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Seven Irish novels on the Longlist for the International Dublin Literary Award 2017

7 Irish novels are among 147 titles that have been nominated by libraries worldwide for the €100,000 International DUBLIN Literary Award, the world’s most valuable annual literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English.  Nominations include 43 novels in translation with works by 43 American, 23 British, 14 Canadian, 10 Australian, 5 New Zealander and 4 Dutch authors.

The Irish titles nominated for 2017 are:
• The Blue Guitar by John Banville
• Beatlebone by Kevin Barry
• Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume
• The Green Road by Anne Enright
• The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien
• Miss Emily by Nuala O’Connor
• Asking For It by Louise O’Neill

The International DUBLIN Literary Award (formerly known as the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award) is managed by Dublin City Council’s library service. Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian, announced that the 147 books eligible for the 2017 award were nominated by libraries in 109 cities and 40 countries worldwide; noting that 43 are titles in translation, spanning 19 languages and 30 are first novels. Among the 43 translated books are novels originally published in Arabic, Bulgarian, Icelandic, Kannada, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Slovene and Turkish. Translated authors include Milan Kundera, Mia Couto and Isabel Allende.

More details on the longlist are available at

How to Publish Independently Event

Amazon are partnering with for a Publishing Independently event at The Davenport Hotel this Saturday 19 November.

The event covers topics such as writing, editing, marketing and the business of being a writer.

It will be live streamed to a number of Irish libraries including  three of  Dublin City Public Libraries.

‘How to publish independently with Amazon’ will be available to watch online at the following libraries at the following times :

Ballymun Library :                            10 am – 1 pm

Cabra Library  :                                   2 pm  – 4.30 pm

Central Library :                                 10 am – 4.30pm

More information is available from or


Irish Authors longlisted for Republic of Consciousness Prize

Congratulations to Mia Gallagher (Beautiful Pictures of a Lost Homeland, New Island), Mike McCormack (Solar Bones, Tramp Press) and Anakana Schofield (Martin John, And Other Stories) who have been longlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses.

The judges were asked to “privilege small presses publishing writers who are challenging what is possible in literature whilst still taking pains in sentence making”

Glen Hansard Receives DIT Brendan Behan Award

Congratulations to musician Glen Hansard, who was awarded the inaugural DIT Brendan Behan Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the arts.

The Dublin musician was honoured for his long and varied career as a singer, songwriter and actor. His musical path began at the age of 13 as a busker on Grafton St, and since then he has produced a huge body of work as a solo artist, and with The Frames and The Swell Season. He won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Original Song with Marketa Irglová for “Falling Slowly” from the film Once.  He recently played the prestigious Carnegie Hall venue in New York.  Continue reading

Something Wicked Crime Writing Festival

The first Something Wicked Crime Writing Festival, takes place in Malahide from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th October, with authors such as Alex Barclay, Sam Blake, Arlene Hunt and the 2017 children’s Citywide Read author Dave Rudden. 

On Friday October 28th a panel of bestselling authors – Alex Barclay, Sam Blake and Liz Nugent – will discuss how they write about murder and violent crime.  The event will be held at Malahide Lawn Tennis Club at 7:30pm. Tickets €12.50*/€15 (*early bird)

  Continue reading

Echoland by Joe Joyce is the choice for Dublin: One City One Book 2017


Dublin City Council’s Public Library Service is delighted to announce that Echoland by Joe Joyce, published by Liberties Press, is the Dublin: One City One Book choice for 2017.

Lord Mayor Brendan Carr said “I am very pleased that Echoland by Joe Joyce has been chosen for ‘Dublin: One City One Book’ 2017. I am sure that lovers of thrillers and of history will enjoy this book. I encourage all Dubliners to read this book and participate in the programme of events during the month of April 2017 which offers opportunities to engage with Echoland in a range of contexts.’

Dublin City Librarian Margaret Hayes added “Dublin: One City One Book 2017 will be the twelfth year of this annual programme. Echoland is set in the Dublin of 1940, expertly capturing the atmosphere of the city as its citizens cope with the challenges of the Emergency. It’s a brilliant opportunity for us to re-imagine our City as it was, while enjoying a thrilling read.”

