Noel Monahan – Book Launch

I’m delighted to inform you that our friend and popular Longford poet Noel Monahan will launch his most recent collection of work entitled Chalk Dust on Thursday next 3rd May at 8.00pm in the Courthouse, Cavan.

Throughout the years Noel has been a committed supporter of emerging literary talent in Longford. He has given generously of his time, his skills and his experience to a generation of Longford writers.

I, for one, would like to mark this occasion by thanking him for all his help and support to the County Arts Office, over the past twenty two years and I hope to do so at the launch on Thursday night.

The launch of the collection will be accompanied by the performance some excellent classical music by soprano Naimh McCormack and pianist Simon Harden.

If you are free on Thursday night why not make the effort to come along and mark a rite of creative passage of one of Longford’s most talented sons.

Launch of As Moon and Mother Collide a new collection of poems by Mary Melvin Geoghegan

Canal Studio Thursday April 12th 8.00pm

We are blessed here in Longford to have such an active writers community. This collegial atmosphere is a benefit and support to our individual writers in many ways and has also been the occasion for many enjoyable nights of poetry and prose in the past.

We have that active writers community to enjoy because we are willing to come out and support each other and celebrate the success of our fellow writers.

Next Thursday night is yet another occasion for celebration as Longford poet Mary Melvin Geoghegan launches her latest collection of poems entitled; As Moon and Mother Collide.

Mary’s reading will be introduced by popular Cavan poet PJ Kennedy and the doyenne of Irish poetry publishing Jessie Lendennie will also be present to celebrate the launch and to renew acquaintances with her other Longford Salmon poets and her many old friends.

Be sure to make the effort to come along to the event will last from 8.00 to approx 9.15pm and copies of the collection can be purchased from Jessie on the night.

Molly Keane Creative Writing Award 2018

Waterford City & County Council’s Arts Office is pleased to announce that it is currently accepting entries for the Molly Keane Creative Writing Award 2018.

The late writer lived, until her death in 1996, in Ardmore, Co. Waterford. Her first ten novels and four plays were published under the pseudonym M.J. Farrell. In 1981 ‘Good Behaviour’ became a publishing sensation for which she was short listed for the prestigious Booker Prize. Annually since 1998, to celebrate this rich literary life, the Waterford Arts Office, by kind permission of the Keane family has invited entries for a previously unpublished short story to a maximum of 2000 words. There is no entry fee, no age limit and no restriction on the subject matter. A prize of €500 will be awarded to the winner at a special ceremony during the IMMRAMA Literary Festival in Lismore, Co. Waterford in June 2018.

The closing date for receipt of entries is Thursday 15th March 2018 at 12 noon.

Download entry form

Edward Denniston – Book Launch

Waterford Longfordian Edward Denniston has a new collection of poems, published by Salmon Poetry. The collection, entitled The Scale of Things, is his second book of poems and will be launched at Greyfriars’ Municipal Gallery Waterford on Friday June 14th. The book is dedicated to Aileen Denniston, his mother, who died in November, 2011. [Read more…]

Cork International Short Story Festival

The Cork International Short Story Festival is taking place from 13 – 16 September, and it’s shaping up to be another dynamic year with readers including June Caldwell, David Means, Nuala O’Connor, Billy O’Callaghan and many more. Online tickets are now available for purchase!

There are two opportunities to inspire your own writing: a fiction masterclass with Claire Keegan, as well as a writing workshop with this year’s Frank O’Connor Fellow Marie-Helene Bertino. Both classes will run for the four mornings of the festival, from 9.30am to 12.30pm at the newly renovated Nano Nagle Place in Douglas Street.

Claire Keegan’s masterclass is 200 Euro, and the Marie Helene Bertino workshop is 150 Euro.

Full descriptions of the courses are available at our website here: .

For more information, please contact Jennifer at The Munster Literature Centre: or 021 431 2955 .

2017 John McGahern Award

Leitrim County Council Arts Office is now accepting applications from emerging writers for the inaugural John McGahern Award. The award is offered by Leitrim County Council and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre as part of the Iron Mountain Literature Festival which will be held on Friday 6th & Saturday 7th of October in Carrick on Shannon.

Arising from the John McGahern seminar which ran from 2007 for eight years, the Iron Mountain Literature Festival was established in 2016, reframed in a wider context involving writers, artists and thinkers from different fields that converge on a set of interests consistent with the work of John McGahern and with Leitrim. In particular the festival combines panels, talks, readings and field trips which look to ideas central to and arising out of an exploration of place, home and identity.

