A suc­cess­ful chap­ter for Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val


Wexford People - - NEWS -

NOW five years in, it seems that the Wex­ford Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val is re­ally be­gin­ning to come into it’s own. Not only does it pro­vide some re­ally fas­ci­nat­ing talks and work­shops with au­thors and peo­ple in the pub­lish­ing in­dus­try, but it has also spawned it’s own com­mu­nity. Peo­ple re­turn to En­nis­cor­thy each year spe­cially for the event, join­ing new fes­ti­val go­ers and meet­ing even more new peo­ple. In fact, at the Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val, it’s en­tirely pos­si­ble that you could find your­self chat­ting over a cup of cof­fee to a multi-award win­ning, multi-mil­lion sell­ing au­thor with­out even re­al­is­ing it!

One of the grow­ing fea­tures of the an­nual fes­ti­val is the ar­ray of awards up for grabs, mar­keted to an in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity of writ­ers and bear­ing the names of lit­er­ary heavy­weights. The Billy Roche Short Play Award, The Colm Tóibín In­ter­na­tional Short Story Award, The An­thony Cronin In­ter­na­tional Po­etry Award - all saw en­tries from across the world.

The fes­ti­val launched with the Billy Roche Short Play Award at The Pre­sen­ta­tion Cen­tre on Fri­day night with four of the short­listed plays be­ing read by the Way­side Play­ers and En­nis­cor­thy Drama Group. While the stan­dard was ex­tremely high and all four were unique and en­gag­ing, it was De­clan Dempsey from Wex­ford who scooped the prize with his play ‘A Sergeant and A Gen­tle­man’.

On the night, award-win­ning au­thor Carmel Har­ring­ton an­nounced that this would be her last year as Fes­ti­val Chair­per­son, mak­ing way for fel­low au­thor Caro­line Busher. ‘I feel the fes­ti­val is re­ally alive now,’ she said. ‘A lot of peo­ple think lit­er­ary fes­ti­vals are not for them, but what we’ve built here is a fes­ti­val that’s about great books, great writ­ers and great read­ers.’

Carmel, how­ever, was de­ter­mined to fin­ish on a high with this fes­ti­val, and it’s safe to say she was suc­cess­ful to this end. Satur­day saw a range of fas­ci­nat­ing talks such as a fas­ci­nat­ing au­thor talk with in­ter­na­tional best-seller Adele Parks, a mas­ter­class in scifi with Dr Sarah Cleary, Caro­line Busher and ‘Doc­tor Who’ writer An­drew Cart­mel and a fas­ci­nat­ing dis­cus­sion on ‘writ­ing crime’ with Jane Casey, Shane Dun­phy and leg­endary crime jour­nal­ist Paul Wil­liams, all ex­pertly chaired by Karen Tomkins.

Fi­nally, there was great ex­cite­ment at The Athenaeum on Sun­day as the awards win­ners were an­nounced. UK based Jupiter Jones was de­clared win­ner of the Colm Tóibín Award for his short story ‘The Moth’, while the An­thony Cronin Award went to Kerry na­tive and Dublin based poet Joan Mor­ris­sey for ‘Wash Day’. Con­clud­ing mat­ters for this year, Ms Har­ring­ton thanked ev­ery­one for their sup­port of the fes­ti­val dur­ing her time in the chair and wished her suc­ces­sor Caro­line Busher the very best for the event’s con­tin­ued suc­cess.

Do­minic Palmer, De­clan Dempsey, Billy Roche, John J. Kelly and David But­ler at the fes­ti­val launch.

Dr. Sarah Cleary, Caro­line Busher and An­drew Cart­mel at the Read­ers and Writ­ers Day in the River­side ark Ho­tel.

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