Cork World Book Festival is going online and will virtually welcome Irish and international writers to Cork for an extravaganza of books and writing this April.

Tickets to our events can be booked on Eventbrite.

See details about our events below.

Tuesday 20 April

Launch of the 17th Cork World Book Festival | Time: 19:00
Register here

The Lord Mayor of Cork City, Cllr Joe Kavanagh will officially open the 17th Cork World Book Fest and introduce the opening event:

Reclaiming the European Street:

Documentary filmmaker and writer. Peadar King will discuss President Michael D Higgins’ recently published book RECLAIMING THE EUROPEAN STREET: SPEECHES ON EUROPE AND THE EUROPEAN UNION 2016-20 with its editors Dr. Fergal Lenehan and Joachim Fischer.

This timely and important intervention illuminates President Michael D. Higgins’ standpoint on a range of important issues, with key insights into COVID, EU and Brexit.

Dr. Fergal Lenehan is based at the University of Jena, Germany. He has written two books: Intellectuals and Europe (2014) and Stereotypes, Ideology and Foreign Correspondents: Ireland in German Media, (2016).

Prof. Joachim Fischer is based at the University of Limerick. He holds the Jean Monnet Chair in European Cultural Studies and is Director of the Centre for European Studies. He is also Senior Lecturer in German and Course Director of the BA in European Studies. As part of Cork 2005 European Capital of Culture, he edited with Grace Neville, As Others Saw Us: Cork through European Eyes (Collins Press)

Short Story Competition for Children – Closing Date Extended

To mark Cork World Book Festival Cork City Libraries is running a short story competition. The winners will have their story dramatically read and put on YouTube by actress Irene Kelleher. The stories will consist of no more than 300 words and entry is limited to children aged 7 to 12. The theme is completely open. Closing date is 15 April.
To enter visit:

Wednesday 21 April

Launch of the Teen Graphic Novel | 13.00 | Register Here

Join facilitator Colin O’Mahony for the online launch of the Teen Graphic Novel project. The Teen Graphic Novel is an anthology of short comic stories. After an open submission process, Cork City Libraries runs a course of workshops, after which writers and artists collaborate to produce their own comics. As well as allowing young creators a chance to get published, the program aims to give them all the experience and knowledge they need to continue making and self-publishing their own comic work. Many alumni of the project have continued writing and illustrating, often publishing their own comics in print and online.

Bealtaine – New Cork journal | Time: 15.00 | Register here

A showcase of new Cork journal Bealtaine and a discussion on how writers have adapted and survived in a Covid arts scene. Bealtaine is an independent, Irish literary and arts magazine, with a keen focus on all things intersectional, inclusive, environmental and empowering. Bealtaine publishes excellent, high-quality stories, poetry, and essays, with photographs and art imbued with intimacy to create a magazine that delivers a visually stunning ensemble. Founded in 2020, the idea for Bealtaine was formulated by Seán Flynn and Molly O’Connor to do something positive by bringing artists together and creating a fresh, accessible platform.

Seán Flynn has a background in English literature and has previously worked as an editor on UCC’s literary magazine Quarryman. Despite his current role in finance, it has always been his dream to establish a platform which showcases the unique, diverse range of creative talent in Ireland.

Molly O’Connor has a background in law and is very passionate about all things feminist and sustainability. She has worked on women’s right campaigns at university and community level in the past, and just recently completed a Master’s in Law, focusing on environmental law. Bealtaine will launch its first e-zine on April 16th via their website and Instagram.

The Power of Memoir | Time: 17:00 | Register here

Trish Kearney and Gareth O’Callaghan have each written deeply personal memoirs. Broadcaster PJ Coogan will discuss their books and their experiences with the Cork-based writers.

Trish Kearney has recently published her memoir Above Water, (Hachette Ireland) a survivor’s story, of coming up for air and reclaiming her life, after decades of burying abuse by the paedophile George Gibney. Her weekly column, ‘It’s My Life,’ was in the Feelgood of the Irish Examiner for over two years. She also has a popular blog, ‘My Thoughts on A Page,’ and was awarded ‘Best Personal Blog,’ and ‘Best Writer’ at the Irish Parenting Blog Awards in 2015.