John McGahern is one of Ireland’s most respected and celebrated authors. His fiction is critically acclaimed internationally, has been translated into many languages and has appeared in many anthologies. He was a member of Aosdána and won numerous awards, including the Irish-American Foundation Award, the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, and the Prix Etranger Ecureuil. He taught at universities in Ireland, England, the USA and Canada. Amongst Women, which won both the GPA and Irish Times Award, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and made into a BBC television series.

The recipient of the Award will receive a two-week fully resourced residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and a stipend of €500.

Who Can Apply:
This is an open call to writers of fiction born or resident in the Republic of Ireland. Applicants must have had some fiction or short stories published in a recognised journal, or anthology selected by an established publisher or editor. Submissions from emerging writers are particularly welcome.

How to Apply:
Applications are accepted by email only to and should include:

  • A cover letter including your personal details and statement of artistic intent, clearly and concisely outlining the project you would like to focus on during your time at Annaghmakerrig.
  • An up to date Curriculum Vitae (max. two A4 pages).
  • Clearly labelled samples of recent work (One sample of 1000 words or up to three short samples of up to 500 words each.)
  • Any relevant information on your proposed project such as written excerpts, photos, research information, etc.

Note: All attachments should be in .pdf format

Application Deadline:
5pm, 31 July, 2017. No late applications will be considered. Applications will be acknowledged by email on receipt.

Selection Process:
Applications go before a selection committee nominated by Leitrim County Council and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre. The successful applicant will be notified no later than 15 September, 2017. The recipient of the award will be publicly announced on Saturday 7th October 2017 during the Iron Mountain Literature Festival at The Dock, Carrick on Shannon.

For further information, please go to

National Poetry Day in Longford

On April 27th Ireland’s love of poetry was celebrated in every town in the country. In Longford we enjoyed a relaxed informal evening of poetry by some of our many local poets.

National Poetry Day celebrations were held in the Backstage Theatre where writers and audience were casually seated in a cafe style setting enjoying light refreshments while poets took turns to read from their work or perform their pieces in tandem.

Why not enjoy some brief excerpts from the evening?

Report from Alan McMonagle Book Launch

A Selection of Photos from the Night

Read more about Alan McMonagle

Maria Edgeworth Literary Festival

Edgeworthstown: The Town of Great Writers

In 1782, Richard Lovell Edgeworth decided to move his family from his home in England to the family estate in Edgeworthstown, County Longford. This was to begin a long tradition of literary creation in the town.

His daughter Maria Edgeworth went on to have an illustrious career in writing, and produced many works, some of which are to be found in print today. Her most famous novels were ‘Castle Rackrent’ and ‘The Absentee’.

Longford went on to produce many acclaimed writers including Padraic Colum, Vona Groarke, Belinda McKeon, Alan McMonagle and Noel Monahan, to name just a few, and the Edgeworth Literary Society endeavours to maintain the Edgeworth legacy through its annual Festival. The Society continues to promote the work of writers through its annual competitions, and the awarding of the Deirdre Purcell perpetual prize.

It also endeavours to keep alive the legacy of the Edgeworths through its programme of events.

2017 will be no exception with this year’s festival from May 5 to 7, 2017 featuring a varied line-up, sure to pique the interest of literary fans of all ages and tastes.

This will include children’s storytelling, with Heritage in Schools expert Eamon Brennan, while John Beddoes a direct decedent of the Edgeworth Family, will discuss the poetry of Anna Edgeworth.

Professor Iggy Mc Govern, Physicist and Poet, will give a poetry workshop on the Saturday morning and will discuss the link between science and poetry in an evening session. Dr Susan Manly of St Andrew’s University, an authority on 18th century literature and the author of a new biography on Maria Edgeworth, will look at the legacy of Maria Edgeworth.

There will be lots of local talent too, including participation from the local members of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Corrine McCormack-Bushell, the O’Reilly family and many more.

As part of the heritage trail walk, Octavia Tulloch will give a talk on ‘hedgerow’ medicine and plants at the Gardens in the Manor, and visitors will be able to visit places of interest on the guided walk, ‘St Mary’s to St John’s and Beyond’, with refreshments being served at the rectory.

Arguably the highlight of the weekend will take place when a new portrait of Maria Edgeworth, created by Ballymahon artist Orla Kelleher, is unveiled, meanwhile, the weekend concludes with a trip to Tullynally Castle, which will include a guided tour of the Castle and Gardens, and a talk by Thomas and Valarie Pakenham.

Details of the festival can be attained from the festival office on 043 6671801 or by visiting

Poetry and Prose Night

It was a dark, cold evening outside, but inside Longford Library on November 9 last, there was a very warm atmosphere, as creative talents from across the country gathered together for a night of appreciation.

As County Arts Officer Fergus Kennedy astutely pointed out; “I can feel the creativity literally bouncing off the walls.”

