Thursday 2nd July

Pre-festival Event


Poetry Workshop With Louis de Paor

Limited to 10.  After receipt of payment, you will later receive instructions on how to submit a sample of work.

An opportunity to review and discuss poetry work in development with one of Ireland’s leading Irish language Poets.
Participants will be requested to  submit a sample of their work which will be discussed during the workshop

About Louis de Paor

Louis de Paor has been involved with the contemporary renaissance of poetry in Irish since 1980 when he was first published in the poetry journal Innti which he subsequently edited for a time. A five times winner of the Oireachtas prize for the best collection of poems in Irish, he lived in Australia from 1987 to 1996. Ag greadadh bas sa reilig/Clapping in the cemetery was published by Cló Iar-Chonnacht in 2005 and reprinted in 2006. A second bilingual volume agus rud eile de/and another thing (2010) includes artwork by Kathleen Furey and a recording of poems with musical settings by Ronan Browne. A bilingual selection of his early work, The brindled cat and the nightingale’s tongue, was published by Bloodaxe in 2014. His most recent collection ia Grá fiar (2016)

Friday 3rd July

2pm - 4pm

Create a comic book with Nick Roche

Beginners welcome! Suit Age 13-18. Spaces limited. 

Renowned Irish comic book artist Nick Roche – whose work includes Spider-Man,Transformers and Doctor Who – is going to give you the building blocks to create your own comic book stories, taking you step-by-step from layouts to finished images!.  Beginners welcome! Suit Age 13-18. Spaces limited. 


Nick Roche is a comic book writer and artist from Wexford Town, but currently lurks across the bay in Waterford, always watching. An artist for Marvel Comics on Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, Spider-Man & Deadpool, Death’s Head and other bits and bob – including Avengers, Punisher and Star Wars covers – Nick is also well known for his work on IDW Publishing’s Transformers series of comics. His most notable work with the robots in disguise is the multi-part Wreckers Saga, one of the franchise’s most acclaimed works, the first part of which (Last Stand Of The Wreckers) was voted ‘Greatest Transformers Comic Story Of All Time’ by
Nick’s most recent published work was Rogue Trooper for the seminal 2000AD, and is currently working on various Marvel and IDW covers (including a Transformers/Ghostbusters crossover!) as well as his own Irish-set suburban folk horror comic due for release in late 2019. 
Other notable work includes the all-ages horror comedy comic Monster Motors, created with Secret Life Of Pets & Minions screenwriter Brian Lynch, and the ‘Last Of Our Kind’ album artwork and ‘Barbarian’ video animation for British rock group The Darkness.

6.45pm - 8pm

Awards Ceremony

FREE EVENT. Bookings are required to give you a secure code. Gather your family and friends in your home … depending on social distancing requirements in your country or let them know to book their place at your Award Night. 


Billy, son of the renowned John B Keane has been writing for the Independent for almost 20 years. His columns are humorous and entertaining and include everything from sport to life in general.


Billy, who runs the family pub in Listowel said that he was delighted to be asked to speak at the Award Night in our Festival by Zoom and to follow in his father`s footsteps. His dad opened the Strawberry Fair here in Enniscorthy many, many moons ago.

8.30pm - 9.30pm

Conversation & Cocktails with Carmel Harrington and Sheila Forsey, hosted by Maria Nolan

This will follow directly on from the Awards Night. You can join just for this event though.

Maria Nolan will be in conversation with Carmel Harrington a Wexford International Author and Sheila Forsey, a Wexfordian  Irish Times Best Author, about their latest books published in 2020. Read more below. 

Maria Nolan (centre)  and Carmel Harrington (right) are captured with Anne Doyle, Wexford Ambassador, at the Focal Festival 2014.

International bestseller CARMEL HARRINGTON is from Screen, Co. Wexford, she lives in a small village with her family and their rescue dog, George Bailey.

Her uplifting and inspiring books, all regular chart-toppers, have captured the hearts of readers worldwide and are translated into eight languages to date, in eleven countries. Published by Harper Collins, her most recent novel My Pear-Shaped Life was described as, ‘Poignant and profound, warm and witty, the brilliant writing inviting us to look beyond the smiley face to the complex tangle of emotions inside us all.’

