New Island Books - 25 Years a-Growing


The Cork International Short Story Festival kicks off next week! There’s a wonderful array of events with some brilliant authors, and we’re thrilled to see so many New Island authors are featured! Here are our top picks.

William Wall in conversation with Alannah Hopkin

6.30pm, Wednesday, September 12th in Nano Nagle Place (€5)

William Wall is the first European Winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize (2017). He has published five novels, most recently Grace’s Day (Head of Zeus, London, 2018), three collections of short fiction including the multi-award-winning The Islands (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017) and Hearing Voices Seeing Things (Doire Press, Galway, 2016). He is also a poet and has published four collections of poetry including The Yellow House (2017) and Ghost Estate (2011), both from Salmon Poetry, Co. Clare. His 2005 novel This Is The Country was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and he has won numerous other prizes including the Sean O’Faolain prize for short fiction. More information at

Alannah Hopkin has published two novels, A Joke Goes a Long Way in the Country and The Out-haul (Hamish Hamilton, London) and her non-fiction books include Eating Scenery: West Cork, the People & the Place (The Collins Press, Cork). Her stories have appeared in the London Magazine and the Cork Literary Review, among others. She has reviewed regularly for numerous publications including the Financial Times, the London Evening Standard and the Irish Times. She is currently a regular book reviewer for the Irish Examiner. Her first collection of stories, The Dogs of Inishere was published in April 2017.

John MacKenna

Wendy Erskine & John MacKenna in conversation with Eimear Ryan

7pm, Thursday, September 13th in the Firkin Crane Theatre (€5)

Wendy Erskine lives in Belfast. She started writing short stories in 2015 while participating on The Stinging Fly Fiction Workshop. Her fiction has since been published in The Stinging FlyStinging Fly Stories and Female Lines: New Writing by Women from Northern Ireland (New Island Books). She has more stories forthcoming in Being Various: New Irish Short Stories (Faber), Winter Papers and on BBC Radio 4. Sweet Home (Stinging Fly Press, September 2018) is her first collection.

John MacKenna was born in 1952 in Castledermot in Co Kildare. His short story collections include The Fallen and Other Stories(1992), which won The Irish Times First Fiction Award, The River Field (2007) and Once We Sang Like Other Men (2018). His novels include Joseph (2014), Clare (2014) and The Space Between Us (2009). He has won a number of awards for his writing, including a Hennessy Literary Award in 1983, the 1986 Leitrim Guardian Award and C. Day-Lewis Awards in 1989 and 1990. Also a well-known documentary maker, he lives in Carlow.

Eimear Ryan’s writing has appeared in Winter Papers, Granta, The Stinging Fly, The Dublin Review, Town & Country (Faber) and The Long Gaze Back (New Island). She has won several awards for her short stories, including a Hennessy First Fiction Award and the Sean Dunne Young Writer Award. She is co-editor of the literary journal Banshee.

Mia Gallagher in conversation with Danielle McLaughlin

7pm, Friday, September 14th in the Firkin Crane Theatre (€5)

Mia Gallagher was born in Dublin, where she lives and works. Her debut novel, HellFire, was widely acclaimed and received the Irish Tatler Women of the Year Literature Award in 2007, while her award-winning short fiction has been widely published and anthologised. Mia has received several Literature Bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland and has been writer-in-residence in many different environments, both at home and abroad. In a parallel universe, Mia works as a professional actor, performing in theatre, radio and occasionally film. Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homelandher second novel was published in 2016 to tremendous acclaim, and she published her first collection of stories, Shift, this year.

 Danielle McLaughlin’s stories have appeared in various journals, newspapers and anthologies, including The New Yorker, The Irish Times, Southword, The Penny Dreadful, Long Story Short and The Stinging Fly. They have also appeared in various anthologies, such as the Bristol Prize Anthology, the Fish Anthology and the 2014 Davy Byrnes Anthology, and have been broadcast on RTE Radio 1 and BBC Radio 4. Her debut collection of short stories,Dinosaurs On Other Planets, was published in Ireland in 2015 by The Stinging Fly Press and in the UK and US in 2016 by John Murray and Random House.



Reviving the Dead: Discussion with Patrick Cotter, Declan Meade and Sinéad Gleeson concerning Frank O’Connor, Maeve Brennan and Norah Hoult

Moderated by Thomas McCarthy

3pm, Saturday, September 15th in the Firkin Crane Theatre (€5)

Patrick Cotter worked for many years from the early 1990s to bolster the public profile of Frank O’Connor. Declan Meade has republished long out-of-print work by Maeve Brennan and Sinéad Gleeson has written an introduction to Cocktail Bar, new edition of short stories by Norah Hoult. Poet, novelist and essayist Thomas McCarthy will lead a discussion on the issue of reviving faltering or forgotten literary reputations, touching on the desirability, practicality and sometimes futility affecting the issue.

Patrick Cotter published his first short story in New Irish Writing aged 19. After a few other short fiction publications during the 1980s he has distinguished himself mostly as a poet since then. He has curated this festival since 2003.

Declan Meade co-founded The Stinging Fly literary magazine in 1998 and is now its editor. With the Stinging Fly Press imprint he has published books by Kevin Barry, Mary Costello and Colin Barrett.

Sinéad Gleeson is a writer, editor, freelance broadcaster and journalist. In 2015, The Long Gaze Back: An Anthology of Irish Women Writers, edited by Gleeson, was published and features 30 short stories, including work by Maeve Brennan, Anne Enright, Elizabeth Bowen, Eimear McBride, Lisa McInerney and more. It won the Best Irish Published Book at the BGE Irish Book Awards in 2015. Her debut collection of essays, Constellations, will be published by Picador in Spring 2019. She is currently working on a novel.

Thomas McCarthy was born and raised at Cappoquin, Co Waterford in 1954. He has published a substantial body of poems as well as a collection of autobiographical essays and two novels. McCarthy is a poet primarily concerned with politics and family and he is regarded as one of the most important Irish poets of his generation.

View the full programme for Cork International Short Story Festival 2018


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