceol, a bhuaigh Duais an Oireachtais i 2013, agus Leathbhádóirí (2017).