An evening for book lovers; Irish author listed for $100,000 award; Cork stories

Imram festival; Les Murray; Paul Murray; Banshee launch; Publishing Day; Rising talk; scary children’s tales; Science book awards

Charity evening for book lovers

Irish authors will host a charity event next month in association with Eason Book Club to raise funds for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. Cecelia Ahern, Donal Ryan, Claudia Carroll, Susan Loughnane, Niall MacMonagle, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Martina Devlin and Sinéad Moriarty are among the authors taking part in An Evening for Book Lovers at 10 Ormond Quay, Dublin 1 on Friday, October 16th.

The evening begins with a drinks reception and supper, followed by a conversation with Donal Ryan, hosted by comedian Colm O’Regan. Ryan will read from his new collection, A Slanting of the Sun. Guests will have the opportunity to meet some of Ireland’s most prolific authors and publishers throughout the evening. Speaking at the launch this week, Cecelia Ahern, whose twelfth novel The Marble Collector is out next month, said: “I’m delighted to lend a hand in raising funds for Crumlin Children’s Hospital. With over 20 authors attending, there will be something for everyone, and it promises to be a fantastic event.”

A child attends Crumlin on average every four minutes, often with a life-threatening illness, according to Jean Whelan, chair of the organising committee: "The focus of this event is to raise much-needed funds for the vital research programme currently being undertaken at the hospital to ensure that every one of those sick children has the best chance." Tickets are €75 and can be purchased online at


Irish author listed for $100,000 award

Anakana Schofield has been nominated for Canada’s 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize for her second novel Martin John. Recently published in the US, the novel will launch in Europe in the spring. The 12-strong longlist also includes Patrick de Witt, Rachel Cusk and Clifford Jackson. The prize was established in 1994 in honour of the late Canadian journalist Doris Giller. It aims to highlight the very best in Canadian fiction, with $100,000 awarded annually to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English. A further award of $10,000 is given to each of the finalists. This year’s shortlist will be announced at the Art Gallery of Ontario on October 5th, with the winner announced at a televised ceremony on November 10th.

Schofield is an Irish-Canadian writer, whose debut novel Malarky won the First Novel Award and the Debut-Litzer Prize for Fiction in 2013. The longlist was selected by a five-member jury panel that included Irish author John Boyne as jury chair, Canadian writers Cecil Foster, Alexander MacLeod and Alison Pick, and the British author Helen Oyeyemi. The full longlist is:

André Alexis, Fifteen Dogs (Coach House Books)

Samuel Archibald, Arvida (Biblioasis), translated by Donald Winkler

Michael Christie, If I Fall, If I Die (McClelland & Stewart)

Rachel Cusk, Outline (Harper Perennial)

Patrick de Witt, Undermajordomo Minor (House of Anansi Press)

Marina Endicott, Close to Hugh (Doubleday Canada)

Connie Gault, A Beauty (McClelland & Stewart)

Alix Hawley, All True Not a Lie in It (Knopf Canada)

Clifford Jackman, The Winter Family (Random House Canada)

Heather O‘Neill, Daydreams of Angels (HarperCollins)

Anakana Schofield, Martin John (Biblioasis)

Russell Smith, Confidence (Biblioasis)

Short stories in Cork

Writers are by the Lee this week for the annual Cork International Short Story Festival, now in its 15th year. Established by the Munster Literature Centre, the festival features workshops, readings and launches (many free to the public) at locations across the city including the Triskel Arts Centre, Cork City Library and the centre’s own premises from Tuesday, September 22nd to Saturday, September 26th.

Highlights include short story workshops with writers Claire Keegan and Danielle McLaughlin, discussions and readings by international and Irish writers such as Thomas Morris, Mary Costello, Siddhartha Gigoo, Eimear Ryan and Toby Litt. Established writers will share their experiences in the literary world and offer advice to emerging writers. The festival culminates with the presentation of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award to the Welsh writer Carys Davies for her collection The Redemption of Galen Pike. The award is co-sponsored by Cork City Council and the School of English, University College Cork. At €25,000, it is the biggest prize for a short story collection in the world. For more information and a full programme see

This weekend at the IWC

Anne Enright and Brendan Barrington are among the speakers at the Irish Writers Centre’s Publishing Day this Saturday, September 26th. Moving location to the dlr LexIcon in Dún Laoghaire, the event will run from 10.30am-4.15pm. The line-up will address the challenges facing writers today and provide insight into the publishing process from start to finish. Catering for all forms of writing, attendees will hear from Barrington (Penguin Ireland/The Dublin Review), Enright, as well as publicist Peter O’Connell and literary agents Paul and Susan Feldstein. Best practice for submissions and the speakers’ own experiences of the publishing industry will be up for discussion. Tickets cost €30/€25 IWC members.

The centre's monthly open mike evening, Taking the Mic, will be held this Friday, September 25th and is hosted by the poet and writer Colm Keegan. Welcoming poets, prose writers, songwriters and musicians, comedians and "anyone else who wants to have a go", slots are on a first come, first served basis, with a suggested donation of €5. Running from 7-9pm, there's a BYOB policy to steady the nerves. More information on both events and tickets at

Fledgling journal takes flight

New literary journal Banshee will be launched by comedian and author Tara Flynn on Tuesday, September 29th at the Liquor Rooms, Dublin 2 from 7pm. Contributors Nessa O’Mahony, Eleanor Hooker, Sinead Gleeson, Michael Naghten Shanks, Jessica Traynor, David Gogan and Kate Quigley will read from their work. Banshee is founded by the writers Laura Jane Cassidy, Clare Hennessy and Eimear Ryan and will issue as a twice-yearly print journal, with a digital edition also available. Publishing “accessible and exciting contemporary work” across fiction and non-fiction, Banshee will take submissions for the spring issue from next month.

