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Edna O'Brien


Readings & Events


Online ticket sales available through Sunday 10th September, with tickets available for collection at the venue during the festival. After 10th September, all purchases must be made at the Firkin Crane Theatre. Admission may be blocked after an event begins. Refunds will be given only if an event is cancelled.


Go to events on: Wednesday * Thursday * Friday * Saturday





Southword Journal showcase
A reading with Gerry Boland & Lane Ashfeldt, moderated by Patrick Cotter.

Gerry BolandLane Ashfeldt

13th September at 2.30pm
Cork Central Library (Grand Parade)
Admission: FREE


Southword Journal is a literary publication produced by the Munster Literature Centre three times each year. Two writers who have previously contributed to Southword will feature in this event: Gerry Boland and Lane Ashfeldt.

Gerry Boland is a poet and author. He was born and lived for much of his life in Dublin and moved to north Roscommon in 1999. His first collection of poems, Watching Clouds, was published by Doghouse Books in 2011, and his second, In the Space Between (Arlen House) appeared in 2016. In 2011 and 2012, O’Brien Press published his trilogy, A Rather Remarkable Grizzly Bear, the first of which, Marco Moves In, was nominated for an Irish Book Award. His first collection of short stories, The Far Side of Happiness is due out in 2017 by Arlen House.

Lane Ashfeldt is the author of the fiction collection  SaltWater, a book of twelve short stories and a novella. She contributed a section on writing historical fiction to Short Circuit: A Guide to the Art of the Short Story. Her historical short story ‘Dancing on Canvey’ won the Fish Short Histories Prize. Other of her stories have appeared in anthologies and literary journals, among them Punk Fiction (Portico), Dancing With Mr Darcy (Honno), Rarebit (Parthian), Southword, The Guardian, The London Magazine, The Lonely Crowd, and the Dublin Review. 




From The Well Short Story Competition reading
A reading with the winning and commended writers. Event moderated by Billy O'Callaghan.

From the Well Anthology

13th September at 4pm
Cork Central Library
Admission: FREE

Each year the Cork County Library and Arts Service From the Well Short Story competition is open to writers over the age of eighteen who are members of any library. Twenty stories were shortlisted by Billy O’Callaghan and a panel of judges including Claire Kilroy and Eimear Ryan for publication in the From the Well anthology (April 2016). Three of the contributors to the anthology are to read at this event: Tadhg Coakley, Mary Rose McCarthy, and winner Anne O'Leary.




Danielle McLaughlin & Madeleine D'Arcy
A reading by two Cork writers, moderated by Eimear Ryan.

Danielle McLaughlinMadeleine D'Arcy

13th September at 7.30pm
The Goldie Chapel, Nano Nagel Place
Admission: €5


Danielle McLaughlin's stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines such as The Stinging Fly, The Irish Times, and The New Yorker. Her awards for her short fiction, including the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen International Short Story Competition 2012, The From the Well short story competition 2012, The Willesden Short Story Prize 2013, The Merriman Short Story Competition 2013 in memory of Maeve Binchy, and the Dromineer Literary Festival Short Story Competition 2013. Her debut collection of short stories Dinosaurs on Other Planets was published in Ireland by The Stinging Fly Press in 2015. Together with Madeleine D'Arcy, she co-runs Fiction at the Friary, a new monthly fiction event in Cork.

Madeleine D'Arcy’s début short story collection, Waiting For The Bullet (Doire Press, 2014), won the Edge Hill Readers’ Choice Prize 2015 (UK). In 2010 she received a Hennessy Literary Award for First Fiction and the overall Hennessy Literary Award for New Irish Writers. She holds an MA in Creative Writing (First Class Honours) from University College, Cork. Madeleine co-runs Fiction at the Friary, a monthly fiction event in Cork City, with fellow-writer Danielle McLaughlin.




Fiction at the Friary presents Rapid-Fire Reading & Story-Songs
A fast-paced event featuring twenty local writers.

Fiction at the Friary

13th September at 9pm
Goldie Chapel, Nano Nagle Place
Admission: €5



At Fiction at the Friary we like reading, writing and fun. We also like jellybeans. Join us at the Cork International Short Story Festival for a very special evening. Our Rapid-Fire Reading involves TWENTY writers (Susan Lanigan, Danny Denton, E.R. Murray, Eimear Ryan and Tehmina Kazi, to name a few) who will read short extracts from their work and – together – will write an entirely new story, start to finish, before your eyes. Come listen to the readings, watch writing in action, and hear Cork actor Kevin Power read aloud the brand new story that emerges. Also featured are guest authors who have forged links between narrative and music. Conor MacManus will read a short story, ably assisted by Colm Scully.To round off the evening, our special guest, Nick Kelly, will, in his own inimitable way, celebrate the short story in song.  

