20 – 29 May


New Zealand Focus at ILFDublin 2018: Kirsty Gunn, Hera Lindsay Bird, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Ashleigh Young

Opening Weekend – Programme Director’s Pick

Kirsty Gunn

International Literature Festival Dublin kicks off on Saturday 19 May and Kirsty Gunn is my pick for our opening weekend at the festival. This will be her first event to launch her novel Caroline’s Bikini - a witty, contemporary update on the courtly love tradition.

Evan Gordonstone is a successful middle-aged banker who meets socialite and hostess Caroline Beresford and falls head of over heels into unrequited love – a story as old literature itself.

Through a series of conversations with the narrator Emily, his passion is laid bare, as she attempts to write the novel describing his predicament. This is a book that plays with form – a novel about the art of novel writing. It pokes fun at our expectations at what novels should be but does so with real heart and soul.

Kirsty’s event is the first in a series with New Zealand writers at ILF Dublin 2018, which also sees NZ poet laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh, essayist Ashleigh Young and poet Hera Lindsay Bird.

Kirsty was born in New Zealand, has lived in Scotland and then England for most of her adult life. She is a scholar of Katherine Mansfield and has published eight works of fiction. She has said that ‘the space of the novel has become her true geographical home’. Come and meet this bold and brilliant writer on Sunday to discover more at this launch event.

Martin Colthorpe

Programme Director


Date With An Agent 2018 Participants

From over 320 applicants, the following 75 people have been invited to attend Date With An Agent 2018, as part of International Litearture Dublin, presented in partnership with Writing.ie

Kevin Moran -  Pyre

Oda O'Carroll - Me, the Midget and Muhammad Ali

Sheena Power - Death Pang of a Beetle

Deborah Lucas - For Witches Stand

Cora Sherlock - Savage Bloom

Oran Doyle - Ark

Amy Wal - lThe Vapids

Matthew Harrison - The Gate Tree

Colm Maher - Haze

Niamh O'Neill - Destination Hetax: Five days to save Granny

Gloria McNeely - The Call of the Void

Colette Willis - The Secret of the Malice

Michelle Teahan - She-Wolf

Teresa Doran - Square Peg

Lindsay Sedgwick - Candlemist

Joanne Zebedee - The Wildest Hunt

Olivia Rana - Black Beach

Tim Hodkinson - Einar's Saga

Colin Weldon - Alron

Emma Clarke Conway - Shadows of Hibernia: Blood Draw

Paul Markey - The Carer

Adele Halpin - The Same Time

Aongus Murtagh - Rainbow Beach

Declan Dempsey - To the Waters and the Wilde

Cary Shay - "Jonatha"

Neil Sharpson - The Caspian Sea

Colm BrennanInterior Plains

Adam Chappell- Anomalous

Alison Wells - Eat!

John Clinch - To Catch a Time-Traveller

Alan Dunne - Fraughan Sunday

Hugh Madden - City of Sands

Claudia Cavanagh - The Smell of Rain

Maria McCarthy - To Thee Do We Cry

David O Dwyer - Sanctuary

Anthony Brophy - Chess for Junkies

Christine O'ConnorUnspoken

Joseph Kavanagh - Much of the Night

Sheila Armstrong - Plunging

Nidhi Aria-Eipe - We Were Wolves

Catherine Day - The Darkest Harbour

Chris Connolly - Wifey

Fíona Scarlett - Someone Like You

Csilla Toldy - Finding Freedom

Victoria Melkovska - Noble Sentiments

David Young - Rusty Bathtubs Make Lousy Ponds

Niamh Donnellan- Mind Yourself

Mary Martin - The Turkish Brides Club

Madeleine Gray (Grace) - In Search of Angels

Gráinne Murphy - Where the Edge Is

Jacqueline Kavanagh - The B&B

Mags McLoughlin - The Milliner

Rachel Newman - Bacchus or Bust

Suzanne Hull - One Hundred Summers

Anna Kelly - The Granite Fields

Barbara Doran-Rogel - Book Synopsis and Sample Pages

Joanne Higgins - Homecoming

Claire O'Boyle - All at Sea

Pamela Hobbs - Just Desserts

Hilary Fennell - How to Photograph the Moon

Eimear Lawlor - The Tangled Web

Ashling O Loughlin - Shark Water

Beth O'Halloran - A Patch of Blue

Miriam Mulcahy - STARBOWLINERS

Mary Grehan - Novel extract

Kate Phelan - In Defence of Millennials: Venturing Beyond the Stereotypes.

