New Island Books - 25 Years a-Growing

Belfast Book Festival


The Art of the Short Story at BBF


Verbal ArtsThursday 8 June, 6.30pm – £7 | £5 at Crescent Arts Centre


Join 4 acclaimed short story writers as they examine the form from both a writer’s and reader’s perspective.

The event will be chaired by Belfast author Jan Carson who’s debut novel Malcolm Orange Disappears was published by Liberties Press in 2014. Her short stories have been widely published in journals such as Storm Cellar, Banshee and The Honest Ulsterman. In 2016 she published the short story collection Children’s Children, whilst 2017 sees the publication of Postcard Stories, a second collection of short stories through Emma Press.

June Caldwell’s short story collection, Room Little Darker, was published in May 2017 with New Island Books. Her story SOMAT was published in the award-winning The Long Gaze Back edited by Sinéad Gleeson and was chosen as a ‘favourite’ by The Sunday Times. Her fiction is published in The Stinging Fly, The Moth, The Lonely Crowd and Winter Papers (2017).

Oisín Fagan is a writer and activist. He works with the Irish Housing Network, and spends much of his time outside his job as a language teacher campaigning on social issues. In 2016 he won the inaugural Penny Dreadful Novella Prize for The Hierophants. His first collection Hostages was published to widespread acclaim in 2016 by New Island Books.

Nuala O’Connor aka Nuala Ní Chonchúir was born in Dublin. Her fifth short story collection Joyride to Jupiter will appear from New Island in 2017. Nuala’s third novel, Miss Emily, about the poet Emily Dickinson and her Irish maid, is currently longlisted for the 2017 International DUBLIN Literary Award.

Trouble Is Our Business at Belfast Book Festival


Verbal ArtsSaturday 10 June, 2pm – £6 | £4 at Crescent Arts Centre


Irish crime writers have long been established on the international stage as bestsellers and award winners. Now, for the first time ever, the best in contemporary Irish crime novelists have been brought together in one volume. Author, editor and journalist Declan Burke will be leading the conversation on Irish crime writing with Louise Phillips, Julie Parsons and Stuart Neville.

Declan Burke is a writer, editor, journalist and critic. He has published six crime novels. He edited Trouble Is Our Business: New Stories by Irish Crime Writers in 2016.

Louise Phillips is an author of four bestselling psychological crime thrillers, each shortlisted for Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year. Her second novel, The Doll’s House, won the award. She is currently working on her latest novel, Dark Day In May.

Julie Parsons was born in New Zealand but has lived most of her adult life in Ireland. She was a radio and television producer with RTÉ for many years until the publication of her first novel, Mary, Mary in 1998. Her subsequent novels, including The Hourglass(2005) and I Saw You(2008) were all published internationally and translated into many languages. Her latest novel is The Therapy House.

Stuart Neville’s crime fiction has won numerous awards, including the LA Times Book Prize. Stuart also writes under the pen name Haylen Beck, whose debut novel, Here and Gone is due to be published this summer and is in development for the screen.

On the Edge at Belfast Book Festival


Verbal ArtsMonday 12 June, 6.30pm – £7 | £5 at Crescent Arts Centre

With Rosemary Jenkinson, Mia Gallagher and Martina Devlin


Join three of Ireland’s finest short story writers Mia Gallagher, Martina Devlin and Rosemary Jenkinson for an evening of taboo-busting, transgressive tales. Each author will read an extract from their work, which shall be followed by a discussion of how to produce challenging contemporary literature.

Rosemary Jenkinson is artist-in-residence at the Lyric Theatre.  Her two short story collections are Contemporary Problems Nos. 53 &54 and Aphrodite’s Kiss. The Mural Painter was published in The Glass Shore, edited by Sinéad Gleeson. Her latest play, Lives in Translation, will be produced by Kabosh in 2017.

Mia Gallagher is the author of two acclaimed novels: HellFire (Penguin Ireland, 2006) and Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland (New Island, 2016), which was longlisted for the inaugural Republic of Consciousness Award (UK, 2016) and featured in the Irish Times Book Club (February 2017).

Martina Devlin is a best selling author and award-winning journalist. She started writing fiction after winning the Hennessy Literary Award in 1996 and has been shortlisted for a variety of awards including the Royal Society of Literature’s VS Pritchett Prize.

The Glass Shore at Belfast Book Festival


Verbal ArtsTuesday 13 June, 5.30pm – £7 | £5 at Crescent Arts Centre

 Short Stories by Women Writers from the North of Ireland


Winner of Best Irish Published Book of the Year 2016,  The Glass Shore, edited by award-winning broadcaster, critic and editor Sinéad Gleeson, is an intimate and illuminating insight into a previously underappreciated literary canon. The event will be chaired by Sinéad who will be joined by Jan Carson, Rosemary Jenkinson and Bernie McGill to talk about short stories and women’s voices.

Sinéad Gleeson is the editor of two previous anthologies, Silver Threads of Hope and The Long Gaze Back: An Anthology of Irish Women Writers, which won Best Irish Published Book at the 2015 Irish Book Awards. She presents The Book Show on RTÉ Radio 1.

Jan Carson is a writer based in Belfast. Her first novel, Malcolm Orange Disappears was published by Liberties Press in 2014. Her flash fiction anthology, Postcard Stories is forthcoming from the Emma Press in May 2017.

Rosemary Jenkinson was born in Belfast and studied Medieval Literature at Durham University. Her first collection of short stories, Contemporary Problems Nos. 53 & 54, was published by Lagan Press in 2004, and a second, Aphrodite’s Kiss, by Whittrick Press in 2016.

Bernie McGill is the author of Sleepwalkers, a collection of stories shortlisted in 2014 for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize.  Her second novel, The Watch House, will be published by Tinder Press in August 2017.

 Harvesting A Paper Swan at Belfast Book Festival


Verbal ArtsWednesday 14th June, 6.30pm – £6 | £4 at Crescent Arts Centre


Ruth Gilligan & Lisa Harding with Jan Carson


Join Jan Carson as she chats with novelists Ruth Gilligan and Lisa Harding about their dark and redemptive new novels and their lives in writing.

Ruth Gilligan is a novelist, journalist and academic from Dublin, now working as a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. She has published four novels to date, and was the youngest person ever to top the Irish Bestsellers’ List. She contributes regular literary reviews to the TLS, The Guardian, The Irish Independent and LA Review of Books.

Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan is Ruth’s fourth novel, and was inspired by the history of the Jewish community in Ireland. With three intertwining narrative strands, it is a novel about immigration, diaspora, storytelling and what it means to truly belong.

Lisa Harding is an actress, playwright and author. She played Connie in RTÉ’s Fair City and has performed at the Abbey, the Gate and the Lyric among others. She received an MPhil in creative writing from Trinity College Dublin in 2014. Harvesting is her first novel.

Harvesting is heartbreaking and funny, gritty, raw and breathtakingly beautiful, evoking a world where redemption is found in friendship and unexpected acts of kindness. Sammy is a spiky, quick-witted and sharp teenager living in Dublin; Nico is a warm and conscientious girl from Moldova. When they are thrown together in a Dublin brothel in a horrific twist of fate, a peculiar and important bond is formed.

Belfast Book Festival runs from the 7th – 17th of June 2017. View the full programme. 


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