Paul Murray at Books Upstairs

Paul Murray will read from his latest novel The Mark and the Void at Books Upstairs on D'Olier Street, Dublin 2 on Wednesday, September 30th. A comic tale about love, art and the Irish banking crisis, Murray's third novel follows An Evening of Long Goodbyes and the Booker-nominated Skippy Dies. The Dublin author will be interviewed by the novelist and former Laureate na nÓg Siobhán Parkinson. From 7pm, tickets at €10 are available here.

Les Murray masterclass

The Australian poet Les Murray will read at the National Library of Ireland on Kildare Street, Dublin 2 on Thursday, October 8th. Hosted by Poetry Ireland, Words Ireland and the Wicklow County Arts Office, there will also be a masterclass for mid-career poets with Murray at the Mermaid Arts Centre in Bray on Friday, October 9th. Murray's 40-year career has seen his work translated into 10 languages. He has published nearly 30 volumes of poetry as well as two verse novels and collections of his prose writings. Born in 1938, Murray grew up on a dairy farm at Bunyah on the north coast of New South Wales, where he still lives. He studied at Sydney University and later worked as a translator at the Australian National University and as an officer in the prime minister's department. From 1971, he made literature his full-time career and is credited as being the first home-based Australian poet to achieve international acclaim. From 7pm, tickets are €12/€10 concessions and can be purchased at

Science books award

The winner of the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books will be announced this evening Thursday, September 24th, at an evening ceremony hosted by Brian Cox. Taking place at the Royal Society’s London premises, the award is the only international prize that celebrates science writing for a non-specialist audience. The shortlisted titles are: The Man Who Couldn’t Stop by David Adam (Picador); Alex Through the Looking-Glass: How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life by Alex Bellos (Bloomsbury); Smashing Physics: Inside the World’s Biggest Experiment by Jon Butterworth (Headline); Life’s Greatest Secret: The Story of the Race to Crack the Genetic Code by Matthew Cobb (Profile); Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology by Johnjoe McFadden and Professor Jim Al-Khalili (Bantam Press); and Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet we Made by Gaia Vince (Chatto & Windus).

Easter Rising and Shackleton

Two events for history and biography lovers next month, with Irish author Neil Richardson discussing his new book about Irish soldiers in the British army in Drumcondra Library, Dublin 9 on Tuesday, October 6th. From 6.30pm, the event is free but booking is required by emailing According To Their Lights – Stories of Irishmen in the British Army, Easter 1916 (The Collins Press) looks at the “complicated truths” of the Irish rebellion, focusing on the thousands of Irishmen who fought for the British army against the rebel forces.

Polar expert and bestselling author Michael Smith will be in the National Library of Ireland on Wednesday, October 7th to discuss the life and legacy of Ernest Shackleton, the subject of his latest biography. Shackleton – By Endurance We Conquer (The Collins Press) draws on extensive research of original diaries, letters and other publications to bring a fresh perspective to the heroic age of polar exploration, dominated by the Irish explorer. Smith has written eight books including An Unsung Hero (2000) and Tom Crean – An Illustrated Life (2006). Before becoming a full-time writer Smith was a business and political journalist with the Guardian and the Observer. The talk is at 7pm and is free of charge.

Van the Irish man

The music of Van Morrison gets an Irish twist with a new tour that will bring translated songs from the Belfast singer across the country. Moondance: The Van Morrison Project features Irish language versions of Morrison's songs, translated by poets Cathal Póirtéir and Gabriel Rosenstock. They will be performed by Liam Ó Maonlaí, David Blake, and Hilary Bow, with support from the Brad Pitt Light Orchestra and screen projections of the lyrics by Margaret Lonergan. In association with Imram, the tour begins on Friday, September 25th in An Grianán in Letterkenny with tickets at €20/16 available at Running until January 2016, other venues include the Town Hall Theatre in Galway, the Lime Tree in Limerick, Dúnmaise Arts Centre in Portlaois, An Glór in Ennis and Siamse Tíre in Tralee. More information on all events at

Imram's Féile Litríocht Gaeilge takes place next month from Friday, October 9th - Sunday, October 18th. Cleasaí Éin: Tionscadal an Phréacháin (Trickster Bird: The Crow Project) features a range of poetry, literature, music and flash fiction events. Highlights include a homage to the poet Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill on Sunday, October 18th in McGrattan's Pub, Dublin 2; Micheál Ó Conghaile and Mícheál Ó Ruairc on short fiction at the Irish Writers Centre, Saturday, October 10th; a discussion on translating children's classic into Irish; and tributes to the Pogues and Joni Mitchell. For the full programme of events go to

Scary books for children

Death, violence and the monstrous in children’s literature will be explored in a new exhibition which opens on Monday, September 28th, 2015 at Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street, Dublin 2.

The exhibition offers a glimpse into some of the sophisticated and complex ways in which writers and illustrators of children’s texts have engaged with controversial subjects. Entitled, Come Closer: The Darker Side of Children’s Books, it will feature 40 children’s books from the 17th century to the modern day which have dealt with controversial issues such as death, fear, sexuality, depression and violence.

The exhibition has been organised by the National Collection of Children’s Books (NCCB) project to mark the end of a two-year project which has seen the development of a new online catalogue detailing over 200,000 children’s books in over 50 languages from five libraries in Dublin. The project is a joint initiative between the School of English at Trinity College Dublin and the Church of Ireland College of Education, and was funded by the Irish Research Council.

The website and exhibition will be launched by Timothy Young, curator of the Betsy Beinecke Shirley Collection of American Children’s Literature, Yale University, who will give a public talk entitled Happy Deaths and Urban Dangers: The Darker Side of Children’s Literature.

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