About the Festival

The festival aims to attract national and international writers and readers and lovers of literature to gather and enjoy its eclectic programme of readings, workshops and awards events as well as unique fringe events including exhibitions, music and drama performances set around the picturesque historic town of Enniscorthy. 

Enniscorthy is home to Colm Tóibín, one of Ireland’s most renowned writers. County Wexford’s rich history of other world-renowned writers include John Banville, Eoin Colfer, Anthony Cronin and Billy Roche and recently Carmel Harrington, Shane Dunphy, and Paul O’Brien.  Other recent acclaimed writers in Wexford include Caroline Busher, John J. Kelly, Paul O’Reilly, Sheila Forsey, the late Denis Collins and Cat Hogan, of whom many have been Committee members of the Wexford Literary Festival. We are waiting to hear from Poolbeg Press of another Wexfordian’s literary success who had met Paula Campbell in Meet The Publisher in our 2018 Festival!

The Wexford Literary Festival was first founded in 2012 as part of the Strawberry Festival as Words in Wexford. It was so successful a Committee was formed and the Focal Festival, with Focal in Irish meaning “Word”, was established in 2013.  In 2012 and 2013, the late Denis Collins worked with us to showcase the first art exhibitions in the renovated Nunnery Chapel that has become The Presentation Centre. The festival was rebranded as the Wexford Literary Festival in 2014. The Festival commenced  its literary Awards programme sponsored by Community Development, Wexford County Council, to include the Colm Tóibín  International Short Story Award, Anthony Cronin International Poetry Award, Billy Roche International Short Play Award, Eileen Gray Window Display Award and in 2019, the Denis Collins Visual Arts Award and the Cursed Murphy Spoken Word Award.

The festival continues to grow each year with participation of established as well as emerging writers across many genres who inspire and entertain attendees of all ages in a casual friendly way.

We look forward to welcoming all to the Wexford Literary Festival!

Vision

To be recognised as a leading international literary festival delivering a unique bespoke programme of living authors in the inspiring environment of Enniscorthy, Co Wexford.

Values

Our aims and objectives are underpinned by values that enable us to make an important and valued contribution to the promotion of literature within the county, region, country and beyond internationally.

Ambitious, Quality, Engaging, Inspiring, Inclusive, collaborative, Supporting and Encouraging, Passionate for literature

Mission

Celebrating Wexford talent, deliver an international literary arts festival with an emphasis on promoting and awarding new writers across many genres. 

Provide a platform for writers to develop their skills and career developments through workshops and networking opportunities and to provide an opportunity for reading enthusiasts to engage with favourite authors or discover new ones in unique locations around Enniscorthy Town and Wexford County.

To provide a platform for writers to develop their skills and career developments through workshops and networking opportunities and to provide an opportunity for reading enthusiasts to engage with favourite authors or discover new ones in unique locations around Enniscorthy town and Wexford County.

We are delighted to expand this year to include Wexford Town in the Festival with Wexford Arts Centre’s  The Diary Of Maynard Perdu by Billy Roche and the bookstores literature themed window displays.

Our Aims and Objectives

● To produce, present and host a diverse programme of excellent literary events and fringe events at local, national and international level.

● To support a community of literary artists at all stages of their development with a particular emphasis on supporting emerging writers.

● Increase the depth and breadth of the public’s engagement with literature,

growing participation across new target audiences with emphasis on social inclusion.

● Promote greater understanding and appreciation of Wexford Literary Festival and for Enniscorthy Wexford where the festival is located

Showcase living world-famous Wexfordian writers, nationally.

Our Purpose

  • We deliver a quality literary programme including awards programmes, readings, workshops, talks and fringe performance and visual arts events.
  • We support the development of writers – develop their artistic skills & knowledge and help them in their art form development through recognition in awards programmes or through workshops, talks and networking opportunities in the festival.
  • We engage literary followers, book lovers and reading enthusiasts in unique programming ways.
  • We contribute to the promotion of reading and writing through programmes with emphasis on social inclusion.
  • Contribute to cultural tourism in Enniscorthy and County Wexford through our promotion of Wexford as a literary capital in south east Ireland and through showcasing our living Wexfordian writers.