Listowel Writers’ Week celebrates 40 years of the festival this year from June 1st to 5th. All the greats of literature have descended on the "Literary Capital of Ireland" for the June Bank Holiday weekend for the past 40 years and this year’s festival continues this tradition with an exciting programme of events featuring readings, theatre, walking tours, art and photography exhibitions, film, poetry, music, children’s events and more. There is an impressive line up of authors who will read from a selection of their works. Alice Seobold, whose debut novel The Lovely Bones dominated the bestseller list for many months when originally published in 2002, will give a reading on Saturday night. Other authors include crime novelist John Connolly, ex-prison governor John Lonergan and Blake Morrison. Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins will be interviewed by journalist Kevin Myers. John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, will read at both an adult and a children’s event.
And if poetry is your thing, you can listen to Rita Ann Higgins, Jackie Kay and Harry Clifton, in addition to a wealth of other international and local talent. This year, Fossett’s Circus will be in the centre of Listowel town for the whole weekend. The Big Top will play host to a range of children’s events, before converting into an 800-seat concert venue in the evening - with two very special (and very different) concerts. On Friday night, award-winning composer and singer Julie Feeney will perform in the Big Top. On Saturday night, novelist Joseph O’Connor will be joined by Philip King and guests for an evening of chat, readings, reflections, rhyming, music and song. Children can come face to face with some of the Ireland’s best known authors including John Boyne, Roisin Meaney, Judi Curtin and Sarah Webb in a glorious circus setting. In keeping with the Listowel tradition of bringing together like minds, this is an excellent opportunity for the younger generation of book readers to mingle with their literary heroes and immerse themselves in the world of books, fantasy, fun and imagination. Children will also be treated to art and creative writing workshops.
As always the festival will host a variety of workshops ranging from the Novel, Creative Writing, Poetry, Screen, Theatre, Popular Fiction, Writing Funny, Short Fiction and (new for 2011) History Writing. The winners of the various competitions of the Listowel Writers’ Week will be presented with their prizes on the Wednesday evening. With a prize fund of over €30k up to be won in a variety of categories, all areas of writing are covered from short story, poetry and play to writing for youth. The 2011 Listowel Writers’ Week festival truly offers something for everyone. Book now on http://writersweek.ie/