Gareth O’Callaghan is one of Ireland’s most popular radio presenters, having enjoyed a successful career that has stretched across forty years. During that period he has worked for many radio stations, both home and abroad, including RTE and BBC. He also spent a number of years working as a psychotherapist in Ireland. In 2018, Gareth took early retirement from his radio career after being diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy. He is the author of six books, including the 2003 No. 1 bestseller, A Day Called Hope, which documented his own personal journey through and beyond depression. He spends much of his time these days writing and blogging. He continues to challenge this awful illness through daily physical exercise, while urging others with similar debilitating conditions to do the same. He lives in Cork.

PJ Coogan is a well-known Broadcaster on Cork’s 96FM where he presents The Opinion Line

Celebrate Cork World Book Festival with Nano Nagle Place and author Sr. Anne Lyons
Time: 17:00 | Register here

We are celebrating Cork World Book Festival with a stellar line-up of authors. Our first speaker is Sr Anne Lyons, author of The Story of Nano Nagle: Life Lived on the Razor’s Edge. Abandoning a life of privilege, position and wealth, Nano Nagle moved to align herself to live and work in her beloved city of Cork, in solidarity with those made destitute. Driven by a burning passion to help Christ’s marginalized, she dared not only to dream a better life for them but to make this impossible dream a lived reality. This was the great miracle of her life. At a time when the role of women in shaping society was severely restricted, she lived on the razor’s edge, a woman fearless before a tyrannical world. Join us for a live book talk with Sr Anne Lyons and Dr. Danielle O’Donovan, with a Q&A afterwards.

Latin American Voices | Time: 19.00 | Register here

Cork World Book Fest is delighted to present, in association with the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, UCC, an evening with Santiago Roncagliolo, Josefina Báez and Karla Suárez who are among the most exciting voices in the contemporary literary field.

Santiago Roncagliolo is an acclaimed novelist, journalist, translator and screenwriter from Peru, based in Barcelona, having grown up in Mexico where his family were political exiles. His novel, Abril Rojo (Red April) is a tense political thriller set against the backdrop of bloody Holy Week celebrations in the provincial Peruvian city of Ayacucho and explores profound questions about death and the limits of life itself.

Josefina Báez describes herself as a performer-writer-educator-director who grew up in the Dominican Republic and who moved to New York at the age of twelve. She is best known for her tour-de-force performances of Dominicanish, a reflection on the experience of living life bilingually and biculturally.

Karla Suárez is a Cuban writer, who has lived in Lisbon for the last decade. Both an engineer and a classically trained guitarist, her work includes short stories, novels, and travelogues. Her award-winning novel, Silencios (Silences), offers a revealing glimpse of the world of post-revolutionary Cuba through the eyes of its young protagonist who seeks respite and refuge in a silent world.

Nuala Finnegan is Professor in the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at University College Cork, Ireland and the Director of the Centre for Mexican Studies. She has published widely in the areas of contemporary Mexican literary and visual cultural studies with a particular focus on gender. Interested in multi-disciplinary collaboration and community engagement in her research, many of her projects have involved exhibition curation and co-ordination including Entre Mundos/Between Worlds: Images from Life between Mexico and Ireland in 2019 with Cecilia Gámez Campanella and Silvio Severino at Cork City Library, and OUTPOSTS: global borders and national boundaries at the Glucksman Gallery, UCC, in 2017-2018 with Fiona Kearney and Chris Clarke.

Recent publications include the bilingual collection of essays Ireland and Cuba: Entangled Histories/Irlanda y Cuba: Historia entretejidas (Boloña, 2020) with Margaret Brehony, Cultural Representations of Feminicidio on the U.S.-Mexico Border (Routledge 2018), and Rethinking Juan Rulfo’s Creative World: Prose, Photography, Film (Legenda 2016), with Dylan Brennan.

Poetry in the Pandemic | Time: 21.00 | Register here

Join Doire Press poets Moyra Donaldson and Colin Hassard for a conversation about writing practice – including during a pandemic – with poet and activist Kathy D’Arcy.