A project of Longford Writers Group and Longford Arts Office , the Poetry and Prose night served a dual purpose; to give local writers a chance to share their pieces and to give up-and-coming Longford artists the opportunity to showcase their work.

“When you look around in here at some of this beautiful artwork here on the walls it would actually lift your spirits at this time of the year and I think it’s fantastic to see that all of these artists are from Co Longford, and we’ve a lot to be very proud of in Longford,” Fergus Kennedy added.

Officially opening the evening, Cathaoirleach of Longford Municipal District, Cllr Padraig Loughrey, said he was honoured to do so, and paid tribute to the talent in the county.

“We have a multitude of wonderful talent here in this county that’s showcased here tonight,” he said. “It’s important that we as a community foster and support this talent. Longford Writers Group is doing just that.”

Writers Dan Flynn, Sally Martin, Eileen Moynihan, Geraldine Ryan, Martina Cooney, Rose Moran, Hilda Kennedy, Rose Byrne, Ann Gerety Smyth and event organiser and MC Maggi McKenna then took turns delivering their poetry and prose; some enchanting, some hilarious – some earth-shattering.

The writers delivered their pieces with a unique backdrop of art created by Gerard Keaveney, June Belton, Dan Flynn, Gene Rhatigan, Christine Treacy and Frank McGarry, and in keeping with the ‘Longford’ theme, Killoe singer-songwriter Sean Rooney provided the perfect soundtrack.

In his speech, Cllr Loughrey expressed his wish that the evening would become a regular event in the county’s social calendar, and thanks to the inaugural night’s success, this wish appears to be coming true.

As we go to print, plans are already afoot for the second such evening, with two singers, Jemma Cowan and Sean O’Neill, lined up, as well as four new artists.

Alan McMonagle Book Launch

Alan launches his first novel Ithaca in the Backstage Theatre on Monday 13th March at 8.00pm.

Longford punches ‘way above its weight’ in creative writing in this country.

We have our literary heritage of Goldsmith, Edgeworth, Casey and Colm, we thankfully have a generation of living writer who have consolidated their literary reputations nationally and in some cases internationally such as Noel Monahan and Vona Groarke, Breda Smith and Mary Melvin Geoghegan.

Then we have a new and very exciting generations coming off what is beginning to look like a Longford ‘conveyor belt’ of talented writers such as: Belinda McKeon, John Connell, Lorne Patterson, Rose Moran, Margaret Nohilly, Valerie Masters and most recently Alan McMonagle.

Alan launches his first novel Ithaca in the Backstage Theatre on Monday night. It promises to be a great night of music by Paul Gurney and Mick Warnock, readings by guest readers, an interview with the author by the talented young poet/novelist Nuala ni Chonchúir and finally a reading by the star of the night Alan McMonagle.

The night is a recognition of, and a tribute to, a significant young creative Longford talent – but it is also an acknowledgement of all Longford writers.

Therefore I call on all Longford writers to turn out on Monday night to enjoy an entertaining evening of music and literature, to salute our latest talent and above all to celebrate Longford writing.

Remember – to nourish our literary sector we must all get up – get out and support our literary sector.

I hope to see as many of you as possible on next Monday evening at 8.00pm in Backstage. Booking is advisable as seats are limited!!

Till then – may the muse never desert you!!!

Red Line Book Festival 2017

The Red Line Book Festival 2017 is now open for submissions from writers/poets to participate in the literary strand of the festival. The closing date for applications is Monday 20th March at 4pm.

The Red Line Book Festival is a celebration of all things literary; be it spoken, written, sung, played, illustrated or even just thought!

We provide a programme of events and workshops that appeal to people of all ages and interests, from children to adults and casual readers to book worms. Our line-up of events covers areas such as history, drama, poetry, music and literature. Do not be put off attending if you are not a big reader! You don’t have to read to be inquisitive and that is what this festival is all about. Fuelling the imaginations of people who are eager to learn and explore new ideas and opinions. Many thanks to all of our writers, audiences and partners in making such a great festival in 2016.

Keep an eye out for news over the coming months for Red Line Book Festival 2017.

Majour Longford Children’s Literary Event

The Maria Edgeworth Literary Festival has grown in stature and national recognition since its inception. It serves several notable purposes: preserving the name of the Edgeworth family, giving recognition to the spectacular intellectual and creative achievements of the gifted family and contributing to the continued growth of creative writing in Longford by affording children’s writing the same status and recognition as adult writing.

Many of our adult writers today began to develop the belief that they are possessed of a literary talent through their participation in the Edgeworth Children’s Poetry Competition when they were much younger.

It is that time of the year again – the hard working committee in Edgeworthstown are inviting submission to the 2017 Children’s Poetry competition on a theme of: Maria Edgeworth in the Garden.

