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UL/Frank McCourt Creative Writing Festival set to ignite a creative flame

This May Bank Holiday Weekend, from May 3rd to 6th, the Frank McCourt Creative Writing Summer School at the University of Limerick has the potential to ignite a creative flame and inspire new generations of budding authors, Shannon Group Chairman Rose Hynes has stated.

Speaking at the launch of the four-day festival named after one of Limerick’s great authors, Ms Hynes said that there will be endless inspiration from an impressive cast of luminaries from the creative world assembled for the event.

The line-up, she added, reflects Limerick’s place in the world of creative writing.

Sponsored by Shannon Group, the event will feature readings by and interviews with multiple award-winning authors and experts such as Kevin Barry, Joseph O’Connor, Marian Keyes, Donal Ryan, Sarah Moore Fitzgerald, Bob Geldof and Kerry Neville.

The event opens on the Thursday evening with award-winning young-adult author and journalist Anna Carey talking about her Mollie novels about teenage girls in the Irish suffragette movement and other elements. One of the high points of Friday’s programme will be Marian Keyes ‘in conversation’ with Joseph O’Connor in her first public interview in Limerick, the city of her birth. Keyes has, for over 20 years, been writing funny, internationally bestselling fiction about modern women in the modern world.

On Saturday, O’Connor, who is Professor of Creative Writing at UL, will turn his attentions to an interview on creativity, activism, prose and poetry with Bob Geldof, the best-selling memoirist, multiple award-winning songwriter, frontman of The Boomtown Rats, activist, philanthropist and producer/presenter of A Fanatic Heart – his internationally acclaimed recent television documentary on Yeats.

Another treat for literary fans will be Sunday’s live recording by the RTE Radio 1 programme ‘Sunday Miscellany’ that will feature a host of musicians and writers with UL connections, including Joseph O’Connor, Donal Ryan, Martin Dyar, Mary O’Malley and Sarah Moore Fitzgerald. Grateful acknowledgement is made to ‘RTE Supporting the Arts’ for their assistance to the Festival.

Sunday will also include an illustrated lecture by Professor Eoin Devereux on his life-long relationship with punk music. There will also be illustrated lectures, talks on relevant items such as submitting work to publishers, creative writing classes, and a talk on ‘Food as Storytelling – an Irish Literary Brunch’ by food writer and editor Rachael Kealy. Said Rose Hynes: “Limerick, the Mid-West and wider West of Ireland region has got a magnificent cultural heritage, not least in creative writing, and this event is inspired by one of our great authors, Frank McCourt. With that heritage, it’s no surprise that it would be able to assemble such an illustrious cast for this wonderful creative writing festival. You only have to look at the exciting programme to know why Shannon Group didn’t have to think twice about coming on board as a sponsor. “Those who attend will hear from inspirational people who pursued their dream, stuck with it through thick and thin and succeeded. It promises to be a brilliant and stimulating weekend.”

Joseph O’Connor commented: “Shannon Airport has long been a part of the story of Limerick, of the Midwest region, of Ireland and beyond. Their sponsorship of our Creative Writing Festival has been central to its success. They get what are doing, they share our ambition for the Festival, and we are grateful to them for their understanding and support.”

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