Winter Series


Listowel Writers’ Week is delighted to bring you the Winter Series over the coming months. Event genres in the series include Literature, Poetry, Visual Arts, Tours & Walks, Theatre & Performing Arts, Children and Young Adults events – cultural experiences for all ages. The Visual Arts event features first on our list. 

Stay in touch for updates on our June 2022 Festival – 1st to 5th June.

Thank you to our very generous investors, sponsors and patrons, including the Arts Council Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Kerry County Council, for their continued support of Listowel Writers’ Week.

Irish Poem of the Year Award 2021

Irish poet Siobhan Campbell receives Irish Poem of the Year Award 2021 at the An Post Irish Book Awards Ceremony

The Irish Poem of the Year Award 2021 Winner was unveiled at the An Post Irish Book Awards Ceremony November 23rd. We are absolutely delighted to announce Siobhan Campbell has received the Irish Poem of the Year 2021 Award. Congratulations Siobhan, on your beautiful poem Longboat at Portaferry!


Irish Poem of the Year Award 2021 Winner – Longboat at Portaferry by Siobhan Campbell

At the mouth of the Lough, I approach by the narrows

from fast-running tides to the place of strong currents.


I have bided my time, observing the flux,

the seals and the plover beside me beguiled.


I am still in my heart in search of safe harbour –

the wide shallow basin I’ve heard called a haven.


Like the waders and geese, I come back each season,

a to-ing and fro-ing since nature began.


I can see us some springtime, both new-come and native,

bathed in the light of a ferry at sunrise


when the eelgrass and thrift, the aster and thyme

are budding and thriving in warmth re-arriving,


and along all the narrows are sponges and corals –

a riot of colour remembering to bloom.

Published – New Hibernia Review, July 2021


The An Post Irish Book Awards Book of the Year takes place on 8th December. The result of the nationwide poll will be revealed to discover the overall ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year’ winner.

#APIBAS #IrishPoem #Award #CreativeWriting #Poetry

Listowel Writers' Week 2022

Save the Dates! 

Listowel Writers’ Week’s 2022 Festival takes place 1st to 5th June. We look forward to welcoming you all back for a great cultural experience and gathering in Listowel! For any queries, contact us at or on 068 21074.

2021 Events

A sample of events from our 2021 festival!

Visual Arts

Listowel Writers’ Week Visual Arts Committee is delighted to introduce our Visual Arts Social Media Challenge 2021.
Free Social Media Event Starts Tuesday, 18th May. 

The above image was recreated by Jennifer Kirkeby for the Getty Museum Challenge, in response to “Freya’s Tear’s” by Anne-Marie Zilberman, c 1900’s.

During 2020, the Getty Museum in LA, invited people to recreate a work of art with everyday objects, and people, in their home during lockdown. They asked people to choose their favourite artwork, and using objects found in their home to recreate it, and post it online with #gettymuseumchallenge. The Getty Museum was inspired by the Tussen Kunst en Quarantine (Between Art and Quarantine) Instagram account from Amsterdam.

The challenge had over 55,000 people share their creations, and resulted in the publication of a book Off the Walls: Inspired Re-Creations of Iconic Artworks in September 2020. All profits from the sale of the book were donated to the charity Artist Relief. The Getty Museum encouraged engagement in a creative and fun way during the pandemic, and reminded us that the Arts has the power to unite us, and to bring joy during troubled times.

The goal of Listowel Writers’ Week is to celebrate the written word in all its forms. With encouragement from Getty Museum, putting our own Literary Twist on the Getty Museum Challenge, we would like to invite you to recreate one, or all, of the following using everyday objects, and people, found in your home or school:

  • Recreate a work of art that features books, reading or has a reference to literature.
  • Recreate an illustration from a book.
  • Create your own original artwork using books or referencing books for inspiration.

Once you have your recreation complete, use #LWWArtChallenge2021 to tag us and remember to include a photo of your inspiration, and acknowledge the artist who gave you the inspiration!

For some amazing recreations, click on the following links:

You can also Google Getty Museum Challenge or Tussen Kunsten Quarantine, or search #gettymuseumchallenge or #tussenkunstenquarantine on Instagram, or Facebook, for further inspiration.

We will be posting recreations every week leading up to this year’s online Listowel Writers’ Week, which takes place from 2nd to 6th June 2021 – so make sure to look out for them! To encourage as many participants as possible, this challenge will run until October 2021.

A big thank you to Jennifer Kirkeby, Minnesota @jenniferkirkeby, for allowing us to repost her recreation of Ann-Marie Zilberman’s painting “Freya’s Tears” from the @gettymuseumchallenge. Jennifer is a writer, actress, comedic DIY fashioniesta and was an avid contributor to the Getty Museum challenge. Her Instagram page is full of amazing recreations that you should definitely check out!

