What you said…

‘International standard with a local touch’,  ‘lovely friendly staff’ ,  ‘your volunteers were amazing, helpful and welcoming’,   ‘really great job, lovely atmosphere created’



Yoga with Mary Duane

9:30-11:00AM Choose From:
Cat Hogan headshot
A. Cat Hogan
Couch to 100k’ – Kickstart your writing and go the distance.
In the space of two years, Cat Hogan has written and published two best sellers while raising a pair of little boys and running her own content marketing business. People often say- ‘I think I have a book in me’. If anyone can motivate you to write that book, screenplay, play, or collection of short stories- it’s her.
Drawing on her own experience, Cat will inspire you by busting the writing myths, teach you the tools and tricks- the outline and the nuts and bolts of the novel writing process. Prompts and exercises will be given to help you jump over any mental blocks. Writers block?!- What writers block. Finally, she’ll show you how to sprinkle a bit of magic on your work.
John Curran
B. John Curran
Agatha Christie: A Life of Crime
How did Agatha Christie, an otherwise unremarkable woman, with no formal education, and no family background in writing produce the world’s best-selling and most-translated books, as well as the longest-running play in theatre history, The Mousetrap?
Using many examples from her own Notebooks as guide, Dr. John Curran examines her life, her output and her legacy and describes how her half-century of crime-writing earned her the title ‘Queen of Crime’.
C. Margaret O’Brien
“… And catch the heart off guard and blow it open”
is a writing workshop where you are supported to write and develop an appreciation of your own potential for creativity, based on the Amherst Writers & Artists philosophy – ‘a trust in the inherent talent in people and trust in the power of writing as a process’. The emphasis will be on generating first drafts and identifying what is strong, vivid and memorable in your writing.
The workshop is inventive and fun with writing exercises to spark your creativity. Suitable for beginners who want to try creative writing for the first time, and also more experienced writers who want to re-energize their practice. You will observe, remember, imagine and, of course, write.
11:30-1:00PM           Choose From:
Lorna Sixsmith
A. Lorna Sixsmith
How to Market Your Book Using Social Media:
Lorna Sixsmith uses blogging, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram to promote her three books and believes that social media is very closely linked to traditional marketing as her use of social media has led to her being featured in various newspapers and magazines in Ireland and the UK. She will show you how to build a following, encourage buyers, engage with readers, and create compelling content across all of the social media platforms.
This workshop won’t contain instructions for setting up social media accounts. It will be focusing on how each platform works best for authors, sharing examples of good content and concentrating on inspiring ideas for marketing your own books. Note:  FULLY BOOKED
Kieran Cronin
B. Kieran Cronin
From the Dunbrody to the Somme: tales and sails of the William Graves & Sons company of New Ross

Since the founding of the company in 1811, the story of the William Graves and Sons company is a tale of entrepreneurship, innovation and success on a global arena. This southeast business dynasty was synonymous with a diverse range of commercial activities including merchant shipping, ship building, timber mills, felt roofing and hay barn construction. This workshop will include a genealogy of the key protagonists and focus on the scope and contents of the papers and artefacts contained in what has been described by an expert in the National Archive as the most significant shipping archive in existence in Ireland.

The ship synonymous with the story of Graves is the Dunbrody, a three masted Barque, built in 1845 in Quebec, Canada. It was designed initially to carry cargoes of timber from Canada, fertilizer from South America, and cotton from Southern United states.

At the outset of the Great Irish Famine, Graves refitted their cargo vessels to carry passengers to North America. A replica of the Dunbrody ship now resides on the Quays in New Ross, a symbol of the mass immigration which took place in Ireland during the 19th century.

Personal correspondence, shipping manifests, original passenger receipts and a dedicated company roll of honour are some of the artefacts which will be accessible on the day. Utilising a case study approach to the archive, a selection of primary artefacts will be deciphered and examined within their broader context supported by genealogical resources Ancestry, Findmypast and the British Newspaper Archive. Following the workshop, attendees will have gained a greater insight into the many hidden gems of the archive and an appreciation of its value as not just a historical resource but as a stimulus for creative writing.

Hazel Percival
C. Hazel Percival
Tips and Advice for Book Clubs and Readers: A discussion forum for readers and book club members with Hazel Percival, Senior Executive Librarian with Wexford County Council Public Library Service. Talk about your favourite books and find some new authors; explore genres, reading habits and how to critically analyse.
Be part of the group that recommends the 12 best reads list for book clubs from Write By The Sea; get some tips and take a look at how social media and online databases can be used to keep your book club vibrant .