If you know a primary school student who has demonstrated any interest in writing or rhymes please direct them towards this worthwhile exercise. All necessary details are outlined below:


Entry Fee: €1 per entryf

1st Prize €50

2nd Prize €30

3rd Prize €20

Closing date 24th February 2017


  1. Entry fee must accompany all entries.
  2. All entries must be the original work of the entrant and must not have been published, accepted for publication, broadcast or honoured by the closing dates for entries.
  3. All entries to be clearly written or typed on one side of the paper only.
  4. Name and address to go on a separate attached sheet.
  5. The decision of the judges shall be final.
  6. Poems limited to 40 lines.

Entries to be sent to:

Competition Secretary,
Edgeworth Literary Society,
Old School House,
Ballymahon Road,
Co. Longford
Tel. No. 043-6671801

SCRIPTS Ireland’s Playwriting Festival seeks new works


SCRIPTS Ireland’s Playwriting Festival, which is dedicated to new Irish plays, is looking for new works.

Taking place across Birr, Co Offaly from Sunday 9 July to Sunday 16 July 2017, playwrights (both established and emerging) are invited to submit original 15 minute plays on the theme, “What Next?”

Scripts most suited for development will be chosen by the selection panel headed by playwright Eugene O’Brien. Deadline for submission is Friday March 31st 2017.

Playwrights must be available to be in Birr from Sunday 9 July -Thursday 13 July 2017, as well as attend the headline event at Birr Theatre & Arts Centre on Sunday 16 July 2017 where the plays will be presented as staged readings.

There will be a prize for “Best Play“. There are also opportunities for winning playwrights to meet and engage with production and dramaturgy departments of professional theatre companies and network with production partners. The winning play may then go on to represent the festival in further opportunities and events, should production partners deem it appropriate.

Playwrights can submit plays by e-mail to or by post to “Scripts”, Birr Theatre & Arts Centre, Oxmantown Hall, Birr, Co. Offaly.

Rose Moran at Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre

rose moranEnjoy a relaxing evening with local Poet, Rose Moran, at 7pm on Tuesday the 6th December in Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre.

Rose will be reading from her new anthology, Meadow of the Spell, celebrating the beauty, colour and gift of nature and all who attend to creation in its many manifestations.

Come along and enjoy the readings and do some Christmas shopping in the Craft Shop while we chat over tea. All welcome.

Creative Ardagh, supporting local artists, writers and crafters.

Ardagh Fright Fest 2016

Gothic novels, short stories and even poetry with a gothic mood are all the literary rage at the moment.

Those inexhaustible artistic animators of the Ardagh Arts Centre have assembled a fascinating programme of gothic readings and workshops in the techniques of gothic writing for almost all age groups.

Come along to that haven of tranquillity and creativity that is the Ardagh Creativity Centre and sample a welcome that is anything but gothic or threatening.

Relax and enjoy a reading in the picturesque setting of one of Irelands multi award winning villages and acquire the skills of gothic writing at one of the creative writing workshops.

This is a rare and seasonal opportunity and is one that you overlook at the expense of your eternal souls!!!!! As you can see I’m no Mary Shelley that’s why I’ll be at the Ardagh Fright Festival 2016 Literary Events.

Bookings can be made online or by contacting us at or 0863027602

Full details of all events including lots more for adults, children and families can be found on

ardagh fright fest 2016

Wednesday 2nd November

A Gothic Evening
7pm Readings and discussion
of classic gothic literature including Frankenstein, Dracula and more
Age 14+ to adult €6pp

Thursday 3rd November

Hour of the Witch
7pm. Enjoy a relaxed evening with local author Lorne Patterson including readings from his latest book Hour of the Witch.
Adults €6 per person.

Friday 4th November

Finding the fantastic in your fiction
3pm Award-winning YA author Ruth Frances Long joins us for a writing workshop for teens Age 12+ €15 per person.
Booking essential.

Adult writing workshop
7pm Joe Murphy returns due to popular demand to share gothic writing secrets
Adults €15 per person. Booking essential.

Saturday 5th November

Author Panel
Ruth Frances Long, Joe Murphy and Lorne Patterson answer your questions about their books and what they love about writing.

Mark Grist Show – Cruthu Festival

Mark Grist

Let me tell you about a very interesting and unusual literary event happening in Longford over the Cruthu Festival this Bank Holiday Weekend.

Mark Grist an English poet who is rapidly developing a glowing international reputation is appearing in the Canal Studio Backstage on Friday night.

He is an English teacher who took the world by storm when he took on a challenge from one of his students to face off to a rap battle (ala Eminem in 8Mile). Such was the response online that he has since quit teaching and performs full time.
Have a look at his videos and you’ll see why.

