Miriam Gamble

A poet and critic, Miriam’s first book, The Squirrels Are Dead, was published by Bloodaxe in 2010 and won a Somerset Maugham Award in 2011. Her second collection, Pirate Music, was also published by Bloodaxe in 2014. She has also won the Eric Gregory Award, the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary Award, and the Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize. She is a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, and co-editor of online journal Poetry Proper.


Eirin Thompson

Her debut novel Notes for the Next Time, originally written as her MA dissertation, was published by Hodder Headline in 2007.


Lisa Keogh

Playwright and film-maker, her work has been produced professionally in Dublin and Belfast. She completed her PhD at the Seamus Heaney Centre in 2010. Her first short film, Mute played at the 2011 Foyle Film Festival, and her second sort film (and directorial debut) Taking The Boat appeared at the 2013 Galway Film Fleadh. Scheme. Her second short film as writer/director, Thumb Wars, was funded by NI Screen and produced by Mighty Sprite. It has screened at the Galway Film Fleadh and the Belfast Film Festival 2014.

Lisa is currently working on her feature script, "The Dark Path" a supernatural drama in development with NI Screen as part of Emerging Auteurs Scheme. The script was first runner-up in NI Screen's New Talent Focus 2013/14. While some of her other projects include: "Pris O'Driscoll" - Feature-length script that received development funding from NI Screen. Optioned by KGB Films; "Platonic" - 30 Minute Comedy Drama Series set in Belfast. Optioned by Mighty Sprite Productions and "Fall from Grace" - feature-length adaptation of a Sara Maitland short story, commissioned & optioned by John McIldulf at Dumbworld.


Mary Lally

Playwright, short story writer and a winner of the Hennessy Award. She has written several children's books for Poolbeg including A Hive for the Honey-Bee and The Hungry Wind. Her play, ‘The Dark Daughter’is touring Leitrim, Donegal and Antrim under the aegis of the Donegal Blue Stack Festival this Autumn.


Ben Maier

A poet, actor, musician, playwright and renaissance man, Ben’s poems appear in The Salt Book of Younger Poets, Irish Pages and From the Fishouse – an online audio archive of emerging poets (  Currently completing his PhD at the Seamus Heaney Centre, his one-man-show An Imaginary Circus, has toured extensively, including a run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.


Maria McManus

Her plays include ‘His 'n' Hers’ (Replay Theatre Company, 2006), 'The Black Out Show' (Red Lead Arts, 2006) and ‘Nowhere Harder’ (Replay Theatre Company Script Lab, 2003). She is currently writer on attachment to Tinderbox Theatre Company. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry Introductions 1 (Lagan Press) and elsewhere, and in 2005 she won the Bedell Scholarship for Literature awarded by the Aspen Writers Foundation, Colorado. She was shortlisted for the 2007 Rupert and Eithne Strong Award for her collection, Reading the Dog, published by Lagan Press.


Kelly McCaughrain

Creative Writing graduate Kelly McCaughrain's Young Adult novel Flying Tips for Flightless Birds will be published early next year by Walker Books.


Darran McCann

Author whose debut novel, After the Lockout,was published by Fourth Estate in 2012. He was shortlisted for the Goldsboro & Historical Writers’ Association fiction prize 2013. His play, Confession, was produced by Accidental Theatre at the Brian Friel Theatre, Belfast, in 2008. He is a lecturer at the Seamus Heaney Centre, and is presently working on his second novel. 

Eoghan Walls

Won the prestigious Eric Gregory Award in 2006. His poetry has appeared in the British Council’s New Writingseries and elsewhere. His work has been published broadly in anthologies and journals, while The Salt Harvest, his first full length collection of poetry was shortlisted for the Short Award for Best First Collection in 2012. He is currently a lecture at Lancaster University. 

Paul Maddern

An acclaimed poet, as part of his PhD Paul established the Seamus Heaney Centre Digital Archive, an online resource of poets reading their work in public. In 2009 he won the Templar Poetry Pamphlet Prize, resulting in the publication of his first collection, Kelpdings. His collection, The Beachcomber’s Report, was nominated for the 2011 Eithne and Rupert Strong Award for Best Collection. He also won the Cecile N Musson Prize for Poetry at the 2012 Bermuda Literary Awards. 