Moyra Donaldson is a poet and creative writing facilitator from Co Down. She has published nine collections of poetry, including a Selected Poems and in 2019, Carnivorous from Doire Press. She has been involved in various collaborations with visual artists, most recently with Wexford artist Paddy Lennon which resulted in the limited edition publication of artwork and poems, Blood Horses. She has also worked with Big Telly Theatre Company on a number of projects. In 2019, she received a Major Individual Artist award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Also widely published in magazines, journals and anthologies in both Europe, Australia and the USA, she has read at festivals in Europe, Canada and America. Her new collection, Bone House, is published by Doire Press 2021.

Colin Hassard is a poet from Banbridge, Co. Down. He has twice been Ulster Poetry Slam Champion, was Runner Up in the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing 2018, shortlisted for the Aurivo North West Words Poetry Competition 2019 and was joint winner of the 2020 Cursed Murphy Spoken Word Award. As well as performing on Sky One, Colin is a regular poet on BBC Radio Ulster, and is Writer-in-Residence for the Duncairn Arts Centre, Belfast. He is a two-time recipient of Arts Council NI funding and his debut collection Age of the Microwave Dinner is released in 2021 through Doire Press.

Kathy D’Arcy is an Autistic Cork poet and feminist activist recently relocated to Iceland. Her collections are Encounter (Lapwing 2010) and The Wild Pupil (Bradshaw 2012). Kathy has just completed a Creative Writing PhD, for which she received an Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship. She has worked as a doctor, a support worker and a creative writing teacher. Kathy is part of the Fired! and #WakeUpIrishPoetry movements which seek to challenge inequalities in Irish poetry.

Author School Presentations | Invitation Only

Well known authors Louise O’Neill and Shane Hegarty will give talks to a second level school and a primary school respectively about the writing process, getting published, and how they can seek inspiration.

Thursday 22 April

Translating Children’s literature | Time: 15.00 | Register here

In this session author and translator Lawrence Schimel and illustrator Elina Braslina will talk about what it’s like to translate children’s literature from around the globe. In an interactive session featuring illustrations and practical examples they will discuss the creative process of transferring books for younger audiences from one language to another, and reflect on the linguistic, cultural and visual issues involved. Suitable for all ages!

Lawrence Schimel is a full-time author, writing in both Spanish and English, who has published over one hundred twenty books in a wide range of genres. His own picture books have won a Crystal Kite Award from SCBWI and have been selected for the White Ravens from the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany and chosen for IBBY’s Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities three times, among other awards and honors. His writing has been translated into over 40 languages, including Kurdish, Farsi, Welsh, Macua, Changana, Maltese, Romansh, and Icelandic.

He is also a prolific literary translator. Recent translations into Spanish include George Takei’s graphic novel memoir Nos llamaron enemigo and Maggie Nelson’s Bluets. Recent translations into English include Poems the Wind Blew In by Karmelo C. Iribarren, which won a Highly Commended Award in the 2020 CLiPPA and a PEN Translates Award from English PEN, and picture books The Day Saida Arrived by Susana Gómez Redondo, illustrated by Sonja Wimmer, which was a finalist for the 2021 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and Some Days written & illustrated by María Wernicke, chosen for USBBY’s 2021 Outstanding International Books List. He was one of the original founders of World Kid Lit Month and is a staunch advocate for translating works for young readers.

Elīna Brasliņa (1988) is an artist and illustrator from Latvia. She has illustrated over twenty titles so far, most of them children’s books and young adult novels by Latvian authors. Elīna’s work has been nominated for local awards, she has received four Zelta Ābele Awards for Book Design, as well as the Jānis Baltvilks Baltic Sea Region Award (2017). She made her international debut by working with Kate Wakeling on her collection of poems, Moon Juice. Books with Elīna’s illustrations have been published in the UK, Ireland, Canada, France, Spain, China and several other countries, and she has participated in several exhibitions both in Latvia and abroad. Elīna also does production design for animated films (such as ‘Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs’, 2019), and makes feminist art in her spare time.

Máistir-Rang le Julie Field | Time: 17.00 | Register here

Maistir -Rang sa scríbhneoireacht I nGaeilge le scríbhneoir dátheangach agus amhránaí Julie Field. Fáilte roimh chách.