Joe Joyce said, “I’m delighted and honoured that Echoland will be Dublin’s One City One Book for 2017. The city is an integral part of the book, not just the backdrop to a spy story. As I was writing it, I was very conscious of the hardships and great dangers of the Emergency period, faced — as always by Dubliners — with resilience and wit.”

Since its inception in 2006, the Dublin: One City One Book Festival has encouraged everyone to read a book connected with Dublin during the month of April. The initiative is led by Dublin City Council’s Public Library Service as part of Dublin’s  UNESCO City of Literature designation and is supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

A full programme of events will be announced in early 2017.

The Book

June, 1940.

France is teetering on the brink of collapse. British troops are desperately fleeing Dunkirk. Germany is winning the war. Its next target is Britain . . . and Ireland? In neutral Dublin, opinions are divided. Some want Germany to win, others favour Britain, most want to stay out of the war altogether.

In this atmosphere of edgy uncertainty, young lieutenant Paul Duggan is drafted into G2, the army’s intelligence division, and put on the German desk. He’s given a suspected German spy to investigate, one who doesn’t appear to do much, other than write ambiguous letters to a German intelligence post box in Copenhagen. Before Duggan can probe further, however, he is diverted by a request from his politician uncle to try and find his daughter, who’s gone missing, possibly kidnapped.

Enlisting the help of witty Special Branch detective Peter Gifford, the two lines of inquiry take Duggan into the double-dealing worlds of spies and politics, and lead him back to a shocking secret that will challenge everything he has grown up believing. An addictive thriller that will keep you glued to the page, traversing the City of Dublin, right through to its heart-pounding finale.

September’s poem for A Year in Words

The second poem in our A Year in Words project is Native by John Cummins which was filmed in the Winding Stair.

A Year in Words celebrates the breadth and diversity of our city’s living poets through a year-long series of poetry videos filmed across 12 Dublin bookshops. The project was curated by Linda Devlin and Stephen James Smith and filmed by Design for Life.

Emma Donoghue Event

Emma Donoghue Pic SHARPPIX
Emma Donoghue Photo by Helen Hanley

Emma Donoghue, the Dublin born, award-winning author took part in a special event in Trinity College on 17th September. Organised by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature in collaboration with the School of English, Trinity College Dublin and Picador Books, Emma read from her new novel The Wonder, a psychological thriller, which is set in post-Famine Ireland.

In her discussion with Dr Aileen Douglas, Head of the School of English, she spoke about undertaking research for the book as well as her writing habits and the inspiration for her award-winning novel Room.

She was an engaging interviewee and during the Q & A which followed she discussed writing for and about children and other projects that she is working on at the moment.

Emma Donoghue Pic SHARPPIX
Jackie Lynam, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, author Emma Donoghue and Aileen Douglas, School of English Photo by Helen Hanley

Jack Harte Bursary 2017

The Irish Writers Centre and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig are offering a two week fully-resourced Writer-in-Residence bursary to take place in spring 2017.

This is an open call to writers resident on the island of Ireland with a proven track record and at least one book of fiction or short stories published by a recognised publisher. Priority will be given to works of fiction.

The award is named in honoured of Jack Harte, founder of the Irish Writers Centre, in celebration and acknowledgement of his contribution to Irish literature.

Full details about how to apply are available here

Emma Donoghue Event

Donoghue Emma 2

Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, along with the School of English, Trinity College, Dublin and Picador Books, are delighted to present Emma Donoghue in conversation with Dr. Aileen Douglas (TCD) on Saturday 17th September at 2pm.

She will read from her new novel The Wonder, followed by Q&A session and a book signing. Books will be on sale at the event.

Tickets are free but must be booked here 

Following the huge success of her novel Room, The Wonder tells the story of an eleven-year-old girl who stops eating, but remains miraculously alive and well. A nurse, sent to investigate whether she is a fraud, meets a journalist hungry for a story. Set in the Irish Midlands in the 1850s, The Wonder – inspired by numerous European and North American cases of ‘fasting girls’ between the sixteenth century and the twentieth – is a psychological thriller about a child’s murder threatening to happen in slow motion before our eyes. Pitting all the seductions of fundamentalism against sense and love, it is a searing examination of what nourishes us, body and soul.