Carmel was shortlisted for an Irish Book Award in 2016 & 2017 and won both the Kindle Book of the Year and Romantic eBook of the Year in 2013. Previous books include A Thousand Roads Home, The Woman at 72 Derry Lane, The Things I Should Have Told You, The the official ITV novel Cold Feet The Lost Years, The Things I Should Have Told You, Every Time A Bell Rings, The Life You Left and Beyond Grace’s Rainbow. 

Carmel is also a popular TV and radio personality. She is a regular panelist on Virgin Media’s Elaine show. In addition, she has been interviewed on TV and radio in America, the UK and Ireland and is a popular speaker at festivals. If that wasn’t enough to make the juggle struggle real, she is co-founder of The Inspiration Project, a coaching writing retreat and was Chair of Wexford Literary Festival from 2015-2018.

Her favourite place to plot new stories is walking on Curracloe Beach. So if you spot her talking to herself, be reassured that she’s likely lost in a new world, making friends with new characters. Carmel loves hearing from readers, you can connect with her on FB/TW/INST @HappyMrsH and on She also hosts The Carmel Harrington Reading Room on Facebook, an online book club, where readers discuss their favourite reads and take part in bookish challenges. Carmel is represented by The Soho Agency in London.

SHEILA FORSEY is an Irish Times best-selling author and an All-Ireland best actress. Her childhood was steeped in listening to stories. They were told not from a book but from memory. Stories that gave her a love of words which were the steppingstone into her writing. Ireland’s windswept coastline, rugged mountains, valleys and ever- changing sky inspire her writing.  A deep interest in Ireland’s intricate past has led her to write historical fiction.

Published by Poolbeg Press,  her latest novel is  The Secret of Eveline House (April, 2020) and her first work of historical fiction, Kilbride House (2019). Her first novel, Mending Lace (2017) was published by Endeavour Publishing London.

In 2019 she was awarded a literary bursary from Wexford Arts Council and Artslink. Graduating with an honours certificate in Creative Writing from Maynooth University (2012), she then spent a further year as part of The Two Roads Creative Writing Course. Here she explored different types of creative writing and wrote several mini plays.  She completed a short course with Fish Amble Theatre Company in October of 2019.

She has acted in many theatre performances and is the recipient of an All-Ireland best actress award from the Drama league of Ireland. She was part of the core acting group for Watergate Theatre Company during her years living in Kilkenny City.

She has facilitated creative writing classes in Wexford Arts Centre and The Presentation Arts Centre and in many festivals throughout the country. She was a committee member for Wexford Literary Festival for two years. Sheila is the tutor for creative writing for Adult Education in Gorey Community College.

Read about her latest novel

A little about The Secret of Eveline House. In 1949 and into the 1950s the people of Ireland lived by a strict moral religious code. Little mercy was shown by the church, the state or indeed society on anyone who ignored this code. This is where this story begins.

The Secret of Eveline House is set in 1949 and the present day. It is 1949 in Draheen and playwright Violet Ward, her husband Henry a renowned jeweller, and their young daughter Sylvia have returned to Ireland from London to take up residence in Eveline House.

But Violet has broken the rules. Her writing is banned in Ireland and labelled immoral. The people of Draheen are hostile to her. Her very being there outrages them.

In 2019 Emily O’Connor buys her dream house in Draheen. Eveline House is like a time capsule, locked up since 1950, still full of personal possessions and hauntingly beautiful photographs of the family that once lived there. A family that seems to have abruptly walked out of their lives and disappeared through the cracks of time.

Emily soon realises that Draheen is a town of cruel secrets – secrets which are about to impact on her life in ways she could never have imagined.

At present Sheila is writing on her third work of historical fiction.


 “A thrilling and beautifully written mystery, Sheila Forsey’s atmospheric page turner is alive with intrigue and mystery from first sentence to last.” Niamh Boyce.

The Secret of Eveline House is a novel that completely captivates. It paints a very vivid picture of a time in Ireland when life moved in a very different fashion and at a very different pace. Society has moved on; attitudes have changed but memories are very long. Most certainly a book for all who are fans of Daphne du Maurier, The Secret of Eveline House is full of mystery, intrigue and suspense with some wonderfully depicted characters and a stunning descriptive narrative.” Swirl and Thread Book Blog.