Bray Literary Festival

A new literary festival comes to Wicklow this month. The Bray Literary Festival is a festival organised by writers for writers and for lovers of literature. This year’s festival will begin on Culture night, Friday 22nd September in the Town Hall, Bray and will continue on Saturday/ Sunday 23rd and 24th with full days of readings, discussions, music, and writing workshops with the an eclectic mix of Ireland’s rising and established voices in poetry, fiction and memoir and music.

The festival will play host to writers at various stages of their career – from well-known writers to published writers who don’t get many opportunities to appear at festivals, to emerging and unpublished writers.

There will also be a range of writing workshops on offer, including poetry, fiction, drama, memoir and song-writing. All of the facilitators have vast experience in their field and will, as working writers, provide valuable insights and tips. Each workshop costs only €10 but make sure to book early as places are limited.

The festival is also be running poetry and flash fiction competitions, with €500 worth of prizes to be won. Breda Wall Ryan, author of the award winning In a Hare’s Eye will judge the poetry competition while Catherine Dunne, author of nine novels, including the award winning The Things We Know Now will judge the flash fiction competition. The winners of the competitions will be announced on the opening night in the Town Hall on Friday, 22 September, where duelling poets Breda Wall Ryan and Kate Dempsey will also perform, accompanied by harpist Rachel Duffy.

Saturday sees a whole host of diverse events throughout the day. David Butler will give a free talk at the Joyce House, while noted poets Nessa O’ Mahony, Geraldine Mitchell and Jane Clarke will discuss Poetry and Landscape. Up-and-coming poets Eamon McGuinness, Annemarie ní Churreáin and Paul Bregazzi will feature at the Poetry – Ones to Watch event at the Harbour Bar, which will also play host to short stories writers Tanya Farrelly, Martin Malone and Orfhlaith Foyle later in the day. To round off the day, the Royal Hotel will play host to readings from local writers’ groups Abraxis and Little Bray and feature the launch of Bray Arts Journal, followed by Giant Open Mic with BeRn.

Sunday kicks off with the Poetry Cafe in Finnbees Kitchen, featuring Anne Tannam, Noel Duffy and Stephanie Conn. Lady Killers features crime writers Arlene Hunt, Louise Phillips and Sam Blake while the Songwriters Round in the Harbour Bar features BeRn, Keith Burke, Mark Flynn and Rachael McCormick. The festival then closes at the Town Hall with Voices from the Edge, featuring Liz Quirke, Lisa Harding, Arnold Thomas Fanning and Liz McManus.

Bray Literary Festival is an exciting new event on the Irish literary landscape and offers visitors a fantastic choice of events from new and emerging writers. What’s more the beautiful coastal town of Bray is the perfect place to enjoy a weekend and stimulate your creativity.

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