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Top children's writers for Literary Festival

June 8th, 2018 5:50 PM

By Southern Star Team

Mary Watson, writer from South Africa.

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AWARD-winning poet and performer Inua Ellams, and award winning author Louise O’Neill, are part of the exciting children’s and young adults’ programme at this summer’s West Cork Literary Festival, which runs from Friday July 13th to 20th.

Inua Ellams will give a free poetry workshop in Bantry Library on Saturday, July 14th at 10am. Aimed at teenagers from 14 to 18, it will look at poems that address identity and cultural stereotypes. Identity, displacement and destiny are recurring themes in Inua’s work in which he mixes the old with the new, traditional with the contemporary.

Clonakilty native Louise O’Neill will read from her new novel The Surface Breaks in St Brendan’s School Hall on Saturday, July 14th at 2.30pm. 

The Young Adult programme also includes: a reading by Mary Watson, the South African writer who was included on the Hay Festival’s 2014 Africa39 list of influential writers from sub-Saharan Africa; a reading from I Am Thunder by British-born Pakistani writer Muhammad Khan; a free teenage workshop called #IamIrish which is an international creative movement exploring perceptions of Colour, Culture, Identity and Heritage; and A Reading and Writing Life, featuring three of the Festival writers Muhammad Khan, Chibundu Onuzo and Joseph O’Neill. Popular local writer, E.R. Murray, also returns to read from her latest book The Book of Revenge.

Other free events include two Fighting Words workshops in St Brendan’s Hall, one for 8 to 10 year olds and the other for 12 to 14 year olds. 

In these workshops, students develop a collaborative story while an illustrator brings their ideas to life. The Fighting Words programme was developed by Roddy Doyle and involves a lot of laughs while drawing out the students’ fabulous ideas. Mary Watson will also lead a free workshop for teenagers of 14 to 18 years old called Familiar Pleasures: Writing Tropes in YA Fiction in Bantry Library. Booking is required for all free events.

The programme has been developed as part of West Cork Literary Festival’s involvement in READ ON, a 48-month, European project that aims to reignite a passion for reading amongst young people, specifically focused on those between the ages of 12 and 19. 

It is delivered through seven partner organisations across six EU countries (Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the UK). The Irish component is delivered by West Cork Music in collaboration with Cork County Library & Arts Service. 

For more events and ticket information see www.westcorkliteraryfestival.ie for more. 

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