CELEBRATING Literary & Arts Listowel Writers' Week

Listowel Writers' Week 2021

JOIN US, 2ND TO 6TH JUNE, AS LISTOWEL WRITERS’ WEEK WELCOMES YOU TO OUR 50TH FESTIVAL TO CELEBRATE THE TALENTED WORKS OF WRITERS, POETS, ARTISTS, STORYTELLERS, VIDEOGRAPHERS, WORKSHOP DIRECTORS AND A WHOLE LOT MORE. #LWW2021 EVENTS PROGRAMME PACKS A CULTURAL PUNCH, WITH VIRTUAL SPACES PROVIDING A UNIQUE PLATFORM FOR A WIDE GENRE OF CULTURAL EXPERIENCES, FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME THIS YEAR.
WELCOME FESTIVAL FRIENDS!
Listowel Writers’ Week 50th Festival IS LIVE. FESTIVAL PROGRAMME PDF WILL BE AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD SHORTLY.

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 Competition Awards Ceremony takes place Wednesday June 2nd, 2021. 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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