New Island Books - 25 Years a-Growing

Dublin Book Festival 2018

Dublin Book Festival have announced their 2018 programme! There’s a great range of events to suit everyone, and we’re delighted to see so many New Island authors in the line-up. We’ve chosen our top picks below. 



Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Nuala O’Connor and William Wall in conversation with Paula Shields

Venue: National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street | Time: 1.00PM – 2.00PM

Free entry

Join us for a conversation replete with insights into the art of short fiction from three masters of the form. Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, author of six short story collections, has broken new ground this year with the publication of her memoir, Twelve Thousand Days (Blackstaff Press). Nuala O’Connor’s new novel, Becoming Belle (Hachette Ireland), tells the true story of an unstoppable woman’s rise to fame in Victorian London. Her fifth short story collection, Joyride to Jupiter (New Island), was published last year. William Wall’s latest short story collection, The Islands (University of Pittsburgh Press), and his new novel, Grace’s Day (Head of Zeus and New Island), hone in from different angles on the same tragedy. This talk will be guided by top arts journalist and RTÉ researcher Paula Shields.

Booking advised.


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Bryan Fanning, Melatu Uche Okorie and Sorcha Pollak

Venue: EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, CHQ Building | Time: 5.30PM – 6.30PM

Ticket Cost €7/€5 Concession

Sit in on an enlightening conversation between three authors perfectly placed to observe the stories emerging from Ireland’s diverse communities. Writer and scholar Melatu Uche Okorie’s debut short story collection, This Hostel Life (Skein Press), tells stories inspired by life in direct provision. Journalist Sorcha Pollak will discuss her book New to the Parish (New Island), which offers a compilation of personal stories shared by immigrants. This conversation will be led by Bryan Fanning, Professor of Migration and Social Policy at UCD and author of Migration and the Making of Ireland (UCD Press). The three will explore their own work, its place in modern Ireland and the role of the arts in bringing such stories to public consciousness.

Booking advised.






Rob Doyle, John Holten and June Caldwell

Venue: The Irish Writers Centre, Parnell Square | Time: 2.00PM – 3.00PM

Free entry

The Other Irish Tradition – edited by Rob Doyle and published by Dalkey Archive Press this month – is a colourful anthology that celebrates the experimental strain in Irish literature, from Laurence Sterne and Jonathan Swift to the bleeding-edge of contemporary writing. It juxtaposes the work of heralded masters such as Joyce, Beckett and Flann O’Brien, with the startling and innovative work of young and present day writers such as Mike McCormack, June Caldwell, John Holten and Anakana Schofield. Don’t miss the editor in conversation with contributors to discuss this refreshing and provocative collection of Irish writing.

Booking advised.





 Caitriona Lally, Darragh Martin, Aoibheann McCann and Sue Rainsford in conversation with Sue Leonard

Venue: Boys’ School, Smock Alley Theatre | Time: 3.30PM – 4.45PM

Free entry

In the second of our Emerging Authors events, expect a wealth of insights from four of Ireland’s most daring new voices. Caitriona Lally’s debut novel, Eggshells (HarperCollins), draws readers into the perspective of an eccentric, lonely woman as she wanders the streets of Dublin. Aoibheann McCann, with short story, non-fiction and poetry publications already to her name, has recently treated readers to her first novel – Marina(Wordsonthestreet), a moving account of its eponymous central character’s solitary existence. Playwright and children’s author Darragh Martin has explored new territory this year with his first novel for adults, Future Popes of Ireland (HarperCollins, Fourth Estate imprint), a searing account of a family’s escape from the control of the Catholic Church. Sue Rainsford’s debut, Follow Me To Ground(New Island), is a sinister tale that questions our preconceptions of predator and prey. The disparate voices of these four authors are drawn together by a shared focus on the isolated lives of characters who struggle to belong, and who are ultimately forced to carve their own paths. This conversation will be guided by eminent journalist Sue Leonard.

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With Mariel Deegan, Deirdre Nolan and Ivan O’Brien

Sunday 18 November | Time: 10.30am – 12.00pm | Venue: Main Theatre, Smock Alley Theatre

Ticket Cost €15

Everyone has a book in them, or so they say. If you are a writer interested in getting your work published, or wondering how to get started on that novel that has been on your mind fo so many years, then join our panel of publishers for a crash course on how to get published!

Our panel of experts will discuss strategies for online marketing (such as tips for building an online profile and maintaining a strong social media presence), blogging platforms for authors, resources for book design and layout, the pitfalls and common mistakes that authors make when submitting their manuscripts, editing techniques, and guidelines for the author’s project management steps along the way –  in this fast-paced print and digital publishing landscape – from the slushpile to the printer!

Mariel Deegan is General Manager of New Island Books, Deirdre Nolan is  Commissioning Editor for Gill Books, and Ivan O’Brien is Managing Director of The O’Brien Press, a family-owned book publishing company based in Dublin.

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With Patrick McCabe Accompanied by Ian Lynch of Lankum

Sunday 18 November | Time: 2.30pm – 3.30pm | Venue: Main Theatre, Smock Alley Theatre

Ticket Cost: €7/€5 concession

The Heartland country of the soul is dark and yet, simultaneously is magnesium-bright. Where you can hear the wild voices of the crowd at a cockfight melding into an eerie music, as above it comes the shrill of the cocks crowing at a false dawn.

In this show by Patrick McCabe, with his complement of guest musicians including Ian Lynch of Lankum, the spirit of this nether-world which defies time and exists in several different dimensions at once, is omnipresent – as are the ghosts of Patrick Kavanagh, Joyce and Daffy Duck. So why not come along, immerse yourself in their world and enjoy this magical Sunday afternoon show?

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