Niamh Boyce won the Hennessy XO New Irish Writing Award in 2012. Her debut novel The Herbalist was Newcomer of the Year at the 2013 Irish Book Awards, and long-listed for an IMPAC Award. Her poetry and fiction have been published in literary magazines and anthologised, most recently in ‘The Long Gaze Back’, The Hennessy Book of Irish Fiction, and Raving Beauty’s ‘Hallelujah for 50ft Women.’ She’s just finished a novel inspired by a medieval witchcraft trial
Born in Dublin in 1899 to an Anglo-Irish family, Elizabeth Bowen was a novelist, short story writer and essayist. Her ten novels include The Last September, The Death of the Heart and The Heat of the Day. Bowne published several short story collections including Encounters, The Cat Jumps, The Demon Lover and Other Stories and Ivy Gripped the Steps. Her non-fiction work focused on memoir, writing and travel. She was awarded the CBE in 1948 and made a Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature in 1965. Bowen’s last novel, Eva Trout, published in 1968, won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. She died in 1973.
Born in January 1917, Maeve Brennan moved to the US with her family when she was seventeen. She began working as a copyeditor for Harper’s Bazaar magazine, but was later offered a staff job at The New Yorker. There, she wrote an observational society column, The Talk of the Town, under the pseudonym ‘The Long-Winded Lady’, which was later published in book form. Brennan contributed many short stories to The New Yorker, many of which were collated in two short story collections, In and Out of Never-Never Land (1969) and Christmas Eve (1974). Both collections were republished as The Springs of Affection: Stories of Dublin and The Rose Garden after her death in 1993. Her own novella, The Visitor, was published posthumously in 2000.
June Caldwell worked for many years as a freelance journalist and now writes fiction. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Queen’s University Belfast. Room Little Darker, her acclaimed collection of short stories, is published by New Island Books and forthcoming from Head of Zeus. Her story ‘SOMAT’ was published in the award-winning anthology The Long Gaze Back, and was chosen as a favourite by The Sunday Times. June’s fiction has been published in The Stinging Fly, The Moth, Winter Papers, and The Lonely Crowd. 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. Her first novel, Little Town Moone, is forthcoming from John Murray.
Lucy Caldwell was born in Belfast in 1981. She is the author of three novels and several stage plays and radio dramas. Awards include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright, the BBC Stewart Parker Award, a Fiction Uncovered Award and a Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Her most recent novel, All the Beggars Riding, was chosen for Belfast’s One City One Book campaign in 2013 and shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year. She was shortlisted for the 2012 BBC International Short Story Award for her short story ‘Escape Routes’ and won the Commonwealth Writers’ Award (Canada & Europe) in 2014 with ‘Killing Time’. Her debut collection of short stories, of which ‘Multitudes’ is the title story, was published by Faber in 2016. Multitudes won the 2017 Edge Hill Short Story Readers’ Choice Award. www.lucycaldwell.com
Evelyn Conlon is the author of four novels and three collections of short stories. Her books include Telling, New and Selected Stories and Not the Same Sky, 2013. She was editor of Later On, an anthology compiled in response to the Monaghan bombing and subject of a set of Italian conference papers on the Language of War. She was co-editor, with Hans Christian Oeser, of Cutting the Night in Two, predecessor to this collection. Her work has been widely anthologised and translated into many languages, including Tamil. The title story of her second collection, Taking Scarlet as a Real Colour, was performed at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival. She is currently working on a new collection, which includes a story about the Irish woman who attempted to assassinate Mussolini.
Mary Costello is from Galway. Her short story collection, The China Factory (2012), was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award. Her novel, Academy Street (2014), was shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award, the Costa First Novel Prize and the EU Prize for Literature. It won the Irish Novel of the Year Award and the overall Irish Book of the Year in 2014.
Anne Devlin was born in Belfast. She taught English and Drama in North Antrim until she moved to Germany in 1976 and later in the same year to England. David Marcus first published her stories in the Irish Press in the 1980’s. Her collection The Waypaver was published by Faber in 1986. She is best known as a dramatist, both for Ourselves Alone (Royal Court, 1985) and After Easter (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1993). She has worked extensively in TV and film. Her most recent work was the radio play The Forgotten (2009). She returned to Belfast in 2007.
Maria Edgeworth was born in Oxfordshire in 1768 but moved with her family to Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford when she was five. There, she wrote novels, short stories, children’s literature and essays on politics and social issues. During the Famine, she worked to help the starving, and wrote Orlandino – a children’s story – to benefit the Poor Relief Fund. She is best known for her novels, Castle Rackrent (1800), which garnered praise from Sir Walter Scott, as well as Belinda (1801) and The Absentee (1812). Edgeworth died in 1849 aged eighty-one.
Anne Enright is the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction. A leading contemporary voice, her work has won many awards including the Man Booker for The Gathering in 2007 and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction for The Forgotten Waltz in 2012. Her latest novel The Green Road was shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award in 2017. She lives and works in Dublin, her native town.
