A graduate of INSAS (Brussels Film School, Belgium), Négar Djavadi worked for many
years behind the camera as an assistant and cameraman while writing and directing short
films, documentaries and plays. For nearly ten years, she has devoted herself entirely to
writing fictional scripts, which have won her several awards at film festivals. Her first novel,
released in 2016, Désorientale (Éditions Liana Levi), translated into fifteen languages, has
received many awards in France, as well as the Lambda and Albertine award in the United
States. It was nominated in 2019 for the Irish National Book Award in the “foreign novel”
category, and was a finalist in the 2020 Dublin Literary Award. Her new novel, Arena, was
released in September 2020.
Julian Gough was born in London, raised in Tipperary, and educated in love, life and literature in Galway, where he lingered a long while, before being exiled to Berlin for not paying rent (at the height of the Celtic Tiger). He is the author of four novels, four children’s books, two BBC radio plays, a novella, a poetry collection, and a stage play. He also wrote the ending to Time Magazine’s 2011 computer game of the year, Minecraft. In his youth, he sang with underground literary pop band Toasted Heretic on four albums. He won the BBC National Short Story Award in 2007, and was shortlisted, twice, for the Everyman Bollinger Wodehouse Prize. A poetry collection, Free Sex Chocolate, was published in 2010, and in 2013 he had a UK number one Kindle Single with the comic novella CRASH! His latest novel, Connect, was published by Picador in 2018. His Rabbit & Bear children’s books (illustrated by Jim Field) are published in over thirty languages. The first book, Rabbit's Bad Habits, was shortlisted for an Irish Book of the Year Award in 2016; its French translation won the Prix Livrentête in 2018. The sequel, The Pest in the Nest, was shortlisted for both an Irish Book of the Year Award, and the Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Award. Julian has also been writer in residence in Trinity College Dublin, the University of Limerick, and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
Sinéad Gleeson’s essays have been published by Granta, Winter Papers and Gorse, and broadcast by BBC and RTÉ. Her debut essay collection Constellations: Reflections from Life (Picador) won Non-Fiction Book of the Year at 2019 Irish Book Awards and the Dalkey Literary Award for Emerging Writer. It was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize, the Michel Déon Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Her short stories have featured in various anthologies including Being Various: New Irish Short Stories (Faber, 2019) and Repeal the 8th. She has edited the award-winning anthologies The Long Gaze Back: An Anthology of Irish Women Writers and The Glass Shore: Short Stories by Women Writers from the North of Ireland. The Art of Glimpse: 100 Irish Short Stories, was published by Head of Zeus in October 2020. She is currently working on a novel.
Accompanying photo by photographer Bríd
Manchán Magan has written books on his travels in Africa, India and South America and two novels. He writes regularly for The Irish Times, presents The Almanac of Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 and reports on travel for various radio programmes. He has presented dozens of documentaries on issues of world culture for TG4, RTÉ & Travel Channel. His book Thirty-Two Words For Field explores the insights the Irish language offers into the landscape, psyche and heritage of Ireland.
Caroline Michel has been the CEO of Peters Fraser & Dunlop since 2007. Before that she headed up the William Morris Agency in London for three years. She has over 25 years’ worth of experience in the industry and ran both Vintage at Random House and Harper Press at HarperCollins. She is Chair of the Hay Literary Festival, Chair of the BFI Trust, Committee Member for Arts and Media Honours, and was a Trustee of Somerset House. She is a Fellow of the RSA and Vice President of the London Library.
Sara Baume’s debut novel, Spill Simmer Falter Wither, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and the Kate O' Brien Award and has been widely translated. Her second novel, A Line Made by Walking, was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize. She is also a recipient of the Rooney Prize for Literature and a Literary Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation in New Mexico. In 2020 her first book of non-fiction was published, handiwork, and subsequently longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize. She lives in West Cork, where she works as a visual artist as well as a writer.
Dermot Bolger was born in Dublin and is one of Ireland’s best known writers. His fourteen novels include The Journey Home, The Family on Paradise Pier, The Lonely Sea and Sky and, most recently, An Ark of Light. His debut play, The Lament for Arthur Cleary, received the Samuel Beckett Award. Numerous other plays include an adaptation of Joyce’s Ulysses and, most recently, Last Orders at the Dockside, both staged by The Abbey. He has published nine collections of poetry. Bolger writes for Ireland’s leading newspapers, and in 2012 was named Commentator of the Year at the Irish Newspaper Awards. In 2020 – forty-four years after his first short story appeared while still a schoolboy – Bolger finally published his debut collection of stories, Secrets Never Told.
Clíona Ní Ríordáin is a critic and translator who teaches Irish literature and Translation Studies at the Sorbonne Nouvelle where she is Professor of English.
Among her recent publications are the anthology Jeune Poésie d’Irlande—Les poètes du Munster (Illador, 2015) with Paul Bensimon a volume of essays, Memoranda to MacNeice (PUR) with Anne Goarzin. Her new book, English Language Poets in University College Cork 1970-1980, will appear from Palgrave in March 2020.
