Irish writers on Costa Short Story Award shortlist

Book news: Doolin Writers’ Weekend and Ennis Book Club Festival highlights

Jess Kidd: previously shortlisted for an Irish Book Award for her debut novel, Himself

Jess Kidd: previously shortlisted for an Irish Book Award for her debut novel, Himself

 

Two of the three authors shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Short Story Award are Irish. Billy O’Callaghan and Jess Kidd are competing with Rob Ewing for the £3,500 prize, which will be announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony on January 31st, with second place receiving £1,000 and third place £500. Kidd, who moved recently from London to Mayo, was shortlisted for an Irish Book Award for her debut novel, Himself . O’Callaghan, from Cork, has written three short story collections, In Exile (2008), In Too Deep (2009) and The Things We Lose, The Things We Leave Behind (2013) and is to publish his first novel, The Dead House, in May. Ewing, from Edinburgh, published his debut novel The Last of Us, last year.

The fifth annual Doolin Writers’ Weekend, in partnership with the University of Limerick’s creative writing programme, take places from February 3rd-5th, with Goldsmiths Prize winner Mike McCormack and Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize Winner Sara Baume, poet Rita-Ann Higgins, Claire Louise Bennett, Alan McMonagle, Karl Parkinson and more. The weekend will also feature Lisa Coen and Sarah Davis-Goff from Tramp Press, Declan Meade from the Stinging Fly, literary agents Ivan Mulcahy and Sallyanne Sweeney, and Harper Collins commissioning editor Anna Kelly. The workshops programme caters for every level and type of writer . The winners of the €2500 Doolin Writers’ Competition, judged by Sinéad Gleeson and EM Reapy, will also be announced. doolinfestivals.com

The UCC’s School of English reading series resumes at the Creative Zone, Boole Library, on January 31st at 7.30pm with Mike McCormack; Pond author Claire-Louise Bennett; and Conor O’Callaghan, whose Nothing on Earth was one of Eileen Battersby’s books of the year. Admission is free.

Paul Perry, artistic director of the 11th Ennis Book Club Festival, which runs from March 3rd-5th, has announced its full programme. “Audiences will be guaranteed their festival favourites but 2017 is also a year in which we evolve in new directions: we host our first Children’s Book Club, welcome the Laureate for Irish Fiction, The Irish Times and the Rick O’Shea Book Clubs, with Michael Collins and John Boyne, and we’re delighted to be collaborating with Clare County Library on Teen Week with Dave Rudden and ER Murray. Throw into the mix Paul Durcan, Rose Tremain, Little John Nee and you’re in for something singular in Irish literary culture.” Highlights include Anne Enright in conversation with Donal Ryan; 10 Books You Should Read with Cónal Creedon & Lisa McInerney; Sinéad Gleeson in conversation with Anne Devlin, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne and Eimear Ryan; and Sunday Symposium: Sports and Politics with Patrick Deeley, Paul Kimmage, Alison O’Connor, Christy O’Connor and Sonia O’Sullivan.

Young Dublin readers will be borrowing Knights of the Borrowed Dark this spring as Dave Rudden’s popular YA debut has been chosen by Dublin City Council Public Libraries as the focus of their 2017 Citywide Reading Campaign, which encourages children to read for pleasure. This is the sixth year of this initiative. Knights of the Borrowed Dark is a funny and fast-moving adventure story, which will appeal to boys and girls aged 10 and older.

The late Robert Dunbar’s Irish Times review praised Rudden’s “impressive debut novel . . . most conventions are tossed aside in a narrative which, in both content and style, breaks new ground, certainly in the context of Irish children’s fantasy fiction . . . a well-constructed cinematic plot populated by a diverting range of strange beings, human and otherwise . . . Rudden has mastered the art of making us question our assumptions about fantasy and its workings.”

Dublin-born crime writer Jane Casey is one of the authors chosen to feature in Galaxy Quick Reads, a British initiative now in its 11th year which publishes six £1 titles each spring by bestselling authors aimed at the one in six adults who struggles with reading. Casey’s story Old Tricks features in Dead Simple, a crime collection edited by Harry Bingham, which also includes short stories by Mark Billingham and Antonia Hodgson. Casey is the bestselling author of The Missing, the Maeve Kerrigan series and the Jess Tennant YA crime series. She lives in London.

Publishing Ireland in association with the Irish Writers Centre and supported by Words Ireland are running a four-part series over four Tuesdays in February called The Life Cycle of the Book. The series will be made up of short evening talks on the different aspects of the publishing process, aimed at writers and anyone interested in publishing. Details at irishwriterscentre.ie

Asking for It by Louise O’Neill was named a Printz Honor Book at the American Library Association youth media awards this week.

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