2021 Competitions

Thank you writers & poets, who entered our 2021 Competitions, and to our wonderful sponsors for supporting our competitions this year.
Best wishes to all!

Listowel Writers’ Week announced the 2021 Competition Award Recipients on Wednesday June 2nd. Competitions include:

  • Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award 2021. Total prize fund €17,000, kindly sponsored by Kerry Group PLC.
  • Pigott Poetry Prize Award 2021. Total prize fund €14,000, kindly sponsored by Mark Pigott KBE & the Pigott Family.
  • Nilsson Local Heritage Writing Award 2021. Total prize fund €1,400, kindly sponsored by the Nilsson Family.
  • Bryan MacMahon Short Story Award 2021. Total prize fund €1,000, kindly sponsored by Aspire Technology Ltd – Bill Walsh.
  • Duais Foras na Gaeilge Award 2021. Total prize fund €1,000, kindly sponsored by Foras na Gaeilge.
  • Writing in Prisons Award 2021. Total prize fund €2,700, kindly sponsored by the Irish Prison Service, the Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas & the Northern Ireland Prison Service.
  • Creative Writing for Adults with Special Needs Award 2021. Total prize fund €1,000, kindly sponsored by Pierse Fitzgibbon Solicitors.
  • Poetry Collection Award 2021. Total prize fund €2,500, kindly sponsored by Tim Costelloe, Profile Development, in memory of Joni Costelloe.

Support Culture

We aspire to support and encourage writers & artists, and all involved in the literary world.

Your donation will help us promote, support and encourage writers & artists, thus ensuring that the literary and artistic talent in Ireland continues to be fostered and celebrated.

Ireland’s Oldest Literary Festival

Welcome to Listowel Writers’ Week, Ireland’s oldest literary and arts festival where writers, artists and poets gather in the beautiful Kerry heritage town of Listowel in Co Kerry.  We promote writing and all its genres throughout the literary community, and create an environment in which literature can be appreciated by the widest possible audience and where writers and readers celebrate the written word, together. At the heart of our annual celebration is a commitment to developing and promoting writing talent.

Listowel Writers’ Week is devoted to bringing together writers and audiences at unique and innovative events in the historic and intimate surroundings of Listowel, County Kerry. This is done through literary panel discussions, moderated talks, poetry readings, interviews, cultural tours, walks and more.

President Michael D. Higgins describes Listowel Writers’ Week as the place ‘where cruthaíocht is created’. So whether you nestle into the hearth of John B Keane’s pub for a reading, take a journey into the rich culture of scenic North Kerry in the Kerry Writers’ Museum, travel by the #WildAtlanticWay or sit back and enjoy the musings of internationally acclaimed writers in the Listowel Arms Hotel; be sure to join us as we celebrate our 50th Festival 2nd June to 6th June 2021.

We’ve introduced some wonderful guests to Listowel over the years, and each of them has left with fond memories. Hover over the images below to share in some of these experiences …

“I’ve been to many writing festivals since then but none as warm; or as mad!”

Roddy Doyle

“I was blown away with the warmth of the welcome I received, and how genuinely interested the audience here is. I’ll definitely be back!”

Jan Carson

“Listowel Writers’ Week is serious about literature. Everyone who comes here knows how much literature enriches our lives.”

Colm Tóibín

“Listowel Writers’ Week is warm-hearted, welcoming and entirely wonderful!”

Alexandra Pringle

“Just the most wonderful festival – where else can you have seaweed baths AND listen to poems in a pub?!”

Tishani Doshi

“Best Literary Festival in the World!”

Graham Norton

“It’s a celebration of writing and writers like no other. I can’t wait to come back!”

Jess Kidd

“Listowel Writers’ Week is warm and kind. Kindness is free!”

Lemn Sissay

“One of my best experiences at a book festival, the people and the town made it!”

Alan Cummings

“What a wonderful festival, the atmosphere is phenomenal! I’ll be raving about it to everyone.”

Emma Dabiri

“The week of the literary year in Ireland, may eve beyond!”

Paul Muldoon

“I love the warmth and informality of this wonderful gathering.”

Emma Donoghue

Sponsors & Patrons

Here at Listowel Writers’ Week we understand the value of community spirit and support. Since 1970, Listowel Writers’ Week has been supported by committed and generous Sponsors and Patrons who have given the festival the opportunity to expand and produce a wide and varied programme of events, creating an environment where literature and the arts can be appreciated by the widest possible audience.

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