Celebrate Cork World Book Fest with Nano Nagle Place and Dr. Gillian O’Brien
Time: 17.00 | Register here

We are celebrating Cork World Book Festival with a stellar line-up of authors. Our next book talk features Dr. Gillian O’Brien, author of The Darkness Echoing: Exploring Ireland’s Places of Famine, Death and Rebellion. Ireland is a nation obsessed with death. We find a thrill in the moribund, a strange enchantment in the drama of our dark past. It’s everywhere we look and in all of our beloved myths, songs and stories that have helped to form our cultural identity. Our wakes and ballads, our plays and famine sites, all of them and more come together to tell ourselves and the world who we are and what we have suffered to get here. Always fascinated by the Irish preoccupation with death and the rituals around it, Gillian sets out to explore this intriguing habit of ours, to be compelled to celebrate the macabre and relish the darkness of own mortality. In The Darkness Echoing she tours Ireland to find our most haunted and fascinating historical sites, to discover the stories behind them and reveal what they say about Ireland as a nation. Join us for a live chat with Dr. Gillian O’Brien and Dr. Danielle O’Donovan with Q&A afterwards.

Book Launch Dána by Julie Field | Time: 19.00 | Register here

Julie Field (aka Julie Goo) is a fresh voice in Irish Language Poetry. Her collection DÁNA, with Coiscéim, reflects on Human Connections, Equality and the Abstract with both fierceness and sensitivity. Launch with File agus drámadóir í Ceaití Ní Bheildiúin.

Tá ceithre chnuasach filíochta foilsithe aici agus dhá ghearrdhráma dá cuid stáitsithe. Bhuaigh an cnuasach is déanaí uaithi, Agallamh sa Cheo, Cnoc Bhréanainn (Coiscéim, 2019), Duais an Oireachtais 2018. Bronnadh sparánacht Ealaíon na Gaeltachta uirthi, 2018 agus 2019.

Ceaití Ní Bheildiúin is a poet and dramatist. Four volumes of her poetry have been published and two of her short dramas have been staged. Her latest collection, Agallamh sa Cheo, Cnoc Bhréanainn (Coiscéim, 2019), won Duais an Oireachtais 2018. She was awarded bursaries by Ealaíon na Gaeltachta for both 2018 and 2019.

Is scríbhneoir dátheangach agus amhránaí í Julie Field a rugadh agus a tógadh i gCathair Chorcaí. Bhain sí Céim agus MPhil amach sa Ghaelainn i UCC agus múineann sí i mbunscoil Foghlaim le Chéile i gCorcaigh anois, í an-phaiseanta mar gheall ar oideachas cuimsitheach agus múineadh pháistí le huathachas. Tá roinnt dánta foilsithe aici thar na blianta i Comhar, Feasta, Southword and Cyphers mar shampla, agus a céad cnuasach dar teideal DÁNA foilsithe le Coiscéim le déanaí. Is ball í don ghrúpa a eagraíonn Ó Bhéal i gCorcaigh, agus í mar Bhean an Tí ag na hoícheanta dátheangacha. Is file ainmniúil í Julie sa domhain Spoken Word in Éirinn fén ainm Julie Goo. Corónaíodh í mar Churaí na Mumhan i 2012, agus bhuaigh sí an Heart of Gort Slam i 2019. Tá sí tar éis a dánta a léiriú ag roinnt féilte; TedX Cork, Winter Warmer, Body and Soul, Electric Picnic, Cork Midsummer Festival, Indiependence, Live at St. Lukes mar shampla, chomh maith le turasanna go Coventry agus an Iodáil le tacaíocht sparántachtaí ón gComhairle Chorcaí agus Erasmus+. Tá físeanna de Julie Goo ar fáil ar You Tube, agus a thuilleadh eolais ar a leathanach Facebook.

