Elizabeth Strout

AT a recent literary event, a young pregnant woman approached the author Elizabeth Strout, and said she felt scared. “She said, ‘I’m about to have a baby for the first time. I’ve read your books and…

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Jon McGregor

JON MCGREGOR was just 26 when he published his first novel back in 2002. When If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, he was delighted, if surprised. But when two…

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Eithne Shortall

Eithne has always wanted to achieve things young. She was first published aged 11, receiving £20 for a poem. At 21, she joined The Sunday Times, but took a break after a year to live in…

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Phil Harrison

Brought up in the Presbyterian background in Belfast, Phil wanted to be a footballer – he played at a high amateur level throughout his twenties. Meanwhile, he worked for a consultancy, leaving after two years in…

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Andrea Mara

Andrea’s family moved around a lot; from Mallow to Tullamore; to Carrigaline, and finally, to Dublin. Andrea has always believed in the power of words. She debated at school, but went on to work as a…

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Sally Rooney

Sally Rooney has always written fiction, but she concentrated on poetry in her teens. When she took her Masters at Trinity, she was working in two different jobs. “I worked in a restaurant, and at Trinity,…

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Sheena Kamal

THE first time Sheena Kamal lived in Vancouver she hated the city. Wanting the cheapest possible rent, she lived in the wrong part of town, an area she describes as the heroin capital of Canada, and…

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Arja Kajermo

Arja’s early childhood in Finland was mired in poverty. Her father had been damaged after fighting in the second world war. “Finland had to fight the Russians twice under different circumstances.” When she was six, the…

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William Wall

WILLIAM WALL is no stranger to literary prizes. He’s won many, including the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award, the Virginia Faulkner Award and the Seán Ó Faoláin Prize. But winning the Drue Heinz Literature Prize in America…

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Wexford Literary Festival

Many thanks to author Carmel Harrington (pictured,) for inviting me to take part in the Reader’s Day at the Wexford Literary Festival this year.  I talked about ghostwriting to an amazingly receptive audience, who showed enormous…

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Neil Hegarty

In 1998, leaving university, Neil worked as an editor for a dot com travel company. Then, turning 30, he started sketching out a novel. And though the idea for his debut came some 10 years ago,…

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Caroline Preston

As a solicitor, a partner and head of department at A &L Goodbody, Caroline’s writing was confined to letters and reports. And when she came across some interesting family history, researched it, and wanted to write…

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