Listowel Writers’ Week announces details of workshops and competitions

Gavin Corbett Author of This Is the Way 2013

Gavin Corbett Author of This Is the Way 2013


The organisers of Listowel Writers’ Week 2014 (May 28th to June 1st)have announced details of their programme of workshops and competitions.

Headlining next year’s workshop programme is international award-winning author Douglas Kennedy, who will teach everything you need to know about writing a novel. IMPAC adjudicator Catherine Dunne will return to direct the Novel Getting Started workshop, Mark Granier tackles poetry, Bernard Farrell directing theatre and Siobhán Parkinson how to write for young adults. Peter Fallon will direct poetry advanced, Mary Russell travel writing and Nuala Ní Chonchúir short fiction.

Chairman Seán Lyons said: “It is the dream and hope of all literary festivals that the next prize-winning author, maybe the next Nobel Laureate, will take their first steps towards greatness at that festival. Listowel Writers’ Week takes that hope closer to reality with their annual series of workshops. From the absolute novice to the more confident practitioner, we hope there is something for everyone with the best and most experienced teachers here to guide and encourage you.”

Places on workshops are limited to 15 and can be booked online now through

For more than 40 years, Listowel Writers’ Week has hosted competitions for all levels of writers. Each year, the winners of the diverse range of competitions receive a suitable award for their creativity and dedication. This year the festival has a competition prize fund of over €30,000.

Listowel Writers’ Week offers competitions from ages 9-18 in their youth categories. There is a comprehensive range of additional writing competitions covering short story, poetry, sports journalism, local heritage and “writing in prisons”.

The coveted €15,000 Kerry Group Award is the largest monetary prize for fiction available solely for Irish authors. Established in 1995 and sponsored by Kerry Group, the prize is awarded annually to the best Irish Novel of the year.

This year’s adjudicators are Irish Times Literary Correspondent Eileen Battersby and award-winning novelist David Park. Ms Battersby said, “I am delighted to again be judging this prize, having previously adjudicated in 2002 and 2003. This is a very important award; not only because it supports Irish fiction, but because it is itself supported and sustained by Irish fiction.”

Entries are now being accepted from authors who must be from the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland or hold an Irish passport and have published a novel between February 1st, 2013 and February 1st, 2014.

The 2013 winning novel was This is the Way by Gavin Corbett, who said: “Winning the Kerry Group Novel Award has been the best thing that has ever happened to me as a writer. Next year the judges will select a new winner, but it is an honour conferred on you for life and something that I will proudly brandish for the rest of my days.” Previous winners included Christine Dwyer Hickey, Neil Jordan (twice), John Banville, Joseph O’Neill, Roddy Doyle, Sebastian Barry and John McGahern.