Julie Field is a bilingual poet and singer, born and bred in Cork City. She studied both a Degree and MPhil in Irish at UCC. Julie has published many poems over the years in Comhar, Feasta, Southword, and Cyphers, and her first collection DÁNA was recently published with Coiscéim.. Julie is a member of Ó Bhéal and acts as Bean an Tí at many bilingual events. Julie is also a well established Spoken Word Poet, known as Julie Goo. She was crowned Munster Slam Champion in 2012, and won the Heart of Gort Slam in 2019. Goo has performed her work at numerous festivals: TedX Cork, Winter Warmer, Body and Soul, Electric Picnic, Cork Midsummer Festival, Independence, Live at St. Luke’s, as well as traveling to Coventry and Italy funded by the Cork City Council and Erasmus+.

The Writer as an Activist -Do writers have a duty to engage with Climate Change in their writing?
Time: 21.00 | Register here

Panel Discussion with Sara Baume, Cónal Creedon and Cork City Libraries’ Writer-in-Residence Tina Pisco:

Join Cork City Libraries’ Writer-in-Residence Tina Pisco in conversation with two of Cork’s most loved authors: Sara Baume and Cónal Creedon, as they discuss whether writers have a duty to engage with current affairs, particularly with issues of climate change and social injustice. Is the onus on writers to enlighten their readers or to merely entertain?

Friday 23 April

Children’s books from Around the World
Time: 15.00 | Register here

Featuring stories from Germany, Indonesia, Japan and China, this session will take our younger readers on a journey around the globe. With readings by author Reda Guadiamo, and translators Helen Wang, Ruth Ahmedzai-Kemp and Emily Balistrieri, we will hear the tale of a young trainee witch in Kiki’s Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono, a lively little frog in Bibbit Jumps by Bei Lynn, a curious young girl in The Adventures of Na Willa by Reda Gaudiamo, and a magical world of books in The Magical Bookshop by Katja Frixe. Suitable from ages 3 upwards.

Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp is a literary translator working from German, Russian and Arabic into English, whose work has been shortlisted for the Helen & Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize, the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize and the GLLI Translated YA Prize. She translates novels, nonfiction and children’s books and her published translations include books from Germany, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Russia, Switzerland and Syria. Her translation from German of The Magical Bookshop by Katja Frixe, illustrated by Florentine Prechtel, is out from Oneworld/Simon & Schuster in May 2021.

Reda Gaudiamo has spent mostly of her career in the creative field, especially in world of writing as copy based creative director in leading advertising agencies as well as editor in international lifestyle magazines. Her short stories and novels has been widely published in national media, and won several awards too. In 2018, Reda participated in the Indonesian Writers Residency program in the UK, and in March 2019, she was one of the 12 authors who represented Indonesia at the London Book Fair 2019, during which Na Willa -one of her work, published by The Emma Press- was launched in the event. Reda also known as a musician and singer who, for more than 30 years performed as a duo with the late Ari Malibu, creating musical interpretations of poems. Until now she’s still performing and at the moment working on her solo album that will be released soon. Reda Gaudiamo’s other books that will be published by the Emma Press: About Us and Beps, Meps, and Me. Link to her music:

Emily Balistrieri was born in Wisconsin. His published translations include Shaw Kuzki’s Soul Lanterns, Tomihiko Morimi’s The Night is Short, Walk on Girl, and Takuji Ichikawa’s The Refugees’ Daughter among others. He lives in Tokyo.

Helen Wang translates from Chinese to English. She has translated a number of children’s novels, including the award-winning Bronze and Sunflower and Dragonfly Eyes, both by Cao Wenxuan. Her most recent translations of picture books include Bibbit Jumps, by Bei Lynn (about a little frog who loves to jump), and Leilong the Dinosaur Bus, by Julia Liu, illustrated by Bei Lynn (available from July 2021).

Rising Female Voices in Peripheral Spanish Poetry
Time: 19.00 | Register here

This session brings together three rising voices in from the world of contemporary Galician, Catalan and Basque literature and poetry: Alba Cid, Angels Moreno and Beatriz Chivite Ezkieta. Presented by the Galician, Catalan and Basque lecturers from UCC, and chaired by poet Dr. Martín Vega, the writers will discuss the challenges faced by female poets writing in languages other than Spanish in order to encourage reflection on publishing poetry in minoritised languages, their struggle to acquire recognition, and the role of the pandemic in the creation process from a female perspective.

