14 July 2023
By Elaine Murphy
The Spike Island Literary Festival returns to former prison with a thrilling line-up of crime-writers.
The Spike Island Literary Festival is set to make a return from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 August, following the resounding success of its inaugural event in 2022. Dedicated to the captivating theme of crime writing, this year’s festival promises to be an unforgettable experience for literary enthusiasts – from book lovers to budding writers – taking place on a unique island location with a dark history of four prisons spanning over 400 years.
The 2023 Spike Island Literary Festival boasts a stellar line-up of esteemed authors, including Alice Bell, Sam Blake, Amanda Cassidy, Tadhg Coakley, Cónal Creedon, Amy Cronin, Catherine Ryan Howard, Arlene Hunt, Catherine Kirwin, Andrea Mara, Michelle McDonagh, and Kitty Murphy. With such a remarkable array of talent, attendees can expect an experience filled with suspense, mystery, and intrigue.
The festival commences on Friday 18th August with a special performance by two much-loved Cork writers – author Cónal Creedon and singer-songwriter John Spillane. The longtime friends and collaborators are renowned for works such as Follow Your Nose and Princes Street which resonate with audiences both locally and beyond.
With a diverse programme, the festival offers a range of event formats to suit every taste. Author Michelle Dunne will lead a series of panel discussions, where some of Ireland and the UK’s foremost thriller writers will reveal their writing methods, inspirations, and the process of developing unforgettable characters. Throughout the festival, visitors to the island also will have the chance to enjoy open-air readings and performances in unique locations. For the aspiring authors amongst us, writers can submit the first three chapters of their next work in advance and receive invaluable feedback and advice from industry insiders.
Festival organiser and author Michelle Dunne said, “The second Spike Island Literary Festival will have something for everyone. We have so many international best-selling authors coming to let us in on their writing secrets and meet their fellow crime fiction fans, but in addition to household names like Catherine Ryan Howard, Sam Blake, Arlene Hunt, Andrea Mara (to name but a few) we’ll also be introducing readers to a new wave of breakout talent, like Alice Bell. Budding authors will have the rare opportunity to meet with a world class literary agent to discuss their work and there will be free pop-up readings to be enjoyed by anyone visiting the island.”
She continued, “We had a lot of visitors last year who told us that they don’t normally attend book events, but loved it nonetheless. This isn’t *just* a book event. It’s a fantastic day out for all the family. Come and enjoy it!”
In addition to the captivating literary events, visitors will be treated to a short guided tour upon arrival, offering insights into the darker tales from Spike Island’s storied past. It’s the perfect setting to immerse yourself in a world of gripping storytelling as some of Ireland and the UK’s foremost authors descend on the historic island.
Tickets for all events are on sale now at https://www.spikeislandcork.ie/spike-island-literary-festival-2023/