Celebrating International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s Day today with many events taking place throughout the world in the form of conferences, awards, concerts, festivals, films  – and no less in the world of books.

The  Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction , originally known as The Orange Prize for Fiction, was initially launched at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in January 1996 and its first winner was Helen Dunmore for A Spell of Winter.

Since then its winners have included Ali Smith for How To Be Both, Barbara Kingsolver for The Lacuna, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Half of a Yellow Sun and Eimear McBride for A Girl is a Half-formed Thing. Eimear also picked up our own Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award at Listowel in 2014.

The Bailey’s 2016 longlist, announced today, includes Anne Enright for The Green Road, Lisa McInerney for The Glorious Heresies and a novel which is receiving much attention on social media, Elizabeth Strout’s My Name is Lucy Barton.

At Listowel Writers’ Week 2016, which takes place 1st – 5th June, we’re looking forward to welcoming a host of international and Irish guests, including women writers  Lucy Caldwell, Nuala O’Connor, Moya Cannon, Hilary Fanin (pictured above), Caitriona Lally, Louise O’Neill, Savyon Liebrecht, Paula Byrne, Anakana Schofield, Martina Devlin, Julie Janson, Mary Kennedy, Danielle McLaughlin and Joanne Harris… more to follow!

We also have some very inspiring Creative Writing Workshops lined up including:


Magi is a Scottish poet and writer specialising in working with women, and who promises to ‘wake the wild woman writer in you’.


Nessa was one of the first people in Ireland to complete a PhD in Creative Writing and is an Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Open University and a regular facilitator at the Irish Writers’ Centre in Dublin.


We’re very pleased to welcome back Patricia O’Reilly to Listowel this year. A very popular and successful workshop in 2015, it takes place on the Saturday and Sunday of the festival and is ideal for those who cannot attend a workshop during the week.

If you’re attending an International Women’s Day event today we’d love to hear your stories and see your photos. Meanwhile, have a great day!