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Way with Words Festival 2019

Article by Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin © 30 March 2019.
Posted in Guest Blogs ().

Wicklow County Council recently marked the launch of its second Way with Words literature festival for readers and writers in Arklow and Blessington Libraries. Way with Words features an exciting line up of authors, illustrators and music for adults, children and families including John Banville, Ross Collins, Dr Ciara Kelly in conversation with Arnold Fanning and Marina Carr, Broadcaster Martin King in conversation with Éanna ní Lamnhna, the Currabinny duo and many more.  It takes place in the two libraries from April 4th to 13th.

The first stop on the launch day was Blessington Library where the children of St Mary’s Junior National School received the gift of book The Presidents Glasses in advance of a visit and workshop by its award winning author and illustrator Peter Donnelly.  The second stop of the day was at Arklow Library on Main Street Arklow where students of two schools St Mary’s NS and Glenart College came together to collect their copy of book Wonder by American Author R.J. Palacio.  Palacio’s book about acceptance and inclusion was made into a box office smash hit movie in 2017, the students, one hundred and twenty in total, will read and review the book with a final reading and awards event in Arklow Library in April.

Way with Words was first established and curated in 2018 by curator Nell Regan on behalf of Wicklow County Council’s arts and library services. Arts Officer Jenny Sherwin in partnership with Executive Librarians Margaret Birchall and Clare Fullam has curated the lineup for 2019.  The event will cater for approximately two thousand audience members over the two-week period.  The Festival has been made possible through the Creative Ireland Programme, supported also with investment from Wicklow County Council.  Creative Ireland is a five-year all of Government initiative from 2017 – 2022.  The Creative Ireland Programme is guided by a vision that every person in Ireland will have the opportunity to realise their full creative potential. ‘Arts Officer Jenny Sherwin commented that it is an extraordinary opportunity for Wicklow County Council’s cultural services to extend our programmes and reach into communities in an unprecedented way.’

The programme is free with workshops, talks and events during the daytime and in the evening time.  There are several opportunities also for schools.  The Mobile Music School will bring interactive string performances explaining the instruments in a fun and fantastical way, Peter Donnelly will as mentioned be in Blessington and award winning author and illustrator Ross Collins (UK) who wrote among his many books There’s a Bear on my Chair will feature.

For all bookings and information contact the respective libraries. For Arklow phone (0402) 39977or email: arklowlibrary@wicklowcoco.ie, for Blesssington phone (045) 891 740 or email: blessingtonlib@wicklowcoco.ie.

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Writing.ie has been developed and is run by Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin who founded The Inkwell Group publishing consultancy and is Ireland's leading literary scout. Vanessa is represented by literary agent Simon Trewin and writes crime as Sam Blake. LITTLE BONES will be published by Bonnier's Twenty7 imprint in May 2016. Vanessa is the Chair of Irish PEN and the Irish and Eurozone Adviser to the international organisation The Alliance of Independent Authors.