Held in the intimate quarters of Smock alley’s Boy’s school – this year’s festival offered a greatly anticipated opportunity to meet the experts of the literary and publishing world. In association with writing.ie a panel of leading experts took the stage to reveal the tricks of the trade, the do’s and the don’t s of writing and the big no-nos on the path to getting published. There, audiences were given the chance to meet Michael O’Brien, founder of The O’Brien Press; Literary agent Faith O’Grady; writing.ie founder and literary scout Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin and Eoin Purcell, the editorial director at New Island Books.
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After a successful book gathering, The Irish women’s blog, The Anti Room took the stage to discuss gender within the literary and publishing world. Is women’s writing treated differently than men’s? Does gender define a writer? And what need or place does feminism have in contemporary women’s writing? These where but a few questions which authors Christine Dwyer Hickey, Nuala Ni Chonchuir and journalists Sinead Gleeson, Anna Carey and Jennifer Ridyard wished to explore.
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This year’s greatly anticipated book gathering was a huge success and I’d like to thank Ireland AM’s Sinead Desmond and host writers Ciaran Collins, Caroline Grace-Cassidy and Mark O’Sullivan for their readings and discussions which got the crowd buzzing Saturday afternoon with questions pondering the complexity of the Irish language with its poetic and musical charm and the insightful commentary from Caroline on the unfair expectations that are forced upon women.
Authors took the stage to discuss the many inspirations for writing and the gruelling process of characterisation crucial to making readers connect with their protagonists. Both Mark and Caroline spoke of their ventures into new genres where O’ Sullivan spoke of his newfound treatment of the crime novel and for Caroline, her venture into darker themes which she is keen to continue. Ciaran read from his novel “The Gamal” receiving great reception from fellow authors and readers alike accompanied by laughter and a discussion on style and use of language. Overall it was an enjoyable afternoon and the festival looks forward to launching new book clubs in the future.
The Dublin Book Festival got off to a great start last night, as Frank McGuinness discussed his work – particularly his new novel Arimathea – with RTÉ’s Sean Rocks. If you weren’t able to join us last night, you can still be a part of this delightful evening by tuning in to the Arena broadcast of the event on 29 November. In the meantime, take a look at a sampling of photos from the night: [click to continue…]
Already published? Great! But how do you continue to hone your skills, engage with a changing publishing world and market your work? DBF, in conjunction with New Island Books and Irish Writers’ Centre, is hosting Mindshift: A Professional Development Day for Published Authors on Sunday, 17th November. Come hear three professionals (Margaret Ward, CEO of Broadly Speaking/Clear Ink; Eoin Purcell, Editorial Director at New Island Books; and journalist and broadcaster Audrey Carville) discuss the practicalities of a writing career. Tickets for this event can be booked at www.irishwriterscentre.ie or 01 872 1302
Below are Eoin’s thoughts on how writers can navigate the publishing landscape.
DBF: From the writer’s perspective, how has the publishing world changed in the past 10-15 years? [click to continue…]
I have come to a sense of place in my writing very slowly. When I started to write – back in the 1970s – I was intent on removing all traces of the “local” from my work. I was afraid of being parochial and I was out of sympathy with the brand of Irish fiction that maundered on about the landscape, the bogs and the mountains. I had grown up in a Dublin suburb and felt there was nothing specifically “Irish” about it – as far as I was concerned, it was like any other suburb in the Western world; a place of quiet desperation where nothing happened.
My first collection of stories, A Lazy Eye, was shorn of place-names, or where there were names, they were neutralized, generic-sounding. The real names of Irish places didn’t seem “real” to me then; they seemed inauthentic, too Oirishy. Perhaps that was some kind of post-colonial cultural cringe on my behalf. Who knows?
Mother of Pearl, my first novel, continued the trend. It was based on a real-life kidnapping in Dublin in the 1950s, and I set the action in a made-up city divided by a sectarian conflict – I envisaged the north of the city being Belfast and the south being Dublin. Because the story had a mythic quality, I didn’t want it to be grounded too closely in political realities; hence the disguise. [click to continue…]
On Friday, 15 November, DBF – in association with Children’s Books Ireland and Inis Magazine – will host a panel exploring the children’s book market and where it belongs in mass media. Eithne Shortall (Sunday Times Ireland), Tadgh Mac Dhonnagáin (Futa Fata), David O’Callaghan (Easons) and Conor Hackett (Hackett Flynn Publishers Agency) will discuss the future of children’s books reviewing. Whether you have young readers at home, are a teacher, or simply care about children’s literature (after all, we were all young readers at one point!), this event promises to be interesting and insightful. Tickets can be booked here.
Below are Conor Hackett’s thoughts on the changing children’s books market, how children’s literature affects the adult market and some of the names who have helped to change the genre.
DBF: How would you describe the change in the children’s book market in the last 15-20 years? [click to continue…]
GI (Christopher Buckley) is a hip-hop Emcee, producer and workinclassrecords artist from the group ‘Street Literature’, who released their début album ‘Products of the Environment’ in 2011. Having performed across the cities of Dublin, New York and Cape Town, GI has become a respected hip-hop producer and produced Lethal Dialects first two albums LD50 1 and 2.
In 2013 GI released 2 solo albums ‘Underworld’ and a greatly anticipated instrumental album ‘Black Tuna’ which triumphed with its fresh and experimental beats. Most recently GI released ‘MaryJane’ a collaborative album with fellow workinclassrecords artist Costello -Which sought huge attention placing workinclassrecords on the public stage. This Year saw GI and Costello (James) rise to public attention where Broken Song premiered at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival where it received both critical and public acclaim having won both the Audience Award and the Dublin Critics Circle ‘Discovery’ Award, having been described as: “brilliantly constructed sonic, stoner-like murk” by The Irish Times. The gnarly production nous of GI, will hook you from the start as he creates smokey, dark and dense beats that perfectly encapsulate the claustrophobic, menacing world that Lethal Dialect seeks to evoke. “Street Literature” is a breath of fresh air in an already saturated sphere of Irish poetry longing to create something new and different – Street poets GI and Costello do just that, expressing the fears and angers of the down trodden in today’s society through menacing beats and heavy basses. They take the stage once again at this year’s Dublin Book Festival during our greatly anticipated Rte Arena. It is an event not to be missed – Book Now.
For more on GI and Broken Song:
Broken Song Facebook
In Ciarán Collins’ debut novel, The Gamal, Charlie narrates life in Ballyronan, a small, fictitious town in West Cork. “One thing about hills and valleys and mountains and rocks is that it reminds you that all you have is one point of view,” he writes. Which begs the question: Whose point of view is the most correct or valid? Of course, the answer is no one’s and everyone’s simultaneously. [click to continue…]
In Mark O’Sullivan’s crime novel, Crocodile Tears, a murder takes place with the aftermath of the recent global recession as a backdrop. It’s 2010, and property developers face off squarely against those trying to gain footing on the property ladder, “pure” Irish vie for space and jobs with newcomers, and lucky recipients of newfound wealth wrestle with the power it brings.
DBF: How hard was it to put yourself in detective mode? Did that come easily to you?
Number one, I’ve never been a policeman and to tell you the truth, I don’t know too many, nor do I want to know too many! A lot of writers have said that writing is essentially about observation, whether that be landscape, or —
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