Four years ago, or possibly five, I contacted Listowel Writers’ Week about one of their writing competitions. I don’t think I entered the competition in the end, or perhaps I did and I totally lost. Yeah, that was probably it… It’s hard to single out because all of my unsuccesses have kinda melded into one blurry amorphous failure blob that I keep hidden somewhere in my unconscious. Anyway, each year since then they have sent me one of their brochures about the festival and each year I look at it and go, “Oh, that looks LOVELY! I will DEFINITELY go this year. ” And then I end up not going. So, I’ve never been to this festival, but I feel weirdly connected to it, like some charming penpal who I never write back to.
Anyway, I received the 2013 brochure today and I said, “Oh, that looks LOVELY! I will DEFINITELY go this year.” It runs from May 29th to June 2nd and there’s a wide range of workshops that are now open for booking. There will also be events throughout the five days but they’re not revealing the full details of the programme until April. (Oh, Listowel, you tease!)
A big part of this festival is its wide range of literary competitions. Bryan MacMahon was one of the founders of the festival back in 1970 (along with John B. Keane) and one of the short story competitions is named after him. MacMahon is also credited with introducing the first ever writers’ workshop to Ireland in 1972. Pre-1972, people just sat alone in darkened rooms looking at their manuscripts and crying.
So yeah, it has a pretty amazing history and it does look LOVELY. See y’all there in May… probably.