Do come along for what promises to be a quirky and fun-filled song and story event!

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Quarryman showcase
A reading by selected Quarryman contributors, moderated by Patrick Cotter

The Quarryman

14th September at 2.30pm
Cork Central Library (Grand Parade)
Admission: FREE



Quarryman was the student-run literary journal of UCC throughout the 20th century and was recently relaunched by UCC’s inaugural MA in Creative Writing class. The UCC English Literature Society hope to continue the journal’s legacy. Contributors who will be reading at this event include Cónal Creedon, Donal Hayes, Catherine Kirwan, and Mary Morrissy.




Long Story, Short Journal showcase
A reading by contributors Fiona Whyte & Noel O'Regan, moderated by Editor in Chief Jennifer Matthews

Fiona WhyteNoel O'Regan

14th September at 4pm
Cork Central Library (Grand Parade)
Admission: FREE



Long Story, Short Journal features longer short stories of 4000 words or more. New stories are published monthly, and free to read online.

Fiona Whyte is a writer living in Crosshaven, Co. Cork. Her short stories have been published in Crannóg Magazine, Quarryman, The Hollybough and Long Story, Short and have been shortlisted for the Fish Publishing Short Story Competition, the Listowel Originals competition and the Cork City Library K Award. She has won the Tipperary Premier Short Story Competition. In 2016 she was awarded a Government of Ireland Postgraduate scholarship to pursue a PhD in creative writing at University College Cork. She is currently writing a historical novel based on the life of St Cuthbert.

Noel O'Regan is the recipient of a number of prizes, including the Sean Dunne Young Writer Award and Leonard A. Koval Memorial Prize. His stories have appeared in publications such as Ambit, The Stinging Fly and The Penny Dreadful. A former Kerry County Council Writer in Residence, he has also had work listed for the Writing.ie Irish Short Story of the Year.




Deborah Willis & June Caldwell
Readings by Canadian and Irish writers, moderated by Jennifer Matthews.

Deborah WillisJune Caldwell
14th September at 7pm
Firkin Crane Theatre, Shandon
Admission: €5


Deborah Willis
was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. Her first book, Vanishing and Other Stories, was named one of the the Globe and Mail's Best Books of 2009, and was nominated for the Governor General's Award. Her fiction has appeared in The Walrus, The Virginia Quarterly, The Iowa Review, Lucky Peach, and Zoetrope. Her second collection of short stories, The Dark and Other Love Stories, was published with Hamish Hamilton, the literary imprint of Penguin Random House Canada, and with W.W. Norton and Company in the U.S. in February 2017. Deborah is currently working on a novel.


June Caldwell worked for many years as a journalist and now writes fiction. Her story ‘SOMAT’ was published in the award-winning anthology The Long Gaze Back, edited by Sinéad Gleeson and was chosen as a ‘favourite’ by The Sunday Times. She is a prizewinner of the Moth International Short Story Prize and has been shortlisted for many others including the Calvino Prize in Fabulist Fiction, the Colm Toíbín International Short Story Award, the Lorian Hemingway Prize, and the Sunday Business Post/ Penguin Ireland Short Story Prize. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Queen’s University Belfast, and lives in Dublin.




Alannah Hopkin & Carlo Gébler
Readings by two Irish writers, moderated by Paul McVeigh.

Alannah HopkinCarlo Gebler

14th September at 8.30pm
Firkin Crane Theatre, Shandon

Admission: €5


Alannah Hopkin is a novelist, travel writer and critic from Kinsale, Co Cork. She has published two novels (Hamish Hamilton, London); other books include West Cork, the People & the Place (The Collins Press, Cork). Her stories have appeared in the London Magazine and The Cork Literary Review. The Dogs of Inishere (Dalkey Archive Press) is her first story collection.

Carlo Gébler was born Dublin in 1954, the eldest son of writer parents, Ernest Gébler and Edna O’Brien. His recent publications from New Island are The Projectionist: The Story of Ernest Gébler, The Wing Orderly's Tales, and The Innocent of Falkland Road. He teaches at Trinity and is a member of Aosdána.




Kanishk Tharoor & Marie-Helene Bertino
Readings by two international writers, moderated by Thomas Morris.

Kanishk TharoorMarie Helene Bertino

14th September at 10pm
Firkin Crane Theatre, Shandon

Admission: €5


Kanishk Tharoor is a writer based in New York City. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Guardian, VQR, and elsewhere. His short story ‘Tale of the Teahouse’ was nominated for a National Magazine Award. He presented Museum of Lost Objects, a ten-part BBC radio series on cultural destruction in the Middle East. He studied at Yale, Columbia, and New York University, where he was a ‘Writer in Public Schools’ fellow.

