Emily Barr

As a child, Emily listened to the sound of the type-writer, as her father, a professor of film studies, wrote books on the subject. “I always wanted to write, and wrote terrible poetry as a teen,…

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Katherine Arden

It took Katherine a long time to decide to become a writer. “I wrote a lot in high school,” she says, “but when I went to college I wanted to be a diplomat and travel the…

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Review. Paul Howard. I Read the News Today, Oh Boy

If you take the Sally Gap road out of the Co Wicklow village of Roundwood, you reach one of the most beautiful views in the whole of Ireland. I’d been there often, looking down into a…

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Writer Helena Mulkerns, photograph by Conor Horgan

Helena Mulkerns

Daughter of an independent film maker, and niece of an author, Helena has always been encouraged to read and write. “I wrote stories in copy books, and even had a table of contents.” After college, Helena…

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Karl Geary

A dyslexic, who was terrified of books, Karl left school without exams. Leaving Dublin for New York at 16, he started reading, loving the vibrant arts scene in East Village. “When you need to fill gaps…

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Seán Ó Súilleabháin

  Seán has written plays since he was a teenager. “I was greatly encouraged at my school, and I wrote plays in college too.” Originally keen to become a journalist, Seán soon realised the job was…

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Deirdre Purcell

Marian Lescher, the lead character in Deirdre Purcell’s new novel, is a journalist. A freelancer, she is delighted when she’s offered a job on a start-up magazine. She has to interview someone every week, and produce…

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Max Dickins

Max got into writing at university. “My confidence to write came through other things,” he says. “I got into performing sketch and stand-up comedy. I loved that idea of taking something and performing it, and getting…

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Review. Lara by Anna Pasternak

The book and movie, Doctor Zhivago, show the passionate love between Yuri Zhivago and Lara, the nurse for whom he betrays his wife. Set between the Russian revolution and the Second World War, it depicts the…

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Lesley Allen

Visits to the library were once the highlight of Lesley Allen’s life. She loved writing too. “I always penned stories. I wrote plays, and my dolls acted them out.” Lesley worked, unhappily, in PR before sidestepping…

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Erik Beck Rubin

Erik got into writing through his passion for reading. “I wrote for the university newspaper, then started writing the stories that weren’t there for me to read.” An amateur pianist, Erik gained his love of classical…

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Robert Harris

Robert Harris never meant to write novels. A political journalist, who, at 30, moved from the BBC to become political editor of the Observer, he enjoyed writing longer pieces; and between 1982 and 1990, he penned five…

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