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News Archive

Linen Hall’s Writers on Writers Festival is Back in May

The popular Linen Hall Writers on Writers Festival returns in May with a series of events focusing on the experience of reading, writing and publishing. We also announce the winner of the Michael McLaverty Short Story Award on Wednesday 15 May.

Former Belfast Telegraph picture editor and award-winning photojournalist Gerry Fitzgerald shares images from the worst years of the violence in his photographic exhibition News and Views opening 3 May. 

The schedule of events in date order is as follows:
Anonymous Was a Woman
Continues until 31 May/ exhibition/ free
The Linen Hall’s extensive collections and archives have been studied to highlight the advancements of women in Ireland. From the first female members of the Linen Hall to the election of Arlene Foster as First Minister of Northern Ireland in 2016 the exhibition explores a number of female firsts across education, work and politics.

 (This exhibition is in partnership with Public Record Office Northern Ireland and is part of Making the Future, a project supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).)

News and Views
Photographic exhibition by Gerry Fitzgerald
3 – 31 May/ exhibition/ free
Gerry Fitzgerald joined the Belfast Telegraph in 1979 becoming the youngest picture editor of the paper in 1993. He has won over 20 awards for his photography. This highly acclaimed exhibition depicts life in the province during the worst years of violence and was the first major contemporary photographic exhibition to be commissioned by the Ulster Museum.

It Only Takes a Minute
Staging Sexuality
Wednesday 8 May/ performance/ free
Funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, this new Linen Hall series of events taking place once a month explores LGBTQ+ themes inspired by the Linen Hall LGBTQ+ archive. This performance is a superb one-woman show performed by disabled actress Anna Kyle. The production focuses on the life of Michelle, a young female with Asperger’s syndrome. 

Irish Book Club
Thursday 9 May at 1.00pm/ reading group/ free
Speak Irish? Or want to brush up on your skills? Take part in our free Irish book club. This month the title for discussion is Súil  by Eithne Ní Gallchobhair. 


13 – 15 May
It’s back! This annual Linen Hall festival celebrates the best of Irish writing. This year the focus is on the experience of reading, writing and publishing. 

Fiction Writing Course
Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 May/ 10.00am – 5.00pm/ £300pp
Author Claire Keegan will direct this fiction writing course using works by John McGahern to explore and demonstrate the mechanics of writing and narrative structure. Participants will also examine the differences between the short story and the novel.

Michael McLaverty Short Story Award
Wednesday 15 May at 1.00pm/ award event/ free
The Michael McLaverty Short Story Award is given to foster and encourage the art of the Irish short story and to celebrate the archive of Michael McLaverty held at the Linen Hall. At the award event Dr Eamonn Hughes will discuss the significance of McLaverty’s work, and adjudicators of the award, writer Claire Keegan and publisher Patsy Horton, will announce the winning stories.

Reading with Claire Keegan
Wednesday 15 May at 6.00pm/ £3
2019 marks publishing house Faber and Faber’s 90th anniversary as a publisher of distinctive literature, shaping as well as reflecting our times through books and ideas. Claire Keegan will read from her book The Forester’s Daughter to mark the occasion.


Tracing the Ulster-Scots Imagination
With Professor Wesley Hutchinson
Tuesday 21 May at 1.00pm/ lecture/ £5
This is the first major study to present a wide-ranging and inclusive survey and analysis of Ulster-Scots culture over the centuries up to its most recent developments in the present revival. Wesley Hutchinson is Professor Emeritus in Irish Studies at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris.

Linen Hall Reading Group
Thursday 30 May at 1.10pm/ reading group/ free
Our popular reading group is open to the public and free to attend. This month’s title is To Keep a Bird Singing  by Kevin Doyle, who was the 2016 winner of the Linen Hall’s Michael McLaverty Short Story Award.

The Linen Hall Library is open free to the public Monday – Friday 9.30am- 5.30pm. 


 Pictures and interviews are available on request. Contact Linen Hall Library Head of Digital and Marketing Comms Rachel Wetherall at r.wetherall@linenhall.com or tel: 028 9032 1707.



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