Marie-Helene Bertino’s debut novel 2 A.M. AT THE CAT'S PAJAMAS was a Best Book of 2014 from NPR, Buzzfeed, and many others. Her collection of short stories SAFE AS HOUSES was the recipient of The Iowa Short Fiction Award (judged by Jim Shepard) and long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Story Prize. Awards include the O. Henry Prize, a Pushcart Prize, Mississippi Review's Story Prize, and several fellowships. Her fiction has appeared in Granta, Guernica, and many others. She teaches at NYU and is a faculty member of the low-residency MFA program at Institute for American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, NM.




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Banshee & The Tangerine: literary journal showcase
Readings by contributors Laura McKenna, Niamh Campbell, Louise Kennedy & Darrah McCausland. Event moderated by Eimear Ryan.

Banshee JournalThe Tangerine15th September at 2.30pm
Cork Central Library (Grand Parade)

Admission: FREE



Join us for readings from two of the island’s newest and most dynamic literary journals: Banshee and The Tangerine. Contributors who will read at the event include Laura McKenna, Niamh Campbell, Louise Kennedy, and Darragh McCausland.

Banshee publishes exciting, contemporary and accessible new writing from Ireland and around the world. Now in its fifth issue, it features short stories, flash fiction, poetry and personal essays.

The Tangerine is a Belfast-based magazine of new writing. Founded in 2016, it includes features, reportage, commentary, fiction, poetry, illustration and photography.




The Seán Ó Faoláin Prizegiving
With a reading by the 2017 winner and prize presentation by judge Paul McVeigh.

Louise Nealon

15th September at 4pm
Cork Central Library (Grand Parade)
Admission: FREE


Louise Nealon is a twenty-six year old writer from Co. Kildare. She studied English literature in Trinity College Dublin, and then completed a Masters in Creative Writing at Queen’s University Belfast in 2016. She currently lives on her family’s farm where she divides her time between reading, writing and milking cows. She will be reading her prizewinning story, 'What Feminism Is', at this event.

The Sean O’Faolain Prize is awarded to the best single story entered in competition from anywhere in the world. The first prize is €2000. The winner also receives a week’s residency at the Anam Cara artist retreat in West Cork and publication of their winning story in Southword. The winner, if they choose to travel to Cork for this event, also receives accommodation with meals for the duration of the festival and entry into all events. This occasion is an opportunity to hear the winning story and the judge’s citation from Paul McVeigh. The competition is now closed, and the winning and shortlisted stories have been announced on our competitions page.




Tania Hershman & Nuala O'Connor
Readings by British and Irish authors, moderated by Jennifer Matthews

Tania HershmanNuala O Connor

15th September at 7pm
Firkin Crane Theatre, Shandon
Admission: €5

Tania Hershman third short story collection, Some Of Us Glow More Than Others, was published by Unthank Books in May 2017, and her debut poetry collection, Terms & Conditions, by Nine Arches Press in July. Tania is co-author of Writing Short Stories: A Writers' & Artists' Companion and curator of ShortStops, celebrating short stories across the UK & Ireland.

Nuala O’Connor AKA Nuala Ní Chonchúir was born in Dublin, Ireland, she lives in East Galway. Her fifth short story collection Joyride to Jupiter was published by New Island in June 2017. Penguin USA, Penguin Canada and Sandstone (UK) published Nuala’s third novel, Miss Emily, about the poet Emily Dickinson and her Irish maid. Miss Emily was shortlisted for the Bord Gáis Energy Eason Book Club Novel of the Year 2015 and longlisted for the 2017 International DUBLIN Literary Award. Nuala’s fourth novel, Becoming Belle, will be published in 2018. 




Alan McMonagle & Billy O'Callaghan
Readings by two Irish writers, moderated by Paul McVeigh.

Alan McMonagleBilly O'Callaghan
15th September at 8.30pm
Firkin Crane Theatre, Shandon

Admission: €5


Alan McMonagle has written for radio and published two collections of short stories, Liar Liar (Wordsonthestreet, 2008) and Psychotic Episodes (Arlen House, 2013), both of which were nominated for the Frank O'Connor Award. In November 2015, he signed a two-book deal with Picador, and in March 2017, Ithaca, his debut novel was published and immediately nominated for the Desmond Elliott Award for first novels. He lives in Galway.