In addition Mark will be giving two workshops during the day, his workshops are on writing and writing for performance and are on Friday at 1pm & 3pm priced €5, the evening show is at 8pm and is priced at €15.

Marks poetry and presentation style are a little different to what we are used to but are ‘all the better for that’. It gives us an opportunity to open our minds to new experiences in poetry, to new styles and to new genres.

Don’t miss the opportunity to hear this immensely talented poet and performer as he is about to become huge on the international literary scene and you can say that you saw him first at Backstage and for only €15.00

Contact Backstage on 043 33 47888 and book a place while there are still some left.

Respond II

Don’t miss a really exciting night of literature and digital arts when Longford film makers respond creatively to Longford poets and prose writers on the subject of – “Longford”.

When you join the forces of creative writers and film makers together you engineer an immediate creative explosion.

What kind of explosion?

Come along to the Canal Studio Backstage Theatre on Thursday evening 11th Feb. at 7.30pm and find out. Helmets are optional!!!

Gothic Writing Workshops in Ardagh

fright fest 2015

It is rarely that anyone sits down with the intention of writing a purely gothic/horror novel or short story in the tradition of Bram Stoker of Sheridan Le Fanu.

However everyone at some point in their writing tries to incorporate tension, anxiety, fear even terror into their story-line.
This is the ‘bread and butter’ of gothic writing (or a more appropriate cliché might be ‘blood and guts’ of gothic writing)!!

Anne & Annette – those ‘whirling dervishes’ of creative energy at Ardagh Creativity Centre have scheduled a workshop in Gothic Writing Skills over two nights as part of their Fright Fest Programme 2015.

The facilitator is Joe Murphy – the author of three gothic novels – Joe will give his workshops over two nights Wed. 28th & Thursday 29th October in the Ardagh Creativity Centre from 7.00pm – 9.00pm.
The workshop is excellent value at just €20.00 for the two nights or two nights for the price of one!!

An opportunity to study the techniques, skills and tricks of gothic writing is very rare outside of a post-graduate creative writing course so don’t let this opportunity pass you by.
Further information may be had by logging on to:

Or by contacting the Centre at 086 3027602/ 087 2326553

SiarScéal Festival 2015

SiarScéal 2015 takes place during the first week in November. The Festival commences with a book launch, on the evening of Thurday, 5 November. It continues the following day with a programme of events that includes workshops, recitals and, of course, the presentation of the Hanna Greally Literary Awards, which takes place annually in conjunction with the Festival.

As last year’s overall winner of the Hanna Greally Literary Awards, Rose Morris received a publishing package deal from The Manuscript Publisher, to see her book published in print and e-book editions. Her book, The Splendiferous Tale of Ferdinand Fox, is a story told in verse and, while aimed at young people, carries a very important message about the fate of our planet: the place that we all call home. The action takes the protagonists of this story on an adventure that crosses continents but ends up on the shores of Lough Erne, which, of course, was the venue for a recent G8 Summit of world leaders.

The book will be formally launched on Thursday, 5 November at 6pm at Roscommon County Libraries HQ, Abbey Street, Roscommon Town. Festival-goers, members of the public are welcome to attend and entertainment and refreshments will be provided.

The following day, Friday, 6 November at 10am, the Festival will be officially launched by Chairperson of Roscommon County Council, Cllr Paddy Kilduff, accompanied by County Librarian and Festival Patron, Richie Farrell. This will be followed by the presentation of the Hanna Greally Literary Awards, including the Ger Hanily Memorial Cup.

Mary Guckian, Leitrim-born poet and author of three anthologies, as well as winner of numerous prizes for her poetry, will present a Writers Recital and Workshop, beginning 12:30pm.

This will be followed by a Writing for Publishing workshop, presented by Oscar Duggan of The Manuscript Publisher. The workshop will be an informative session, aimed at addressing both the challenges and opportunities that Writing and Publishing in the Information Age presents to those interested in finding a public outlet for their literary work.

Full details about the SiarScéal Festival 2015, including dates, times, venue and programme of events, are available from the SiarScéal website (see Festival page), as well as being available to download in handy brochure form.

Entries are now being accepted for this year’s Hanna Greally Literary Awards. The theme or this year’s competition is Century in Reflection and there is a cash prize of €200 for the overall winner. Prizes will also be awarded in categories that include best national and international submission for both poetry and prose, together with a special category for schools. The closing dates for entries is 5pm on Friday 23 October, 2015. Full details, including terms and conditions of entry, are available from the SiarScéal website (see Competition page).

