A County Clare village once frequented by eminent writers such as George Bernard Shaw, J.M. Synge and Dylan Thomas will host a celebration of Irish literature on March 28 - 30.

Hotel Doolin has announced a comprehensive line-up and programme for the 2nd annual Doolin Writers Weekend featuring workshops and readings by some of Ireland’s leading writers including Claire Keegan, Moya Cannon, Claire Kilroy, Theo Dorgan, Sonya Kelly and Arlene Hunt. 

There will also be a publishing workshop with Eoin Purcell from New Island Press, live traditional Irish music sessions hosted by Conor Byrne, a poetry recital at the Cliffs of Moher, and a DJ set by punk music legend Terri Hooley.

Event organiser and Hotel Doolin General Manager, Donal Minihane described the upcoming Festival as “a great opportunity for aspiring writers as well as literary fans and published authors to get together and celebrate everything that is good about Irish literature.” 

He added: “Many artists and writers spent time in Doolin, including J.M. Synge, George Bernard Shaw, Dylan Thomas, Augustus John and Oliver St. John Gogarty. We look forward to welcoming back some of Ireland’s best writers to North Clare later this month enabling literary enthusiasts to come see for themselves why Doolin and the surrounding Burren region have inspired generations of writers and artists.”

The Festival will be launched on Friday March 28 at 8.00pm in Hotel Doolin by renowned poet and novelist, Theo Dorgan who will provide a reading before the announcement of the winner of the 2014 Doolin Short Story Competition. The open competition is being judged this year by Anthony Glavin, former Editor of “New Irish Writing” in the Irish Press and former commissioning editor with New Island Books.  

At 9.00pm, Mark Graham will speak about his book and award-winning blog ‘A Year of Festivals in Ireland’, followed by live music from Conor Byrne & Friends.

Saturday’s programme gets underway at 10am with a 3-hour workshop on ‘Advanced Fiction’ by novelist Claire Kilroy.  Award-winning short story writer, Claire Keegan will present a workshop, entitled ‘How Fiction Works’ from 9.30am to 4.30pm, while poet Moya Cannon presents a poetry workshop from 2.00pm to 4.00pm. Irish novelist Arlene Hunt will host a ‘Writing Crime’ workshop at Tir Gan Ean from 10.30am to 1.30pm. 

‘The Inside Track on Publishing’ is the theme of a Publishing Workshop being presented by Eoin Purcell of New Ireland Books at Tir Gan Ean from 2.00 pm to 5.30pm, while at the same time local farmer Pat Sweeney will take festival goers on a guided tour along the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk.

At 8pm, a specially erected festival marquee on the grounds of Hotel Doolin will play host to a Bardic Buffet featuring a reading by Clare Keegan. Writer and Comedian Sonya Kelly will also entertain guests with her highly acclaimed one-woman show, ‘The Wheelchair on my Face’, followed by traditional Irish music from Blackie O’Connell & Friends and a DJ set by punk music pioneer Terri Hooley.

On Sunday 30th from 10.00am to 11.00am, local historian Mattie Shannon will lead a historical trail walk and talk around Doolin. The final day of the Festival will also feature an afternoon traditional Irish music session and a concert, entitled ‘Twin Headed Wolf’ from 8.00pm to 10.00pm in Hotel Doolin.

Details regarding ticketed Doolin Writer’s Weekend events are available from www.doolinwritersweekend.com

Please contact Hotel Doolin at 065-7074111 or info@hoteldoolin.ie to book any of the events or workshops.


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