Choose From:

A. Marcus Connaughton
Writing For Radio
B. Peter Murphy
Foxhole Prayers – How Writing saves Your Life
An informal talk, reading and Q&A encompassing Peter’s fiction, spoken word work, and extracts from a brand new semi-autobiographical prose poem entitled The Legend of Cursed Murphy. It’ll turn your hair white.
C. Helen Williams
This workshop will analyse the conventional, three act screen play. It will offer techniques and methods to help writers identify and stay focused on the deeper thematic and emotional dimensions that are necessary to create a natural and organic story structure. The workshop will also offer tips on how to write good comedy and will study some of the techniques used to create great romantic comedies such as WHEN HARRY MET SALLY and AS GOOD AS IT GETS.


Peter Murphy portrait by Caolan Barron
helen williams
“This is a great festival in a great part of the country, and I’m really looking forward to it, and to meeting Dervla again. She’s a legend, and one ahead of me in that she got from Ireland to India on a bicycle, but when I went the other way I needed an engine.” – Geoff Hill
Travel Writers, Geoff Hill & Dervla Murphy  in Interview with Jackie Hayden

We are delighted our special guest Dervla Murphy will participate in our festival this year. The doyenne of travel writers began her famous journeys fifty years ago when she cycled from Dunkirk in France through the Middle East to Delphi in India. She has written over 20 books about her various adventures and her travels in Cuba, Palestine, Siberia and many others places. Dervla will be joined by Belfast-based travel writer Geoff Hill who has circumnavigated the globe on his trusty motorcycle. He has written many books about his adventures such as “Way to go” and “Around Australia on a Triumph”.  Join these two authors for what promises to be a fascinating interview.

Dervla Murphy
Geoff Hill


€5 Cover Charge

Situated in Wexford, twins Brandon and Ashley combine to create The Ocelots. They have crafted their songwriting and musical experience together to produce a forceful blend of rich harmonies and bare, raw acoustic folk. The Ocelots started originally through busking around Ireland, before playing their music throughout many stages all across Europe.

The brothers are known for their ability to capture an audience, with mesmerising melody and variety meeting their charm and wit on stage. Brandon and Ashley showcase their music through random pop up videos online, where they get to perform under bridges and outside city halls.



Meditation Walk with Marie Christine

10:00-12:00     Choose From:
C. Tom Mooney – Journalism
This journalism workshop will explain the definition of news, how to source it and how to write and compile reports. Other aspects will include styles of writing – hard news and features – and how to get articles published and avoid costly errors. ..defamation.
A. Sarah Webb 
Writing For Children


B. Fiona O’Rourke
Developing Characters in Fiction


Sarah Webb
Donal Ryan
interviewed by Peter Murphy

Author of three number one bestselling novels and a short story collection Donal has won three Irish Book Awards, the EU Prize for Literature and the Guardian First Book Award. His debut novel, The Spinning Heart, was shortlisted for the Impac Dublin Literary Award and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2013 and was recently voted Irish Book of the Decade.

Geoff Hill
A. Thomas McCarthy & Joe Neal
Readings and Q&A
B. Geoff Hill
Falling Off Motorcycles, A Beginner’s Guide
Thomas McCarthy
3:45-5:00PM     Choose From:
A.  Joe Neal
The Spark That Makes A Poem : As children we’re made to learn by heart poems that are chosen for us by people for whom they too were once chosen – and back in time until the poet wasn’t famous yet. Trouble is, these poems we were forced to learn contain images we often don’t come to appreciate until we’re nearly dead!



So let’s read some poems out aloud, hear them, see them and tease out the spark that makes them live.

B. Barbara Scully
Finding Your Voice Through Blogging: In this workshop, Barbara will share her experience of harnessing the power of social media along with finding an audience for her work online before being able to pitch for paid work in the media. Barbara will outline the value of blogging for developing your writing skills and discipline of posting regularly.

Discussing the importance of finding your own voice – something which eluded Barbara for some time, inspiration and entertainment is guaranteed.

C. Jackie Hayden
Music Journalism Workshop :Having spent three decades as a music journalist and contributing editor with Hot Press magazine, author Jackie Hayden talks about the fun and challenges of writing about music, as well as meeting and interviewing top Irish and international artists.
Billy Roche
Reading a new short story inspired by the painting THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT by Jan de Beer. The story is called TAKING FLIGHT.
Jackie Hayden
Festival Wrap Up
Billy Roche