All entries received in this year’s Hanna Greally Literary Awards (along with submissions from previous year’s awards) will be considered for inclusion in the inaugural SiarScéal/Hanna Greally Literary Journal, to be launched at the 2016 SiarScéal Festival, which is being brought forward to April.

For a flavour of what to expect, check out Roscommon in Reflection, an anthology representing the first five years of the Hanna Greally Literary Awards, published in 2012. It is available to buy online in print and e-book editions along with other SiarScéal publications.

A Guide to the Short Story Programme for Longford Writers

Alan McGonagleMentoring is one of the most effective supports artists can receive as they struggle to develop their talents and their crafts. In the tradition of the master craftsman and his apprentice the aspiring artist learns at first-hand how to develop and hone his or her talents directly from an established artist.

Longford County Arts Office is currently offering the opportunity for a small number of committed prose writers to participate in a ten week programme with writer Alan McMonagle. Potential participants should therefore have an interest in the short story form.

Classes will have a different focus each week covering such areas as: finding a voice, beginnings – opening lines paragraphs and chapters, constructing characters, dialogue, place/setting, engaging the reader, conflict, point of view, editing, presenting your work for publication

As for selection, this is a Guide to the Short Story and so will be focused solely on the elements of an effective piece of short fiction. Writers wishing to participate should submit a piece of sample prose, no longer than 500 words (which should either comprise a short story or an excerpt from one) to marked “Short Story Course” no later than 5.30pm Thursday September 17th. Successful applicants will be informed on, or before Friday September 25th. The course is subsidised by Longford County Arts Office and will therefore be free for all participants.

The ten week course commences on Wednesday 7th October in the Ardagh Creativity (Heritage) Centre and will run from 7.30pm – 9.30pm. All applications and submissions should be e-mailed to the above address and not to the County Arts Office.

Poetry Outdoors

Saints Island Church

Event:Poetry Outdoors
Facilitated by:Noel Monahan, poet & dramatist
When:Daily – Friday 24th July to Sunday 26th July 2015
Cost:20 Euro
Price includes transport from Longford to and from sites and tuition fee
Booking:Longford Tourism
phone: 043 33 42577

In a new and stimulating series of poetry workshops, internationally recognised poet and dramatist, Noel Monahan will take workshop participants on tour of the most beautiful and unspoiled landscapes in Ireland. The Lough Ree Waterway described by RTE’s Dick Warner as; “Europe’s last great wilderness” is the perfect backdrop for this creative adventure in Co. Longford. It is hoped this journey will lead to artistic freedom and engage participants directly in finding new and unexpected gift of subject matter for their writing. Knowing all true artists are hunters/fishermen, we look forward to new findings and new ways of looking at the everyday. The facilitator will draw the participants’ attention to the many features of this picturesque part of Co. Longford:

noel monahan
Listen to Noel Monahan discuss this unique event and explain why Lough Ree and Saint’s Island are so special.

The event will explore: Landscape, Flora and Fauna – hills, bogs, woodlands, quarry-park, lakes and islands and wildlife. Unique Colours – lichen covered stones, the strata-graphic colours of bogland, meadowland.

As well as the area’s storied history: Ruins of monasteries on the islands, placenames creating their own word- pattern of poetry, the landed ‘gentry’ and the fall of The Big House.

Such an approach will lead to a discovery of the wonder of the place and will open up a new vision and new intelligence for the writers.

The one day experience is suitable for both beginners and those who have been writing for some time.

Saints Island Church


[Friday July 24th – Sunday July 26th]

9.30am – Group assemble at Longford Tourist Office, Market Square, Longford

Morning – A facilitated exploration of St. Island and the award winning ‘sculpture village’ of Newtowncashel. [Participants are recommended to bring refreshments]

1.00pm – Group arrive in Lanesborough. Lunch can be had in a number of bars and cafes. After lunch people are free to explore the picturesque village, the lake shore and the environmental SAC ‘The Commons’.

3.00pm – Lough Ree Co op Offices Main Street Lanesborough – Workshop based on the morning’s experiences and dealing with specific writing skills such as: Finding the Words and the line as a basic unit of a poem. The workshop will assist with editing and offer guide lines for publication.

5.30pm – Return by bus to the Tourist Office, Market Square, Longford


All places on this workshop must be booked in advance through Longford Tourist Office

Course Fee: €20.00

Numbers strictly limited to a maximum of 15 participants per day, therefore it is important to book early

The price includes transport from Longford to and from sites and tuition fee.

Refreshments and lunch are not provided. Lunch may be had in Lanesborough.

Accommodation can be arranged in local Hotel or B & Bs. Enquire at Longford Tourist Office: 043 33 42577

All enquiries to Longford Tourist Office.