Celebrating the Short Story | Time: 19.00 | Register here

The short story has a distinctive place in Irish literature and especially in the literary life of Cork City. Join two of Ireland’s most important writers Evelyn Conlon and Eilís Ní Dhuibhne as they discuss the genre with Eimear Ryan, Writer in Residence, UCC.

Evelyn Conlon is one of Ireland’s most important writers. She was born in County Monaghan and lives in Dublin. She is the author of four novels and three short story collections. Her work has been widely anthologised and translated. She is also the editor of four anthologies, including Cutting the Night in Two; Short Stories by Irish Women Writers, and Later On: The Monaghan Bombing Memorial Anthology, which became a centrepiece for a lecture series The Language of War at the University of Bologna. The title story of her first collection, Taking Scarlet as a Real Colour, has been performed at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival, her radio essays are heard frequently on national radio, and she teaches writing on Carlow University, Pittsburgh’s MFA Writing Program. She is a member of Aosdána.

Éilís Ní Dhuibhne is one of Ireland’s greatest living writers. During her distinguished and lengthy career, she has produced writing of the highest calibre in Irish and in English, has written award-winning books for children and adults, and has excelled across a range of genres. In 2015 she was awarded the Irish PEN award for her outstanding contribution to Irish literature. She is a member of Aosdána, an ambassador for the Irish Writers’ Centre, and President of the Folklore of Ireland Society. Eimear Ryan’s debut novel, Holding Her Breath, is forthcoming from Penguin Sandycove in June. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Winter Papers, The Dublin Review and The Stinging Fly. She is a co-founder of the literary journal Banshee and its publishing imprint, Banshee Press. She is the 2021 Writer-in-Residence at UCC. From Co. Tipperary, Eimear now lives in Cork city.

Australian Fiction | Time: 21.00 | Register here

Cate Kennedy is a novelist, short story writer and poet whose work features in the school syllabus in Australia. When writing about her favourite Australian fiction, the late Eileen Battersby recommended Cate Kennedy’s second short story collection Like a House on Fire (2012) and said: ‘Australia’s response to the art of Alice Munro, Cate Kennedy is a singular artist who looks to the ordinary in a small rural community and is particularly astute on exploring the fallout left by the aftermath of the personal disasters that change everything. Her debut collection, Dark Roots (2006) ‘heralded the arrival of a fully-formed master of the form ….’ The Irish Times

Paddy O’Reilly is a multiple award-winning Australian writer whose novels and stories have won and been shortlisted for many major awards, and have been published, anthologised and broadcast in Australia, China, Europe, the UK and the USA. ‘In her latest collection, Peripheral Vision, Paddy O’Reilly proves to be one of Australia’s most accomplished authors of the long-wave story. Peripheral Vision has expansive energy, and will fascinate readers with a taste for open endings and vivid voices.’ The Australian

Paul McVeigh’s debut novel, The Good Son, won The Polari First Novel Prize and The McCrea Literary Award and was shortlisted for many others including the Authors Club Best First Novel Award and the Prix du Roman Cezam. He was shortlisted for Irish Short Story of the Year at the Irish Book Awards in 2017. His stories will appear in 2019, in Kit de Waal’s Common People: An Anthology of Working Class Writers, Faber’s Being Various: New Irish Short Stories, on BBC Radio 4 and Sky Arts TV. He is associate director of Word Factory and he co-founded the London Short Story Festival. He writes for The Irish Times and his work has been translated into seven languages.

Saturday 24 April

Ask The Agent | Time: 11.00-12.00 | Register here

Literary Agents Simon Trewin, Sara O’Keefe and Ian Drury in conversation with author Sam Blake aka Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin. How do you approach an agent, what should you send them and why do you need one? With plenty of time for your questions, if you are about to submit, this is a panel you cannot miss.

First Page Pitch | Time: 12.00-13.00
Register here to listen to readings.

