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. 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, while her second sort film (and directorial debut) Taking The Boat, will appear at the 2013 Galway Film Fleadh.


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.


Darran McCann

Author whose debut novel, After the Lockout, was published by Fourth Estate in 2012. He completed her PhD at the Seamus Heaney Centre in 2010. Shortlisted for the Goldsboro & Historical Writers’ Association fiction prize 2013. 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 Writing series and elsewhere. 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)

Currently working 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.


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.


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. A graduate of the MA programme, she is currently writing her debut novel, as part of her PhD in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre.


Elizabeth Reapy

Elizabeth (EM) Reapy is editor of online journal and founding director of Shore Writers' Festival. She was selected as Tyrone Guthrie's Exchange Writer in Residence to Varuna Writers' House in Australia in 2012. She 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).   She was awarded an Arts Council Literature Bursary for her debut novel RED DIRT which was published 2016 (Head of Zeus)


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.


Anne Fitzgerald

Her poetry collections are Swimming Lessons (Wales, Stonebridge, 2001) and The Map of Everything (Dublin, Fortyfoot Press, 2006). She is a recent holder of The Ireland Fund Writer-in-Residency at The Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco.