It's official! Listowel Writer's Week is launched!

Liberties Press had the pleasure of attending the launch of Listowel Writer's Week this evening (6/04/11). As always, this is a much anticipated event but it is extra special this time as Listowel Writer's Week celebrates its 40th anniversary. In the forward of the 2011 Programme, Chairman Michael Lynch remembers the words of wisdom spoken to him by Bryan MacMahon after the first ever Writer's Week. MacMahon advised him to "keep one foot in the cow dung", an appeal to recognise one's roots and keep things simple. It can certainly be said that this has been achieved, with Listowel Writer's Week's continued and invaluable emphasis on the written and spoken word and the depth it brings to Irish life.

The launch was indeed a celebratory affair! The large crowd spilled out of The Mansion House, listening as the various speakers - including Chairman Michael Lynch; Director of Corporate Affairs, Kerry Group Frank Hayes; and Senator Joe O' Toole - reminisced about all that has gone before and regaled us with all that is still to come!

The short list for the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award, with a prize fund of €20,000, was also announced. The short-list consists of Emma Donoghue’s Room; Neil Jordan's Mistaken; Claire Keegan's Foster; Joseph O’Connor's Ghost Light; and The Holy Thief by William Ryan. Frank Hayes stated, "...The Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award, now entering its 16th year, continues to be a much sought after accolade in the Irish literary calendar. I would like to congratulate our two adjudicators Kate O’Toole and John Boland for selecting this year’s shortlist which showcases the range and strength of Irish fiction writing."

Senator Joe O'Toole had the honour of officially launching the festival, a duty he carried out with humour and warmth.

After much mingling and with the week's programme finally in our hands, we left, eager to flick through and certain we would feel unable to wait until the 1st June!

A huge thank you to the Listowel Writer's Week Committee for a wonderful evening.

Liberties Press are also delighted to announce that their author Gerry O'Carroll will be taking part in this year's Ruby Anniversary Festival! Gerry will be speaking at 6.30pm on Friday 3rd June in The Plaza Centre. One of Ireland's leading serious crime detectives, his book The Gathering of Souls is a gripping debut fiction and an authentic tale of obsession, revenge, and redemption.