Send in a two line/50 word pitch describing your book and the first 500 words of your novel to by 15 April. The expert booklovers at Cork City Libraries will chose 10 for the authors to read out loud (or if you’re shy, Sam Blake will read them) for feedback from our agents. It is incredibly useful to hear pitches and the openings of books and what the agents think of them – tune in to perfect your own approach, find out what works and what doesn’t!

Making it Happen with Children’s Author Olivia Hope
Time: 13.30-14.30 | Register here

Olivia Hope came to a book clinic that Vanessa/Sam Blake ran as part of Cork World Festival a few years ago. In her ten minutes, Olivia made Vanessa cry with a gorgeous picture book story about a robin, and took her first step on the road to success. Vanessa took her book to the London Book Fair where she was meeting the head of the Darley Andersen Literary Agency’s Children’s Division Clare Wallace, and Clare loved it. Clare now represents Olivia who has three books on the way with Bloomsbury and many more in the pipeline. You’ll soon be seeing Olivia Hope’s name everywhere!

Vanessa will find out what’s happened on Olivia’s journey and her tips for children’s writers. Olivia now works for The Inkwell Group critiquing picture books and teaches creative writing. This will be an hour packed with information with lots of time for your questions – and we’ll be discussing all areas of children’s writing as Olivia has experience across the board.

Floating Between Two Languages: A Poetry Translation Workshop
Time: 14.00 | Register here

No knowledge of Spanish needed! Explore how poetry can move beyond one language in this creative, collaborative workshop with Colombian poet Tania Ganitsky and British literary translator Rosalind Harvey. With the support of the workshop leaders, participants will work together to make a new English version of Tania’s poems.

Inside Children’s Books with Literary Agent Polly Nolan
Time: 14.30-15.30 | Register here

If you’re writing for children understanding the genre is crucial, Polly Nolan has risen to the top in the book world and is now an agent who specialises in Children’s fiction, find out exactly what you need to do to attract an agent and publisher in this world.

Cork World Book Festival Special Launch Event
Time: 16.00 | Register here

A Very Strange Man: A Memoir of Aidan Higgins by Alannah Hopkin

A Very Strange Man: A Memoir of Aidan Higgins is both a love story and an important literary record. Join Thomas McCarthy in conversation with Alannah Hopkin to explore her literary memoir and heart-breaking portrait of a marriage

This is a love story set in the Irish literary world between 1986 and 2015. When first introduced by the poet Derek Mahon, Alannah was an arts journalist turned full-time writer, and Aidan, her senior by 23 years, was one of Ireland’s leading literary stylists. After the thunderbolt of love at first sight, they were together for 29 years, through good times and bad, writing all the while, until Aidan’s very last breath.

Drawing on diaries and notebooks, Alannah tells their story candidly and without commentary. It is an exceptional piece of writing, objective and authoritative, personal, honest and moving.

‘Invaluable to literary scholars and those questing readers who seek out the best.’ Annie Proulx‘

Alannah Hopkin has written a fond, honest and deeply fascinating memoir of her partner, Aidan Higgins, a major figure in Irish writing in the 20th century…’John Banville

Sunday 25 April

Fiction at the Friary: The Secret Life of Book Bloggers
Time 15.00 | Register here

Madeleine D’Arcy and Danielle McLaughlin talk to three bloggers about the labour of love that is book blogging.

Mairéad Hearne is a Cork-based blogger with a passion for reading. Having established her blog, Swirl and Thread, in 2016 Mairéad has developed relationships with many authors, publishers and fellow book bloggers from across the globe. She has been exposed to some wonderful opportunities, including being a guest at the Irish Book Awards on a number of occasions. Her favourite genres are historical, contemporary, crime/thriller, biographies and literary fiction. Mairéad blogs at Swirl and Thread and her reviews can also be found on Irish website

Noelle Kelly-Trindles is a writer and horror blogger from Cork, and her blog was awarded a place in the Feedspot top 20 horror review blogs. She works as a training professional in a pharma company by day and masquerades as The Corpse Bride by night, the alter ego of her review site. Noelle is a regular attendee at Fiction at the Friary and she curated a Halloween Fright Fiction at the Friary event. Visit:

Emma McEvoy is a teacher, avid reader and book blogger. Originally from Cork, now living in Yorkshire, Emma mainly mixes her reading between literary fiction, crime, thrillers and short stories. Visit:

