CELEBRATING Literary & Arts Listowel Writers' Week

Listowel Writers' Salon 2020

Listowel Writers’ Salon Events – October 2020!

Listowel Writers’ Salon is delighted to bring you a series of literary events over the coming weeks, where we will be showcasing some of the brilliant literary talent that writers’ have to offer us, which bring us into an imaginative literary experience. As we draw into the winter, we will be streaming events of some of the wonderful books that authors and poets have published. We will be streaming Rónán Hession, Kevin Barry, Miriam Gamble, Christine Dwyer Hickey and more!

This week Miriam Gamble is in conversation with Victoria Kennefick. Belfast native poet Miriam Gamble talks about her winning collection of poetry ‘What Planet’ which won the Pigott Poetry Prize Award 2020 at Listowel Writers’ Week. She reads some of her latest poems, and provides useful advice on writing poems and creating a collection of poetry.

Click here to listen.

Kevin Barry in conversation with Rick O’Shea. Kevin chats about his latest novel ‘Night Boat to Tangier’ which  was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award 2020. He is the author of highly acclaimed novel City of Bohane. ‘Night Boat to Tangier’ is a superbly atmospheric novel that will capture readers as they read about the lives of the very large characters in the book, who are based in Spain. Kevin also shares some great tips on writing a novel. “It’s a Kevin Barry novel, so the brilliance is expected; everything else is a brilliant surprise” – Roddy Doyle.

Click here to listen.

Rónán Hession in conversation with Rick O’Shea. Rónán is a songwriter, performer and debut author, and talks about his latest novel ‘Leonard and Hungry Paul’. It is an inspiring conversation where we are reminded to explore our imagination and enjoy creative writing. He says that “your creativity is like your sense of humour, it doesn’t go away”. He also talks about his editor, a former professional wrestler, who collaborated with him on publishing his book and shares some lovely tips on writing.

Click here to listen.

We have collaborated with and worked with the great team at IrishFest Milwaukee over the summer on some of these events.

Many thanks to our wonderful sponsors and contributors who helped make this happen!

#SupportWriters #EmbraceCulture #LoveReading #LiteraryTalent #Wellbeing #LiteraryExperience

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.

Irish Poem of the Year 2020


We are absolutely delighted to announce the shortlist for the Listowel Writers’ Week Irish Poem of the Year 2020, in association with An Post Irish Book Awards.

Voting is now open for the Listowel Writers’ Week Poem of the Year. Click here to view the shortlist and to register your vote!

Listowel Writers Week and An Post Irish Book Awards would like to thank all participants who entered this year’s Irish Poem of the Year 2020.

#APIBA #ReadersWanted #poem #awards #AnPostIrishBookAwards #stories #poems #books

Digital Awards Ceremony 2020

Great News for Irish Writing as Winners for

Listowel Writers’ Week Competition Awards 2020 Announced

Listowel Writers’ Week 2020 was due to take place this week, 27th May to 31st May. An online Awards Ceremony, held on Wednesday 27th May at 8pm, honoured all competition entrants and their talented writing, during an incredibly strange and unprecedented year. This could not have happened without the loyalty of our Sponsors and Patrons and we are delighted to say a huge thank you to them all for their sponsorship of, and dedication to, supporting writers at a time when it is most needed.

Click here to see the full list of Winners of our 2020 Competition Awards.


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 in 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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