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Join the Royal Society of Literature and Arts Council Northern Ireland for a day of activity, shining a spotlight on the outstanding writers and writing of Northern Ireland, hosted by award-winning writer Paul McVeigh. A seminar, workshop, and panel discussion aim to inspire you to you revisit, be inspired by, and recommend your most loved Northern Irish writers.
In this online panel discussion, chaired by Paul McVeigh, we celebrate some of the finest Northern Irish writers working across form and genre today. Short-story writer Wendy Erskine, novelist Glenn Patterson, playwright Shannon Yee and poet and Chair of the RSL Daljit Nagra, will discuss their work, routes into writing and the Northern Irish literary scene.
Wendy Erskine’s short story collection Sweet Home (2018 Stinging Fly, 2019 Picador) won the Butler Literary Award, was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize and the Republic of Consciousness Prize, and was longlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize and the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award for the story ‘Inakeen.’ Her stories and non-fiction have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4, and on RTE. She hosts a show on Soho Radio for Rough Trade Books and is a full-time secondary school teacher.
Daljit Nagra is a poet and Chair of the RSL. Daljit's first collection, Look We Have Coming to Dover!, won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2007. Daljit is the inaugural Poet in Residence for Radio 4/4 Extra, and among his other duties, he presents Poetry Extra, a weekly programme on Radio 4 Extra. He is a Senior Lecturer of Creative Writing at Brunel University London.
Glenn Patterson was born, and lives, in Belfast. A founding patron of Fighting Words Belfast, he is Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen's University, Belfast. He was the 2016 Heimbold Visiting Chair of Irish Studies at Villanova University and before that, in 2013, Ireland Fund Artist-in-Residence at St Michael's College, University of Toronto.
Paul McVeigh's debut novel, The Good Son, won The Polari First Novel Prize and The McCrea Literary Award. It was shortlisted for The Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award, the Prix du Roman Cezam in France and a finalist for The People’s Book Prize. The Good Son was chosen as Brighton’s City Reads 2016 and was given out as part of World Book Night 2017. Paul has written comedy, essays, flash fiction, a novel, plays and short stories, and his work has been performed on radio, stage and television, and published in seven languages.
Shannon Yee is an award-winning writer/ creative producer. Her perspectives as an immigrant, biracial ethnic minority (Chinese/Caucasian), queer artist-mother with a disability (brain injury) living in Northern Ireland are deeply embedded in her work. Shannon is working on her first short story collection. Her short story, The Brightening Up Side, published in Belfast Stories (Doire Press, 2019) addresses new motherhood, racism and tenacity in North Belfast. This December, she was published in Queer Love: An Irish Anthology.
The RSL believes that literature is at its best when it includes voices from the greatest breadth of backgrounds and experiences from across the UK. Through the RSL Open Fellowship programme, we’re electing 60 RSL Fellows from communities under-represented in UK literature – particularly writers outside of London, writers of colour, working class writers, and LGBTQ+ writers.
Tickets are free. Register for one or all of the sessions.
Presented in partnership with Arts Council Northern Ireland.