Madeleine D’Arcy lives in Cork City, Ireland, with her husband and son. Formerly a solicitor, she now writes fiction. Her début short story collection, Waiting For The Bullet (Doire Press, 2014), won the Edge Hill Readers’ Choice Prize 2015 (UK). In 2010 she received the Hennessy Literary Awards for First Fiction and New Irish Writer. She holds an MA in Creative Writing (First Class Honours) from UCC. Her second book, a linked short story collection, is scheduled for publication in 2021. She has recently completed a novel. With fellow-writer Danielle McLaughlin, she co-hosts Fiction at the Friary, a regular free monthly event in Cork City.

Launch of One City One Book | Time: 16.30 | Register here

Cork City Libraries’ One City One Book is an initiative to get book loving Corkonians to read and discuss the same book. Individuals, groups, book clubs, workplaces and organisations are encouraged to take part in building a sense of community throughout the city, promoting literacy, supporting the arts and encouraging everyone to engage in reading. It takes the idea of a localised book discussion club and expands it to cover the whole city. This year’s book is The Art of Falling by Danielle McLaughlin. It was published in January 2021 by John Murray Publishers and has received critical acclaim.

Sue Leonard will lead the discussion for the launch of One City One Book.

“This is not a debut in the usual sense; a promise of greater things to come. There is no need to ask what Danielle McLaughlin will do next, she has done it already. This book has arrived. I think it will stay with us for a long time.” Anne Enright

“Full of such arresting, resonant and precise writing … an impressive achievement.” Financial Times

“Taut with words unsaid and fights unhad, and the endings are all that endings should be.” Metro

Nessa McCormack’s marriage is coming back together again after her husband’s affair. She is excited to be in charge of a retrospective art exhibit for one of Ireland’s most beloved and enigmatic artists, the late sculptor Robert Locke. But the arrival of two outsiders imperils both her personal and professional worlds: a chance encounter with an old friend threatens to expose a betrayal Nessa thought she had long put behind her, and at work, an odd woman comes forward claiming to be the true creator of Robert Locke’s most famous work, The Chalk Sculpture.

As Nessa finds the past intruding on the present, she must decide whether she can continue to live a lie – or whether she’s ready to face the consequences once everything is out in the open. In this gripping debut, Danielle McLaughlin reveals profound truths about love, power, and the secrets that rule us.

Danielle McLaughlin is the author of the short story collection Dinosaurs on Other Planets. In 2019, she was a Windham-Campbell Prize recipient, and won the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award. She lives in County Cork, Ireland, with her husband and three children. The Art of Falling is her first novel.

Fringe Event

Sample-Studios’ Cork Creative Careers Programme Creative Writing Workshops | Invitation Only

As part of Sample-Studios’ new Cork Creative Careers Programme and Cork World Book Fest, Cork-based writer and poet Paul Casey will be delivering creative writing workshops for three local primary and secondary schools. Paul will share examples of his own published work and explore his own creative career path. His workshop will enable 4th year students and 6th class pupils in local schools to explore poetry and creative writing and to keep writing in the classroom and at home.

Paul Casey is a writer and poet. He has published poems in five of his six spoken languages, along with articles, in journals and anthologies in Ireland, the US, China, Australia, South Africa, Romania and Bosnia-Herzegovina. He teaches multimedia and creative writing courses at the Cork College of Commerce. He performs at many festivals and venues, including Cork Poetry Festival and the Cúirt Festival of Literature. He also edits the annual Unfinished Book of Poetry, featuring verse written by transition year students from Cork City schools.

About Cork Creative Careers Programme: Sample-Studios is one of Ireland’s largest artist studios and creative workspaces based in Churchfield, Cork City. Sample-Studios’ new arts education programme, the Cork Creative Careers Programme, offers 4th year students and 6th class pupils in local schools the opportunities to explore different creative career paths through a series of talks and workshops, including visual art, photography, printmaking, filmmaking and creative writing. The programme is designed specifically for young people at these transitional learning stages to explore their own creativity, supported by local arts professionals. This programme is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and Cork City Council.