Declan Power - Devils of Darfur

Bernie McQuillan - Betrayal

Tríona Walsh - The Girl in the Shallow Grave

Evelyn Marinoff - The Esteem Project

Jenneba Sie-Jalloh - Ten Days in Freetown

Ronnie O'Toole - Music to Watch Girls By

Paul Boyle - Sleeveen

Marie Duffy - When it Feels Too Much

Amy Enright - Bloody Murder

Jonathan Haren - The Old Corruption

Jackie Walsh - Familiar Strangers


We’re hiring: ILFDublin seeks Volunteers Coordinator for 2018 festival

Job title: Volunteer Coordinator

Job location: No fixed location

Reporting to: Festival Producer

We are seeking a Volunteers Coordinator to run the volunteer programme. This candidate should be enthusiastic, confident and efficient when dealing directly with people. The Volunteers Coordinator will report to the to the Festival Producer of International Literature Festival Dublin, which runs from the 19 - 27 of May 2018.

These duties include but are not limited to:
● Processing volunteer application forms
● Organising and addressing volunteers at the volunteer introduction evenings
● Responsibility for creating schedules and assigning tasks and positions to volunteers in
accordance with their availability and task preferences
● Relaying schedules and updates to volunteers
● Monitoring of volunteers to ensure scheduling is maintained
● Point of contact for volunteers including availability on the volunteer mobile phone
● Liaison between Festival staff, venue staff and volunteers
● Relaying information to volunteers about the Festival
● Ensuring that volunteers are fully briefed as to Festival expectations of volunteers

Person Specification:
● Enthusiasm and interest in meeting new people
● Organised, structured and systematic in work
● Ability to take initiative and work independently
● Computer literacy with working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook
● Ability to work in a constantly busy work environment with a high level of time and stress management
● Aptitude for working quickly and efficiently
● Flexibility regarding work schedule
● Previous festival experience

Applicants are invited to submit:
1) A CV outlining relevant experience

2) A covering letter indicating expression of interest and relevant experience with regards to the role.
Application documents should be emailed to Boxroom Productions*, Creative Producer, Aimée van Wylick by email aimee@boxroom.ie by 5pm, Monday 2nd of April 2018 .

Terms and conditions of employment:
This is a fixed contract running from 09 April to 28 May 2018 to arranging volunteers for some post festival events in June/July. Payment will be a fixed fee, payable at the end of the contract.

*Boxroom Productions is the appointed event management company producing ILFD2018.


ILFDublin announces appointment of Sarah Webb as Family & Children’s Programmer

International Literature Festival Dublin, Ireland’s premier literary event, is delighted to announce today the appointment of Sarah Webb to the festival team. Sarah will take on the role of family and children’s programmer for ILFD 2018.

Sarah Webb is a writer and events programmer who specialises in the area of children’s books. She was the Family and Schools Curator of the Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival for many years and is Children’s Literary Advisor to Listowel Writers’ Week. After working for many years as a children’s bookseller, Sarah now combines writing and programming with visiting schools and libraries, reviewing children’s books and teaching creative writing at the Irish Writers Centre.

Her latest book, A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea: Favourite Rhymes from an Irish Childhood (with Steve McCarthy), has been shortlisted for an Irish Book Award.

Sarah also runs Story Crew: Write, Draw, Create which provides writing clubs and creative classes and workshops for children and the young at heart. In 2015 she won the Children’s Books Ireland Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Books. www.sarahwebb.ie

The 21st International Literature Festival Dublin will take place from 19 – 27 May and programme details will be announced in due course.


Thank You from Festival Programme Director Martin Colthorpe

What do you look for in a literary festival? And what did you find at ILF Dublin 2017? I found passionate and enquiring audiences, and a tremendous bond between writers and their readers. I felt a desire to explore and experiment as the programme moved in new directions, with Inua Ellams bringing his poignant show An Evening With An Immigrant to the festival and with Stories From The City allowing Dubliners the chance to weave their own personal narratives around notions of home and place.

I think the interplay between new directions and traditional pleasures lies at the heart of the programming mix, and hearing great writers talk about their practice is one such pleasure. When Elizabeth Strout opened up about her journey to first being published at 42, she reflected that ‘it took a while to get the sentences right – to get into the crevices of them’. That lovely phrase captures the precision of the finest writing that both thrills and shocks us as readers.

So what else can writing do? It can provoke, entertain, console and inspire and across an eclectic mix ranging from Mary Fitzgerald on reporting conflict to the conceptual fiction of Han Yujoo, from comedienne Ruby Wax to writer and illustrator Tom Angleberger, the festival reached out to an expanded and more diverse audience.

