Welcome to Listowel Writers’ Week, Ireland’s oldest Literary and Arts Festival, where writers, artists and poets gather in the beautiful heritage town Listowel, County Kerry. We promote writing of all genres and create an environment in which literature can be appreciated by the widest possible audience – where writers and readers gather to celebrate the written word together. At the heart of our annual celebration is a commitment to developing and promoting writing talent where we showcase works through literary panel discussions, moderated talks, poetry readings, interviews, cultural tours, walks and more.

Founded in 1970, with the first festival taking place in 1971, the dream of Listowel Writers’ Week was a simple but daring one; to transform a beautiful Kerry heritage town into a literary universe, and make it a literary haven where writers and book-lovers from all corners of the globe can gravitate to, for a celebration of literature, cultural experiences and inspiration. Listowel Writers’ Week was founded to foster new and exciting talent and to give aspiring writers wings – we haven’t forgotten this! Each year, this dream of the original founding members, writers, artists and prescient personalities like John B Keane, Bryan MacMahon & Brendan Kennelly is realised through our programme of events, workshops and competitions.

Our creative writing workshops were the first to be introduced in Ireland by Bryan MacMahon. The workshops cater for all experience levels – from eager beginners to seasoned masters, and cover virtually every literary genre and craft. Douglas Kennedy, Vona Groarke, Michael Harding, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Elizabeth Day and Gerald Dawe are just a few of the master-craftspeople that have delivered creative writing workshops in Listowel. If you are an aspiring young writer, quietly mastering your art, our team are here to support you!

Each June bank holiday weekend, some of the most distinguished names in contemporary literature join travelling storytellers, experimental poets, local songwriters, cutting-edge novelists, and readers from all corners of the globe – for five days, to create a literary mecca in the heart of Lovely Listowel.

Edna O’Brien, Lemn Sissay, JM Coetzee, Seamus Heaney, Kazuo Ishiguro, Anne Enright, Graham Norton, Alan Cumming, Hugo Hamilton, John McGahern, Tishani Doshi & Robert Fisk are just some of the fantastic writers that we have welcomed over the past five decades.


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