Northern Irish Writing Flourishing – Lucy Caldwell, Olivia Fitzsimons and Michelle Gallen in conversation with Neil Hegarty

Northern Irish fiction is thriving in the variety of form and genre of work being published now: crime writing, speculative fiction, memoir, historical fiction and writing for young people. Of course, this is not new, many brilliant writers from here have been telling their stories for decades, Brian Moore, Marie Jones, Robert McLiam Wilson, Frances Molloy, Deirdre Madden and Eoin McNamee, to name but a few.

The Troubles have loomed large over many stories, but recent years have seen a change of the literature and its response to the conflict that has defined the entire country for so long. There has lately been a remarkable flourishing, particularly in those works of fiction with themes of intimacy, identity and questions of community and belonging at their core. The works are innovative and urgent and compelling. They deal with the sometimes messy and challenging lives of their protagonists in a nuanced and sympathetic way.

To engage with fiction like this is an invitation to explore personal identity and the politics of place in a new way and we are very pleased to bring this event to the festival.

Neil Hegarty, himself a talented writer (Impermanence (ed.), The Jewel) will moderate what promises to be a fascinating discussion with three writers whose work displays an impressive, layered and sometimes devilishly funny rendering of life in Northern Ireland.

Michelle Gallen, from Tyrone, has published two books to date, Big Girl, Small Town and Factory Girls, and with them has firmly established herself as a writer with an unmistakable voice. Olivia Fitzsimons, from County Down, burst onto the scene this year when her book The Quiet Whispers Never Stop was published and Lucy Caldwell is an award-winning writer and playwright from Belfast whose most recent book is These Days.

Kindly sponsored by St Francis Credit Union and Ennis Medical Centric Health

Venue: Temple Gate Hotel
Cost: €12/€10

Tickets available online and from glór box office. (065 6843103 – open from 10am to 2.30pm Monday to Friday and from 12pm to 5pm on Saturdays).


  • Date : 4 March 2023
  • Time : 6:00 pm (UTC)
  • Venue : Temple Gate Hotel