Christine Dwyer Hickey
Christine Dwyer Hickey has published seven novels, one short story collection and a full-length play. The Cold Eye of Heaven (Atlantic Books UK) won the Irish Novel of the Year 2012 and was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Tatty (New Island and Vintage UK) was nominated for the Orange Prize and was one of the 50 Irish Novels of the Decade. Last Train from Liguria (Atlantic Books) was nominated for the Priz L’Européen de Littérature. Her story stories have been published in anthologies and magazines worldwide and have won several awards. Her short story collection, The House on Parkgate Street (New Island Books ), was published in 2013. Her first play, Snow Angels, premiered at the Project Arts Centre in March 2014. Her latest novel The Lives of Women, was published in April 2015 (Atlantic Books UK) She is a member of Aosdána.
Born in Dublin in 1898, Norah Hoult published journalism, novels and short stories. Her first collection, Poor Women! was published in 1928, and Hoult wrote two further collections, Nine Years is a Long Time and Cocktail Bar (which is where ‘Miss Coles Makes the Tea’ first appeared). Her novels include Time, Gentlemen, Time!, Holy Ireland, Four Women Grow Up, The Last Days of Miss Jenkinson and There were No Windows, which was reissued by Persephone Books in 2005. Hoult died in Greystones, Co. Wicklow in 1984.
Mary Lavin was born in 1912 in the US, but moved a child with her Irish parents to Athenry, and then to Dublin. Lavin only wrote two novels, The House in Clewe Street and Mary O’Grady, and is best known for her short story collections, including Tales from Bective Bridge, The Becker Wives and Other Stories, In the Middle of the Fields and Happiness and Other Stories. She won The James Tait Black Memorial Prize, two Guggenheim Fellowships, The Katherine Mansfield Prize and the Allied Irish Banks Literary Award. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from UCD in 1968, and died in 1996.
Eimear McBride studied acting at Drama Centre London. Her debut novel, A Girl is a Half-formed Thing, received the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize, the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction, Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year, the Desmond Elliot Prize and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, while her second novel The Lesser Bohemians featured on several short-lists and was awarded the James Tait Black Prize. She occasionally writes and reviews for the Guardian, the TLS and the New Statesman.
Molly McCloskey is the author of four works of fiction and a memoir, Circles Around the Sun: In Search of a Lost Brother. She was born in Philadelphia, and currently lives between Washington, DC, and Dublin.
Bernie McGill is the author of Sleepwalkers, a collection of stories short-listed in 2014 for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize, and of The Butterfly Cabinet (named in 2012 by Downton creator Julian Fellowes as his novel of the year). Her new novel, The Watch House, was published in 2017. Her work has been placed in the Seán Ó Faoláin, the Bridport, and the Michael McLaverty Short Story Prizes and she won the Zoetrope:All-Story Award in the US in 2008. Her short fiction has appeared in The Long Gaze Back, The Glass Shore and Female Lines, all by New Island Books. She is the recipient of a number of Arts Council of Northern Ireland Awards and was granted a research bursary in 2013 from the Society of Authors. She lives in Portstewart in Northern Ireland with her family.
Lisa McInerney’s work has featured in Winter Papers, The Stinging Fly, Granta and BBC Radio 4 and in the anthologies Beyond The Centre (New Island), The Long Gaze Back (New Island) and Town and Country (Faber). Her debut novel The Glorious Heresies won the 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and the 2016 Desmond Elliott Prize. Lisa’s second novel, The Blood Miracles, was published by John Murray in April 2017. She is currently a contributing editor at The Stinging Fly.
Belinda McKeon is the author of two novels, Solace, which won the 2011 Faber Prize and was named Irish Book of the Year, and Tender, published in 2015. She lives in New York and teaches at Rutgers University.
Siobhán Mannion was born in Ireland and grew up in Cambridge, England. Her family is from Clifden, Co. Galway. She has won awards for short fiction and radio drama, and her writing has appeared in Irish and international publications including Granta, Winter Papers, Banshee, Eighteen Bridges, Stand, The Moth and the Silver Threads of Hope anthology. She lives in Dublin and is currently completing a first collection of stories. www.siobhanmannion.com
Lia Mills writes novels, short stories, essays and an occasional blog. In a previous existence she was Teaching and Research Fellow at the Women’s Education, Research & Resource Centre in UCD, with a special interest in Irish women writers. She was a founder member of the editorial groups of two experimental feminist journals: Ms.Chief and f/m. She has worked on several Public Art Commissions, including editing the anthologies You Had To Be There! And Wake (for Ballymun Regeneration Ltd). A memoir, In Your Face, describes her experience of mouth cancer treatment in 2006. Her third novel, Fallen, was the Dublin/Belfast Two Cities One Book selection in 2016, in which year she was also the Arts Council Writer Fellow in UCD and writer-in-residence at Farmleigh House.
