Sunday 22 September 2019

Literary Diary

The late Maeve Binchy at her home in Dalkey
The late Maeve Binchy at her home in Dalkey

Madeleine Keane

Just home from a magical month spent learning French at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris's captivating Latin Quarter, my spirits are lifted by the literary riches in the pipeline here.

First up is Culture Night which takes place on Friday, September 20, and I'm especially excited about the launch of MoLI, the Museum of Literature Ireland, which will open its doors in the exquisitely restored Newman House on St. Stephen's Green.

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A significant creative alliance between UCD and the National Library of Ireland, MoLI will celebrate our literary culture and heritage from the past to the present. Tickets for visits from Saturday September 21 are now available to purchase at moli.ie

Then follows Echoes festival. The Dalkey-based literary weekend (October 4-6), held in honour of the much missed Maeve Binchy, this year celebrates community in contemporary writing in Ireland. With a diverse line-up of writers, among them Olivia O'Leary, Carlo Gebler, Chris Binchy and Lynn Ruane, highlights include a discussion on Ireland's collective identity as an island nation, how real life is reflected in modern fiction, and the adventures of Irish writers abroad. Half and full-day tickets from €30 at echoes.ie, with an early bird offer until September 15.

Finally, let's hear it for the exciting new voices in our midst. Felicitations to the 10 shortlisted authors who were chosen from more than 2,000 entries for RTE's Radio 1 Short Story Competition in honour of Francis MacManus.

One of Ireland's longest established and most significant literary competitions, it's been championing new talent for decades. Judges Liz Nugent, Declan Meade and Sinead Crowley had the daunting task of whittling down the talent.

The shortlisted entrants will have their stories produced for radio broadcast, voiced by actors Emmet Kirwan, Janet Moran, Ruth McGill, Andrew Bennett and Eamon Morrissey.

Winners will be announced on September 10 and broadcast on Radio 1 from September 16.

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