Billy O'Callaghan, from Cork, is the author of three short story collections: In Exile (2008) and In Too Deep (2009), both published by Mercier Press, and The Things We Lose, the Things We Leave Behind (2013), published by New Island Books, which won the 2013 Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Award for Short Story of the Year, and which has been selected as Cork's 'One City, One Book' for 2017. His first novel, The Dead House, was published by O'Brien Press/Brandon Books in May 2017. A novella, A Death in the Family, will be published in late 2017 as a Ploughshares Solo.




April Ayers Lawson & Callan Wink
Readings by two American writers published by Granta. Event moderated by Danny Denton.

April Ayers LawsonCallan Wink

15th September at 10pm
Firkin Crane Theatre, Shandon

Admission: €5



April Ayers Lawson is the recipient of the 2011 George Plimpton Award for Fiction, as well as a 2015 writing fellowship from the Corporation of Yaddo. ‘Virgin’ was also named a 2011 favourite short story of the year by Flavorwire magazine and anthologized in The Unprofessionals: New American Writing from the Paris Review (Penguin 2016). Her fiction has appeared in the Norwegian version of Granta, Oxford American, Vice, ZYZZYVA, Crazyhorse, and Five Chapters, among others. She has lectured in the Creative Writing Department at Emory University. Virgin and Other Stories is her first book.

Callan Wink was born in Michigan in 1984 and works as a fishing guide on the Gallatin River in Montana. His work has been published in The New Yorker, Granta, and The Best American Short Stories. Dog Run Moon is his first book.




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Tanya Farrelly & Sean O'Reilly
Readings by two Irish writers, event moderated by Rob Doyle.
Tanya FarrellySean O'Reilly

16th September at 3pm
Firkin Crane Theatre (Shandon)
Admission: €5


Tanya Farrelly
works as an EFL teacher and facilitates Creative Writing classes for South Dublin County Council. Her stories have won prizes and been shortlisted in such competitions as the Hennessy Awards, the RTE Francis MacManus Award, and the Fish International Short Story Competition. She has also read her work on RTE’s Sunday Miscellany. In 2013, Tanya completed a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing at Bangor University, Wales. Her debut story collection, When Black Dogs Sing, was published by Arlen House in 2016. The Girl Behind the Lens is her first full-length novel.

Sean O’Reilly, born in Derry in 1969, is the author of Curfew and Other Stories, Love and Sleep, The Swing of Things and Watermark. He lives in Ireland.



The Short Story: State of the Art
A public discussion with selected festival contributors.

Flash Fiction

16th September at 4.30pm
Firkin Crane Theatre, Shandon
Admission: €5


'State of the Art': A public discussion with Thomas Morris, Rob Doyle, Danielle McLaughlin and Nuala O'Connor, moderated by Tania Hershman, on the state of the contemporary short story.



Giovanni Frazzetto
Reading moderated by Patrick Cotter

Giovanni Frazetto

16th September at 7pm
Firkin Crane Theatre, Shandon

Admission: €5



Giovanni Frazzetto was born and grew up in the southeast of Sicily. He studied science at University College London and received a Ph.D. from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany. In 2008, for his cross-disciplinary and science communication efforts he was awarded the John Kendrew Young Scientist Award. Giovanni Frazetto is the author of Together, Closer: Stories of Intimacy in Friendship, Love, and Family from Little, Brown. He now lives in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland.




Claire Keegan & Camilla Grudova
Readings by Irish and Canadian writers, moderated by Sinead Gleeson.

Claire KeeganCamilla Grudova

16th September at 8.30pm
Firkin Crane Theatre, Shandon

Admission: €5


Claire Keegan grew up on a farm in Wicklow. She has published three volumes of fiction include two short story collections, Antarctica and Walk the Blue Fields, and the novella-length short story Foster. Among the accolades she has received are the Rooney Prize for Literature, The Edge Hill Prize for Short Stories and the Davy Byrnes Memorial Prize.

Camilla Grudova lives in Toronto. She holds a degree in Art History and German from McGill University, Montreal. Her fiction has appeared in The White Review and Granta. The Doll's Alphabet, from Fitzcarraldo Editions, is her first collection of short stories.




David Means
A reading of short stories by an American writer, moderated by Sinead Gleeson.

David Means

16th September at 10pm
Firkin Crane Theatre, Shandon

Admission: €5


David Means is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and Harper's magazine. His stories have been anthologised in publications such as Best American Short Stories and Best American Mystery Stories. Assorted Fire Events won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction and a National Book Critics Circle nomination. The Secret Goldfish was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connnor International Short Story Prize. The Spot won the O. Henry prize. His first novel, Hystopia, was long listed for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. His fifth collection of stories, Instructions for a Funeral, is forthcoming from Faber & Faber.



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