I would like to extend my thanks to Dublin City Council and to the Arts Council for their generous and dedicated support for the festival this year. And thank you to all of the partner organisations and programmers that made ILF Dublin 2017 a tremendous success. Thank you to Red and Grey design for our sharp new look, to Conways PR for spreading the word across the city and beyond, and to the wonderful team at Gutter Bookshop, our festival bookseller.

Most of all, it is such a privilege and a pleasure to work with all the staff and volunteers on ILF Dublin, whose passion and positivity shaped a thrilling 10 day festival.

Perhaps the ultimate storyteller at the festival was Werner Herzog, pointedly introduced by Carlo Gebler as a writer and a filmmaker. When Herzog recounted his famous walk from Munich to Paris to reach the bedside of his mentor Lotte Eisner, the rapt audience at the National Concert Hall were in the presence of a mythic story.


And the essence of Herzog as an artist – his curiousity about the world and his commitment to transform this into stories – seems the perfect inspiration for our work. What is entertaining, demanding, absurd or curious – and how can we bring this to different audiences? What would you like to discover at the festival?


This is a true today as it was in 1998, when the festival first launched in a city that is steeped with writers and readers. Next year we turn 21 and we want to celebrate with the best festival yet – and we’d love to hear your ideas and dreams about what the party will look like…





Martin Colthorpe

Programme Director


Arundhati Roy Competition

Twenty years after winning the Booker Prize for her debut novel The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy returns with a brand new novel.

We're delighted to welcome her to The RDS on Sun 11 June at 3.30pm to celebrate the release of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. We've got two pairs of tickets to give away. Enter below. Entries close 12pm Fri 9 June.

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Yanis Varoufakis Competition

After a sold out show in 2016, Yanis Varoufakis returns to ILFDublin to discuss his new book Adults In The Room: My Battle With Europe’s Deep Establishment.

To celebrate, we're giving away two pairs of tickets to see him at the RDS this Sunday 28 May at 4pm. Alternatively, you can book tickets here.

Entries close Fri 26 May at 12pm. 

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Inua Ellams at ILFDublin 2017

We're thrilled to welcome poet, playwright and all-round polymath Inua Ellams to ILFDublin as our artist-in-residence for the 2017 festival.

On Sat 20th May, Inua invites you to An Evening with an Immigrant at The Complex at 8pm.

On Sun 21st May, Catch The Bus with Inua Ellams sees him join forces with Michael McDermott of Totally Dublin to lead a one-of-a-kind writing workshop on a bus travelling around Dublin City, departing Smock Alley at 3pm.

On Mon 22nd May, he joins co-curators Theresa Lola, Stephen James Smith and DJ Sid Mercutio for a night of hip-hop-inspired spoken word and poetry at R.A.P Party, which gets underway at The Liquor Rooms at 8pm.

We've got two pairs of tickets to An Evening with an Immigrant to give away. See below for entry details.

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Stories from the City Events at ILFDublin 2017

Back in February, we made an open call for a new initiative, Stories from the City, inviting members of the public to propose ideas for events at ILFDublin 2017.

We're delighted to confirm eight fantastic events happening throughout the festival. Most events are ticketed, but free to attend. Follow the links below for full event info:

Post from a Ghost | Sign up, free of charge, by Friday 19 May

Stray Lines Live Comic Reading | Instituto Cervantes | Mon 22 May | 6.30pm

Circle and Square | Tallaght Library | Mon 22 May | 6.30pm

The Hotel Room | The Good Food Store | Tue 23 May | 6.30pm

Between the Bookcases | Ballyfermot Library | Wed 24 May | 6pm

Home Is... | TCD Global Room | Wed 24 May | 7pm

East Wall to Everywhere | St Joseph's Co-Ed School | Mon 29 May | 9am

Culture and Identity - The Unspoken African | The Lab | Mon 29 May | 6.30pm


Children’s Events at ILFDublin 2017

Ed Vere & Grumpy Frog
Sat 20th May, 11am, The Hugh Lane Gallery

Twit Twoo School with Lydia Monks
Sat 20th May, 2.30pm, The Hugh Lane Gallery

Tom Angleberger
Mon 22nd May, 11am, Holy Child National School

Children's Book Ireland Book of the Year Awards
Tue 23rd May, 12pm, Smock Alley Theatre

Make a Raincloud Friend with Katie Harnett
Sat 27th May, 10.30am, The Hugh Lane Gallery

Lemuel Gulliver, Aventurer Extraordinaire
Sat 27th May, 11am and 1pm, Smock Alley Theatre

Giggles and Nursery Rhymes with Olaf Falafel
Sat 27th May, 12.30pm, The Hugh Lane Gallery


Werner Herzog Competition

Werner Herzog's appearance at the National Concert Hall on Sunday 21st May, as part of International Literature Festival Dublin, is now completely sold out.