Katie Donovan has published five collections of poetry, all with Bloodaxe Books UK. Her most recent, “Off Duty” (2016) was shortlisted for the Irish Times/Poetry Now Prize. In 2017 she was the recipient of the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry. Her work has appeared in many anthologies, including the bestselling “Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times”, edited by Neil Astley. She was a journalist for 13 years, and has taught Creative Writing at NUI Maynooth and at IADT Dun Laoghaire. She lives in Dalkey, Co Dublin, but hails originally from a farm in Co. Wexford.
Sabine Wespieser, born in 1961, first taught classics before becoming publisher at Actes Sud (from 1987 to 1999), then director of the Librio collection at Flammarion (2000).
In 2001, she created her own publishing house, Sabine Wespieser éditeur, whose first titles were published in the autumn of 2002.
Sabine Wespieser éditeur is an independent literary structure, which publishes fiction work, French and foreign, at the rate of ten titles per year.
To date, the publishing house has over 170 titles, and was awarded the 2006 Foreign Femina award for L’Histoire de Chicago May, The Story of Chicago May by Nuala O’Faolain; the Elle Readers' Grand Award in 2007 for Terre des Oublis, No Man’s Land by Duong Thu Huong; the 2014 Femina award for Bain de lune, Moon Bath by Yanick Lahens; the Booksellers award and the RTL / Lire award in 2015 for Amours by Léonor de Récondo; the Orange award and the France Bleu / Pages des libraires award for Avant que les ombres s’effacent, Before the Shadows Erase by Louis-Philippe Dalembert; the Version Femina award in 2019 for Tristan by Clarence Boulay; and, for Edna O’Brien, the 2019 Femina award for Lifetime Achievement.
Niamh has a BA in Psychology, an MA in Clinical Psychology and an MSc in Sport Management Specialising in Sport Psychology. She has completed additional training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). She has lectured in Applied Psychology and Sport Psychology to students in London, Dublin and Waterford, focusing on the practical application of psychology. She is a Member of the Psychological Society of Ireland and an Accredited Sport Psychologist with Sport Ireland Institute. Niamh has been described as being warm, insightful, creative, enthusiastic and above all pragmatic in the way she works. One of the comments often said by clients is “you just seem get me, you understand exactly what I am saying and I feel better already”. Well known for bringing clarity and perspective to psychological sessions, along with great reserves of enthusiasm and humour, working with Niamh is not only educational and effective, but also enjoyable.
Lisa Coen is co-founding publisher of Tramp Press, the Irish independent responsible for successes including Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Sara Baume, Mike McCormack, and Ian Maleney.
Tramp Press is an independent publisher of fiction, creative non-fiction & rediscovered works. Tramp launched in 2014 with the aim to publish critically praised new titles that could not find a home elsewhere. Tramp's authors have been shortlisted for awards like the Davy Byrnes, the Man Booker, the Costa, and have won awards like the Goldsmiths, the Irish Book Awards Book of the Year, the Rooney Prize, and plenty more.
Sarah Moore Fitzgerald is an award winning teacher, researcher and novelist at the University of Limerick where she teaches creative writing. She was awarded a full professorship at UL in 2016 for her research and leadership in teaching and learning, and was Ireland’s inaugural chair of the board of the National Forum for the enhancement of teaching and learning. She’s part of the team that delivers UL’s New York Creative Writing Summer School and is founder of UL’s Creative Writing Winter School for mid-career writers. She’s the author of 5 novels including The Apple Tart of Hope and A Strange Kind of Brave. Her next novel is due out in July 2021. Her work has been adapted for the stage and translated into over eighteen different languages.
Vivienne McKechnie (nee Darling) was born in Dublin and now lives in Limerick. She is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin and has completed an MA in Creative Writing in University of Limerick.
Arlen House published Vivienne’s debut poetry collection, A Butterfly’s Wing, in 2013. Her poem, Letting Go, was published in Windharp, Poems of Ireland since 1916, edited by Niall MacMonagle. Vivienne’s poetry has been published in Stony Thursday, Revival, read on Lyric FM and on Sunday Miscellany. The poem Today featured on the English Leaving Certificate paper.
Vivienne edited Dream of a City, An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry from Limerick City of Culture 2014 and, with Jo Slade, A Last Farewell Collected poems by Maeve Kelly in March 2016
Vivienne is on Limerick Literary Festival committee.
Kerri ní Dochartaigh was born in 1983, in Derry-Londonderry at the border between the North and South of Ireland. She read English Literature and Classical Civilisation at Trinity College Dublin and trained as a Waldorf teacher in Edinburgh. She taught in Edinburgh and Bristol, before returning to Ireland in her early thirties. She writes about nature, literature and place for the Irish Times, Dublin Review of Books, Caught by the River and others. She now lives in a railway cottage in the very heart of Ireland. Thin Places is her first book.