For further information and updates check:

saints island


Noel MonahanNoel Monahan was born in Granard. He has won numerous awards for his poetry and writing. His awards include: The SeaCat National Poetry Award, organised by Poetry Ireland, The RTE P.J. O’Connor Award for drama, The ASTI Achievements Award, The Hiberno-English Poetry Award and The Irish Writers’ Union Poetry Award. His poetry was prescribed text for Leaving Certificate English and examined in 2011. Noel Monahan has published seven collections of poetry fifth collection of poetry, published in 2010. “ Opposite Walls”, was published in 1991, “Snowfire”, in 1995, “ Curse of The Birds” in 2000 and “ The Funeral Game” in 2004, “ Curve Of The Moon”2010, “ Where The Wind Sleeps” 2014. all published by Salmon. In October 2014, Alidades in France published a selection of Noel Monahan’s work in French translation: “Celui Qui Porte Un Veau”. A number of his poems have been translated into: Italian, Russian, French and Romanian. His most recent plays include “The Children of Lir”, performed by Livin Dred Theatre and “ Lovely Husbands”, a play for young people, based on the work of Henry James. For twenty years he has worked with Heather Brett as co editor of Windows Publications. Noel Monahan holds an M.A. in Creative Writing.

The Red AbbeyMonks walked through hell to arrive at Abbeyderg.Each one carried a woman within himselfAnd she settled somewhere between his hair-shirt

And heart. In the light and darkness of the Sun-

Moon- Child they listened for the unheard melody,

Dreamt prayers over the hills, built altars of snow.

By night the stones

Fell up to the stars.

Asleep on their pillows of stone they stared

At the Red Abbey Cross, felt Christified,

Saw a lady hanging there, red tears running

Down her face. In the morning the stars fell

Down as stones, the monks saw Christ’s image,

His crown of thorns still bleeding and they carried

His cross beams between the stones and the stars.

Noel Monahan

The Poetry of Physics, The Physics of Poetry

Date: Tuesday, November 11th at 3pm
Location: Luan Gallery, Grace Road, Athlone, Co. Westmeath


This unique in conversation event is part of the midlands science festival. Local broadcaster Catherine Ivers will be in conversation with Prof Iggy McGovern of Trinity College Dublin. Iggy McGovern is a poet and retired academic; he is a Fellow Emeritus in the School of Physics at Trinity College Dublin and has published two collections of poetry with Dedalus Press, The King of Suburbia (2005) and Safe House (2010). He edited the anthology 2012: Twenty Irish Poets Respond to Science in Twelve Lines, published by Dedalus Press in association with Quaternia Press, and co-edited (with Jean-Patrick Connerade) Science Meets Poetry 3, published by Euroscience. His most recent book, A Mystic Dream of 4, a sonnet sequence based on the life of William Rowan Hamilton, 19th Century Irish Mathematician & Poet, is published by Quaternia Press (2013).

Iggy McGovern’s life has been a heady mix of religion, science and poetry. The Trinity College lecturer grew up in Coleraine and, as well as studying physics at Queens University, spent two years as a student seminarian. In 1979 he came to Dublin to take up a lecturing post at Trinity and continues to teach science students there today. In 1990 he began writing poetry and in 1996 he won the Hennessy poetry award. Most recently his poems have featured in the Dart Poetry In Motion series

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Launch of Ring Around The Moon

ring around the moon

Longford County Arts Office is delighted to invite anyone interested in creative writing to the launch of Ring Around The Moon (A Collection of Writing from Longford 2014) at the Canal Studio Backstage Theatre Longford on National Poetry Day Thursday 2nd October at 8.00pm

The book represents the collected work of poetry and prose writers who participated in a mentoring programme organised by the County Arts Office early in 2014.

The book will be launched by Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council Cllr. Mark Casey MCC and there will be readings by the editors Noel Monahan and Alan McMonagle, and a number of the contributors.

Music on the night will be performed by Maryellen Mulhaire B Mus.

Poetry for the Seasons at the Market Bar

Market Bar Longford

The evening will be a open mic night for poetry and prose.  Come along read even if you have never read before. You can also read on the balcony if you desire.

Time: 8pm – 10pm

Poetry in the Park

poetry_in_the_parkPoetry in the Park is a community event, open to all ages and nationalities. It is held on the first Sunday of every month at 2pm, in Burgess park, Athlone.

See their Facebook page for more info.

Publishing Day Kilkenny

Kilkenny County Council Arts Office & Library Services in partnership with the Irish Writers Centre is hosting a special publishing day focusing on short stories. The day features talks from industry experts and offers the opportunity to pose questions to the speakers. Registration is at 10am, talks start at 10.30am and run until 4.30pm.

Tickets are €30 and can be booked through the Arts Office by email to or by calling 056 7794138.