However, we have two tickets to give away to a lucky winner. Details of how to enter are below. Entries will close on Friday 19th May and the winner will be announced.


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Date With An Agent 2017

Congratulations to the 75 Date With An Agent applicants who have been invited to participate in workshops at the How To Get Published Day at Smock Alley on Sat May 20th 2017, as part of International Literature Festival Dublin.

25 writers will also be invited on a 15 minute 'date' with one of our panel of agents.

Colleen Neligan

Joseph Boland

Phil Finnegan

Colin Weldon

Oonagh Fox

Robert Craven

Aisling Marie Cronin

Aoife Gray

Richard Doody

Gary McKenna

Paul Anthony Shortt

Freya Watson

Malcolm Blacow

Simon Fay

Clare B Daly

Eve McDonnell

Anne Learmont

Finbarr Howell

Jay Giebus

Cathy Boyle

Linda O'Sullivan

Joe Kelly

Jennifer Poyntz

Peter Money

Cora Sherlock

Frances Quinn

Stephen Cadwell

Teresa Doran

Brian Bennett

Dean McDowell

Frances Macken

Neil Sharpson

Luke Timmins

Helen de Burca

Susan Thomson

Elizabeth Doyle

Tadhg Coakley

Ellen Kelly

Paul T Lynch

Michael Donohue

Lorcan McNamee

Julian Judge

Mariana Coelho

John Verling

Karen Fagan

Kate Phelan

Liz Langen

Ruby Speechley

Aingeala Flannery

Rosita Boland

Ellen McCarthy

Joe Kavanagh

Bernie McQuillan

Janet E Sahafi

Bernadette Kearns

Helen Angela Thymides

Deirdre Cronin

Angela Kearney

Nuala Woulfe

Pamela G Hobbs

Jarlath Gregory

Paul Boyle

Mark Tuthill

Marie Laurie Neulat

Brian Keane

Thomas Moore

Abigail Browne

Chril McGale

RF Heeney

Lorna Barrettt

Sonya Dillon

Elizabeth Meehan

Brenda O'Broin

Jane Ryan

Emma Austin

Please note: all candidates who are shortlisted for a Date with An Agent have been contacted directly about their scheduled Agent Workshops and/or one-on-one Date with an Agent.

Agents:  Simon Trewin of WME; Polly Nolan of The Greenhouse Literary Agency; Sallyanne Sweeney from Mulcahy Associates; James Wills from Watson Little Ltd, and Millie Hoskins of United Agents.


Jo Nesbo Competition

On Friday 21st April, ILFDublin welcomes master of Nordic noir Jo Nesbo to The RDS in Dublin for a very special pre-festival event.

Nesbo will appear in conversation with journalist and broadcaster Hugh Linehan to discuss his fascinating career and share some insights on his latest Harry Hole adventure, The Thirst.

To celebrate this occasion, we're offering five lucky winners a pair of tickets to attend the event. Use the link below to enter and be in with a chance to attend this exciting event.

Entries close at 12pm on Friday 14th April.

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Volunteer Applications for ILFD 2017 Now Open

International Literature Festival Dublin would not be possible without the incredible work of our festival volunteers.

Would you like to join the team for this year’s festival, running May 20th – 28th? We’re looking for enthusiastic and reliable individuals to assist with front of house, audience research, social media and other aspects of the festival.

Know someone else you think might be interested? Make sure to let them know.

Applications are open until May 4th.

Please fill out our online application to become a 2017 ILFD volunteer by CLICKING HERE and clicking submit or alternatively download the form HERE and send it via email to volunteer@ilfdublin.com. Applications close May 4th.


Full programme announced April 11th

Full programme announced April 11th


ILFD 2017 VOUCHERS: A perfect gift for the book-lovers in your life!

Searching for a thoughtful gift for someone in your life? We’ve got the perfect solution: gift vouchers for the 2017 International Literature Festival Dublin are now available to purchase.

An ILFD gift voucher is the perfect personal gift for book lovers, literary enthusiasts or those who are looking to be inspired. The International Literature Festival Dublin runs from the 20th – 28th May 2017 and celebrates books, writers and literary excellency. Give your loved ones the opportunity to discover the best of homegrown and international writing talent at ILFD.

ILFD gift vouchers can be redeemed online or at the festival box office in advance of the 2017 Festival.

For orders made before Friday 9th of December, ILFD can post a special gift envelope containing your voucher. Please note you will also receive a voucher code by email.

Purchase vouchers here.

Terms & conditions apply.