Ireland’s Top Authors to Descend on Third Annual Waterford Writers’ Weekend
The country’s top authors will descend on Waterford City for four days next month from March 21 to 24 to impart their knowledge and stories to keen literary audiences. The programme for the fourth annual Waterford Writers Weekend festival was launched in the city centre today, Sunday February 10, 2013.
Award winning authors such as Jimmy Magee, Kate Kerrigan, Hazel Gaynor, Anna Carey, Ferdia MacAnna and Dave Duggan will appear, to name but a few. In all, thirty-two authors, journalists and bloggers will host readings, writing workshops, debates and discussions for avid readers, novice writers, children and anyone with an interest in the magic of books.
Launching the programme for the 2013 festival Director of the Waterford Writers’ Weekend Katherine Collins said, “We are delighted to be launching this amazing line-up of renowned authors and speakers for this our third festival; this festival has grown enormously over the last few years and only because we have such an interest from the public, we have full houses every year and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors old and new again this year.”
Opening the festival on Thursday March 21 are the Seán Dunne Young Writers’ Awards. The Awards are a tribute to the work of the late poet, and continue to promote the work of aspiring young authors. On Friday, a discussion on the uses of social media to promote anything from a book to a small business will be followed by a session hosted by three successful self-published authors offering practical advice to those wishing to pursue the independent publishing route. Greyfriars Art Gallery hosts very topical symposium with Dr. Elaine Byrne, columnist with the Sunday Independent and Irish expert to the European Commission on corruption entitled “Ireland in Europe, where now?” On Friday evening ex-Alternative Miss Ireland Joanna Ryde will host an event called “The Edge of Glory”, a talk about her books, blogging and making it big.
On Saturday, March 23 novelist and dramatist Dave Duggan will talk about his theatre work which has been seen across Ireland and in New York, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Afghanistan and about having his work aired by the BBC and RTE. Award winning blogger and journalist Mona Wise, Mark Graham of ‘A Year of Festivals’ fame and Anna Carey of fashion blog beaut.ie will discuss whether “To Blog or Not to Blog”. Brian Kennedy and Billy Costine will be “Talking Sport” while poet K. S. Moore will read a selection of poetry from her four collections. Best-selling author Kate Kerrigan will discuss her Ellis Island trilogy of novels and protagonist Ellie Hogan’s emigration to New York and return to Ireland.
For those wishing to break into the world of script and screen writing, RTE scriptwriter Kieran Grimes, writer and director Ferdia McAnna, RTE script writer Clare Dowling and Blinder Film’s Rioghnach Ni Ghrioghair will discuss the various routes to start a successful career.
Tarquin Blake will take audiences on a guided tour of the abandoned mansions of Ireland. At the “Inspiring Lives” talk, Debbie Deegan, founder of the ‘To Russia With Love’ charity which has helped over 5,000 Russian orphans improve their lives, will tell the story of her experiences in Russia, from the intricacies of soviet-style bureaucracy, to the threat of violence from international criminals.
On the final day of the festival, getting short stories published will be discussed by industry experts, followed by a talk with Jimmy Magee. Jimmy, whose extraordinary memory for sports trivia has led to his being dubbed the Memory Man, discusses the events that most stick in his mind over his distinguished career.
Sunday afternoon is a session for budding journalists as Mary Frances Ryan, editor of the Waterford News and Star, investigative journalist and author Robbyn Swan and Mona Wise of The Sunday Times talk to Ian Noctor of WLRfm about how to get your name on that byline.
The finale of the festival is a free event at 6 p.m. in Garter Lane Arts Centre with Mary Grehan. Mary is an author who has come full circle. She was discovered at the Waterford Writers Weekend 2011 and appears at the festival this year to talk about her book Love is the Easy Bit being published by Penguin Ireland in April 2013. Find out how Mary started writing and how she got her break.
A series of free events take place throughout the weekend too from a ‘Tell Your Own Story’ session encouraging everyone to get writing, to a wonderful genealogy workshop with leading Irish family history expert John Grehnam.
Lots of fun activities and events have been organized for young readers and writers with Teens Write Workshops, story-telling for younger children and a fun science event for schools with Paul O’Dwyer and Humphrey Jones co-authors of A Neutron Walks into a Bar..
Full details of the Waterford Writers’ Weekend can be found at waterfordwritersweekend.ie and in the festival programme, available in Central Library, Lady Lane and other outlets.