Deirdre Alexander (nee Cartmill)

A published poet under the name Deirdre Cartmill, she has written for television, film and radio under the name Deirdre Alexander and has also worked as a script editor for BBC Northern Ireland. Deirdre won the 2003 Claddagh Films Award for her script 'Honk if you love Jesus' and her first poetry collection, Midnight Solo,was published by Lagan Press in 2004. She has also facilitated workshops for Poetry Ireland’s Writers in Schools scheme, Poetry in Motion, the WEA, ICTU, VOYPIC and BBC Blast, among others. 


Maureen Boyle

Won the Strokestown Poetry Competition in 2007 for her poem ‘Weather Vane’. Maureen was also runner-up for the 2004 Patrick Kavanagh Prize. Her poems have appeared in The Yellow Nib, Fortnight and elsewhere. She has received many Arts Council bursaries and in 2011 she was a recipient of an ACES –  an Artist’s Career Enhancement Award - from the Arts Council of  Northern Ireland. In 2013 she won the Fish Short Memoir Prize.

Anne Fitzgerald

Her poetry collections are Swimming Lessons (Wales, Stonebridge, 2001) and The Map of Everything(Dublin, Fortyfoot Press, 2006) and Beyond the Sea (Clare, Salmon, 2012). She has held The Ireland Fund Writer-in-Residency at The Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco.

While she has edited, produced and designed four anthologies of young adults' poetry: The Colour of the WorldThe Compass (Dublin, MET, 2003, 2004), Uncharted Voyage and Deep Canyons (Dublin, Loreto Abbey Dalkey, 2004, 2005). I founded MET Press and Loreto Abbey Dalkey Press; both educational publishing houses for schools.

Anne facilitates creative writing workshops with primary, post-primary and adults in schools and universities from: Glenstall Abbey to The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, from Wales to Beara Island, Iceland to New York, Idaho to Taos, and Montana to Monaco. 


Shannon Yee

MA in Creative Writing graduate Shannon Yee's 'Reassembled, Slightly Askew' continues to tour and now she has a new play with Belfast's Accidental Theatre 'All The Best Words'. Shannon also recently gained an Major Individual Award (worth £15,000) for her ongoing contribution to creative life in Northern Ireland. Dr Paul Stapleton has just been pronounced winner of the 2017 Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Research Impact for his work with 'Reassembled, Slightly Askew'. 



Sheena Wilkinson

Her debut novel, Taking Flight, was published by New Island in 2010, and won two prestigious Irish CBI Awards in 2011: The Honour Award for Fiction and the Children's Choice Award. Her second novel, Grounded, was published in 2013, and her third, Too Many Ponies, was published in 2013.


Sheila Llewellyn

Sheila’s radio play, The House on Shareni Street, won the 2012 Silver Award for Best Scheduled Broadcast Drama at the New York International Radio Drama Festival. She also won the 2011 PJ O’Connor Radio Drama Award 2011. She has been twice shortlisted for the Costa Short Story Award, in 2012 and 2014. She is a 2016 PhD graduate of Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre, with her debut novel, Walking Wounded, launching in January 2018. 

"An expertly imagined novel about war's long trail of damage, and about healing intentions gone savagely wrong. Walking Wounded will shock the reader - it is a fierce warning against medical arrogance". — Hilary Mantel 


Elizabeth Reapy

Elizabeth (EM) Reapy is an Irish writer and tutor and has published nationally and internationally; performed work in Ireland, the UK, USA, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand. She is currently a Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Writer-In-Residence with has a list of achievements to include, being awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, September 2017; shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Emerging Fiction Award, March 2017; shortlisted for 2017 Kate O’Brien Award; winner 2016 Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year at the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards for Red Dirt; nominated for Best Author in 2016 STELLAR Shine Awards; and winner of the Hennessy New Irish Writing (short story) in May 2016. She was also awarded an Arts Council Literature Bursary for her debut novel RED DIRT which was published 2016 (Head of Zeus). 

She is editor of online journal and founding director of Shore Writers' Festival. She has represented Ireland in PEN International New Voices Award and was one of six writers listed for the prize. '30 Under 30: A Selection of Literature by Thirty Young Irish Writers' - which she compiled and edited was published by Doire Press and chosen as Paperback of the Week by the Irish Times in March 2013. EM Reapy was featured in The Long Gaze Back:An Anthology of Irish Women Writers (New Island).


Briana Corrigan

Actress and musician – best known for her work with the Beautiful South – as well as a writer. Film appearances include The Honeymooners (2003) and The Most Fertile Man in Ireland (1999) and theatre work includes ‘The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Grainne’, which Briana co-wrote with Zoë Seaton.