Nuala Ní Chonchúir/Nuala O’Connor
Nuala O’Connor AKA Nuala Ní Chonchúir was born in Dublin, 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. www.nualaoconnor.com
Éilis Ní Dhuibhne
Éilis Ní Dhuibne is a novelist, critic and folklore scholar. Her short story collections include Midwife to the Fairies, The Inland Ice, The Pale Gold of Alaska and The Shelter of Neighbours. Among her novels are Cailíni Beaga Ghleann na mBlath, Hurlamaboc, Dunamharu sa Daingean, The Dancers Dancing, and Fox, Swallow Scarecrow. Her awards include the Bisto Book of the Year Award, the Readers’ Association of Ireland Award, the Stewart Parker Award for Drama, the Butler award for Prose from the Irish American Cultural Institute. The Dancers Dancing was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Ficiton and she was awarded the Irish Pen Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature in 2015. Her stories are widely anthologized and translated. Éilís was for many years a curator in the National Library of Ireland. She teaches Creative Writing in UCD and is a member of Aosdána.
Kate O’Brien was born in Limerick in 1897 and began her writing life as a playwright. She soon turned to fiction and her first novel, Without My Clock, was published in 1931, winning the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. She is probably best known for The Ante-Room, The Land of Spices and Mary Lavelle (both were banned in Ireland on publication). That Lady was adapted for Broadway by O’Brien, and a film version was made in 1955 starring Olivia de Havilland. As well as novels, short stories and plays, O’Brien also wrote essays, film scripts, travelogues, journalism and a biography of St Teresa of Avila. Her final novel, Music and Splendour, was published in 1958. She died in the Uk in 1974.
Roisín O’Donnell grew up in Sheffield, with family roots in Derry city. Her stories and poetry have been published internationally and have featured in The Stinging Fly, The Irish Times and elsewhere. Her work appears in Young Irelanders, and in the BGE Book Award winning anthology of Northern Irish Women Writers The Glass Shore. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Forward Prize, she has been shortlisted for many international awards, including the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award and the Cúirt New Writing Prize, and in 2015 she was awarded a Literature Bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland. Roisin’s debut short story collection, Wild Quiet was published in 2016 by New Island Books; it was listed as one of The Irish Times’ Favourite Books of 2016 and was shortlisted for the Kate O’Brien Award and the International Ruberry Book Award, and longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. www.roisinodonnell.com
E.M. Reapy is from Co. Mayo. She has an M.A. in Creative Writing from Queen’s University, Belfast. Her debut novel Red Dirt was published by Head of Zeus and won Newcomer of the Year at the 2016 Irish Book Awards. She was awarded the Rooney Prize for Literature in 2017. She is currently working on her second novel.
Charlotte Riddell was born in Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim in 1832 and wrote numerous novels and short story collections. Her works include The Moors and the Fens (which appeared under the pseudonym F.G. Trafford, as did her first eight novels), The Rich Husband, Fairy Water and A Struggle for Fame. She also published short stories (including several ghost stories) and her collections include Frank Sinclair’s Wife: And Other Stories, Weird Stories, Idle Tales and The Collected Ghost Stoires of Mrs J H Riddell. Riddell was the first author to be paid a pension by the Society of Authors and died in 1906.
Eimear Ryan‘s writing has appeared in Winter Papers, The Dublin Review, gorse, The Stinging Fly, Granta.com and the Faber anthology Town & Country. She is co-editor of the literary journal Banshee. From Co. Tipperary, she lives in Cork.
Anakana Schofield writes fiction, essays and literary criticism. Malarky, her debut novel, won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award and the US Debut-Litzer Prize for Fiction. Malarky was also shortlisted for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, selected as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick and named on sixteen different Best Books of the Year lists. Martin John, her second novel, was published in 2016. She has contributed to the London Review of Books blog, the Guardian, The Irish Times, the Globe and Mail and more. Anakana currently lives in Vancouver, BC, with her son.
Somerville & Ross
Edith Somerville (1858-1949) and Violet Florence Martin (Martin Ross, 1862-1915) were cousins who wrote collaboratively as Somerville and Ross. As a writing duo, they published fourteen stories and novels, including The Real Charlotte, In the Vine Country, Through Connemara in a Governess Cart and The Experiences of an Irish R. M. Their first book, An Irish Cousin, was published in 1889. When Violet died in 1915, Edith often wrote under their dual name, and published a further nine novels herself from 1919 to 1949, including Mount Music, The Big House at Inver, An Incorruptible Irishman and Maria and Some Other Dogs, published in 1949, the year she died at the age of 91.
Susan Stairs received her Masters in Creative Writing from University College Dublin in 2009 and her story ‘The Rescue’ was shortlisted for the Davy Byrnes Irish Writing Award the same year. She has published two novels: The Story of Before (2013) and The Boy Between (2015) and she has twice been awarded a Literature Bursary by The Arts Council of Ireland. The Boy Between was published in Germany under the title Das Geheimnis Jenes Sommers in 2017. Susan worked for many years in the art business and has written several books around the subject of Irish art and artists. She lives in Dublin and is currently working on her third novel. More at www.susanstairs.com