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Limerick Literary Festival 2021 Limerick Literary Festival 2021


Short List announced for the Kate O’Brien award at the Limerick Literary Festival 2021



Limerick Literary Festival 2021 returns online from February 26 to 28 broadcast from Limerick City

Short List announced for the Kate O’Brien award at the Limerick Literary Festival 2021

The Short List has been announced for the Kate O’Brien award at the Limerick Literary Festival 2021.

The Award will be presented as part of the 37th annual Limerick Literary Festival in Honour of Kate O’Brien in February 2021. It is one of Ireland’s most vibrant and successful festivals which has been running since 1984 and it showcases in a diverse and eclectic programme the best in Irish and international contemporary literature. The event continues to celebrate the life and works of the author, while attracting prominent participants from all over the world. It is an inspiring mix of both discourse and discussion. 




Building on this significant history, the Limerick Literary Festival seeks to promote Limerick nationally as a place of literary excellence and to provide a platform where readers can meet their favourite authors and other readers.

The Festival takes place online from February 26 to 28 broadcast from Limerick City. The event continues to honour the life and works of the Limerick author while attracting prominent participants from all over the world.

Following a difficult year and anticipating ongoing restrictions the festival returns for 2021 in a digital format to allow book lovers continued access to the programme of events. For 2021 the festival will focus on the Irish Writer at Home and Abroad where some of the best names in Irish literature invite you to join them from their home to yours.

The winner of the award will be chosen from the following shortlist; 

The Temple House Vanishing by Rachel Donoghue

Oona by Alice Lyons

A Quiet Tide by Marianne Lee

As You Were by Elaine Feeney

Big Girl Small Town by Michelle Gallen

This Happy by Niamh Campbell

Shortlist judge Vivienne McKechnie commented on the high standard of all the submissions.

“It has been a wonderful year of debut novels for Irish female writers, the standard was very high this year with a wide range of genres including crime, intrigue, romance, as well as literary fiction and short stories, with so many submissions of such high calibre that it was impossible to reduce the shortlist to four and we felt that the six chosen represented the wonderful range of talent emerging in Ireland today.

“We have a very strong shortlist and it will be difficult to choose a winner. We were delighted by the imaginative journeys we were taken on” 

The panel of readers for the award included Limerick Literary Festival Committee members Vivienne McKechnie, Eileen O’Connor, Marie Hackett and alongside Donal Ryan and Niall MacMonagle. 

The Kate O’Brien Award comes with an E2000 cash Prize sponsored by Bill and Denise Whelan. The festival programme for 2021 includes talks, interviews, panel discussions, poetry, and more to be announced will be presented digitally for 2021.

As always the Limerick Literary Festival promises an exciting lineup of writers, readers and events with a focus for 2021 on Readers and Writers at Home in the pandemic.

The Festival officially opens on Friday, February 26 at 9 p.m. with a broadcast of festival committee members Vivienne McKechnie, Eileen O’Connor and Marie Hackett discussing the history of the festival, the journey they have been on as a festival for the last 12 months, the challenges we have faced as a society and how the programme responds to those challenges. 

The festival programme continues then over Saturday, February 27 and Sunday, February, 28 presenting the Kate O’Brien Award to best novel/short story collection by a debut Irish female writer, with 6 writers shortlisted for the award in 2021.

They will have contributors join them both live and pre-recorded over the course of the weekend with highlights to include Négar Djavadi, French-Iranian author, whose sensational first novel Désorientales, has been translated in more than 15 languages and awarded prizes in France and abroad, in conversation with Cliona ni Riordan, from the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, in association with the French Embassy in Dublin, Dermot Bolger discussing finding himself writing from home in 2020, Dr Niamh Fitzpatrick discussing her work on grief and loss in a time of Covid 19, Limerick Native and Children’s Author Julian Gough live from his adopted home in Berlin, Sinead Gleeson in conversation with Vivienne McKechnie, Sara Baume in conversation with Eileen O’Connor, poet Katie Donovan  discussing  her work to date, Manchán McGann in conversation with Kerri Ní Dochtaraigh and finally a panel discussion on the changes to literary publishing in 2020 with a variety of Irish, British and French publishers. 

Events for this year’s festival will be presented online and will be free of charge, available to book through Eventbrite. 

Once again there is much to enjoy for the young and the not so young at the 2021 edition of the Limerick Literary Festival in honour of Kate O’Brien celebrating established and debut writers, artists, books and readers. They hope you can join them and look forward to your participation in this very special festival.


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For more stories on Limerick Literary Festival go HERE 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.