The programme for this dropped through the letter box this morning, though I'd already booked for the talks I wanted to hear. The Festival runs from Tuesday 4 September to Sunday 9 September and takes place in and around The Pavilion in Dunlaoghaire. As well as eminent speakers on literary matters, it includes several workshops and one-to-ones on various aspects of writing, as well as an increased section dealing with poetry.
There appear to be fewer internationally acclaimed award-winning writers speaker at the Festival this year. A pity as these names are a huge draw and they are guaranteed to attract the interest of novelists and authors
Writer of award winning historical novels, Phillipa Gregory speaking on Friday evening is my first choice. She holds a PhD for her work on 18th century novels and their readership, and in Ireland she's probably best known for her Tudor series including The Other Boleyn Girl. I've also booked for the two Americans: Elizabeth Stroud and Richard Bausch who are opening the Festival on Tuesday evening. Elizabeth won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009, as well as a raft of other accolades. Richard has written 10 novels and seven collections of stories, and his work receives enormous critical acclaim. My last but by no means least choice is titled 'when Borgen met Mad Men', chaired by Rachel Flanagan. I adored the Mad Men series and can't wait to hear what the Emmy-award winning creator of that and other highly popular TV series such as Murphy Brown, Living Single has to say on the creative process.