Leaves Literary Festival 2013

leaves literary festivalLaois County Council Arts Office presents Leaves Literary Festival 2013,  8th/9th  November.

Celebrating its fifth year, the annual Leaves Literary Festival 2013, promises wonderful opportunities to listen to and become involved in the very best of Irish writing.

The programme includes readings, creative writing workshops, talks, children’s events and music.

The Festival commences on Friday 8th November with an evening of readings and music with contributions by Michael Harding, Rita Kelly and Mary O’Donnelland music by Lily Kettle, starting at 8pm in the Arthouse, Stradbally, Co Laois.

On Friday popular children’s author Grace Wells will pay a visit to the county in Laois and give a Library reading.  Admission to this event is Free.

On Saturday 9th November, from 11am -4pm, a writer’s workshops entitled ‘Getting Started in Writing’ will take place in the Dunamaise Arts Centre hosted by Rita Kelly.

Also in the Dunamaise Arts Centre, at 4.00pm on Saturday, Dr Arthur Broomfieldwill introduce his book on the works of Samuel Beckett, entitled, “The Empty Too”.  Admission to this event is Free.

On Saturday evening we are delighted to host an Evening with Poet Paul Durcan to take place in the wonderful surroundings of Preston House, Abbeyleix. Paul will read from his latest book and selected poems.   Music will be performed by Harpist, Claire O Donnell. The award winning Preston House Restaurant is offering an early bird dinner prior to the event –  contact Preston House on 057 8731432.

Bookings for all Literary events can be made at the Dunamaise Arts Centre Tel:  057 8663355. and further information from the Arts Office, Laois County Council T: 057 8664033/13 E:  Website:

Introduction to screen writing with Laurence Henson

Location: Longford County Library 7.30 – 9.30pm

Dates: Thur 14th + 21st + 28th Nov / 5th Dec. Taking bookings now (Course fee €50).

Summary:  Outtake Films are pleased to announce that they have secured the award winning screen-writer & director Laurence Henson to deliver a four part course on screen writing in Longford this November.  The course is open to the general public, local writers, poets and to anyone who has an interest in developing their ideas / stories into a film project.

Laurence Henson, who penned the films ‘Flash the Sheepdog’ (1966), ‘The Big Catch’ (1967) and ‘The Duna Bull’ (1972), has been running screenwriting courses for a number of years, winning praise from his students. ‘Eastenders’ screenwriter Glen McCoy describes it as “Fantastic!” adding that it “really hits the mark,” while Don Mullan, co-producer of the Irish award winning feature ‘Bloody Sunday’ says the course is “extremely helpful, beneficial and enriching.”

The course is open to experienced and new screenwriters and covers all aspects of the craft of screenwriting, paying particular attention subjects such as how to position the audience, the writing process, screenplay structure, narrative drive and importantly how to sell or have your screenplay produced. The course fee is €50 and includes a bound copy of Laurence Henson’s accompanying notes.

Outtake Films is a new voluntary organisation for people who are interested in making films.  The main purpose of the group is to foster and develop film-making in the Longford area by making films collaboratively, sharing skills and acquiring film-making resources.Outtake Film’s are always looking for new members, so if you are interested in getting involved or would like to view their work check out

Booking: Places are limited. Course starts Thursday 14th November.  To book a place on the screen-writing course please contact: 085-1191118 or

Poetry Masterclass at Cork Spring Poetry Festival

poetry masterclass with Jo Shapcott will run for four mornings during the Cork Spring Poetry Festival, 12 – 15 February 2014. Pre-requisite of recent publication in a professional literary journal. (€200)

More info here:

The Hell Fire Poetry Slam

You are invited to the reopening of The Hell Fire Club for one night only in Chapter One, Cavan on Saturday November 2nd at 7pm!

Cavan Writers Forum presents The Hell Fire Poetry Slam – an open mic slam “waking the Dead Poets Society” by revisiting the gothic classics such as Danté, Stoker and Shelley, and capturing the Zeitgeist through modern original material.

All are welcome to bring along classic pieces or original poetry and perform! Admission is free! Spread the word and be there- if you dare!

Hell Fire Poetry Slam

Cork Spring Poetry Festival

Poetry writing workshops during the Cork Spring Poetry Festival (February 2013) are now accepting bookings. Writers at any level of experience will enjoy Haiku with Anatoly Kudryavitsky or a Valentine’s Day special–‘The Male Muse’ with Eduardo C. Corral. [Read more…]

National Poetry Day

Thursday October 4th has been designated National Poetry Day by Poetry Ireland.

It is the one day of the year when poetry and literature lovers throughout the country celebrate that art form for which we as a nation, are rightly famous, all over the world – poetry. [Read more…]