By Claudia Schwarz
If you fancy discovering new authors and listening to exciting literary talks but are on a tight budget, I’ve got something for you. Here is a list of this month’s online Literary Festivals that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own room. As an added bonus, most of them are completely free.
Bram Stoker Festival, Dublin (30th October – 2nd November)
Over the weekend of Samhain, the gothic, gory and supernatural will be celebrated in the form of four days of deadly adventures. This festival was established in honour of Bram Stoker, author of the beloved gothic horror novel Dracula. Because it wouldn’t be a real Samhain experience without triggering all the senses, this festival offers audio as well as visual experiences, with events such as a radical remake of the horror classic Night of the Living Dead called I am NOT Legend. Andrea Mastrovito turned this cult movie into a masterpiece of a different caliber. I am NOT Legend has an amazing soundtrack created by Irish composers Matthew Nolan and Stephen Shannon. This classic remake is available to watch every day throughout the festival, preferably in bed with a big bowl of popcorn.
Several events are yet to be revealed so make sure to check out their Facebook page for daily updates and exciting additions to the festival.
Murder One International Crime Writing Festival, Dublin (5th November – 11th November)
The Murder One Festival 2020 is working together with the Dublin Book Festival to provide crime writing masterclasses and discussions with acclaimed authors of crime fiction to you with the click of a mouse. Among these successful Irish writers are Louise O’Neill (After the Silence, Asking For It), Liz Nugent (The Less Dead) and many more.
Dr. Marie Cassidy brings a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective on crime. Her memoirs, Beyond the Tape: The Life and Many Deaths of a State Pathologist, delve into the devious depths of forensic psychology from her perspective as Ireland’s former State Pathologist. From 2004 to 2018, Dr. Marie Cassidy worked on numerous high-profile cases such as those of Rachel O’Reilly and Siobhan Kearney. She will be discussing her work as a State Pathologist and the process of writing memoirs with author and journalist Sinead Crowley. The best part is, you will receive a signed copy of Beyond the Tape in the post shortly after the event for you to investigate for yourself.
Dingle Literary Festival – Dingle, Co. Kerry (19th – 22nd November)
You might not have heard of this festival before, but it has a lot to offer. All events are online and free, so this is the time for you to get involved. Learn to make deadly cocktails from the TV Show Peaky Blinders such as “The Bloody Hand” and “Red Horse” or educate yourself about modern slavery while listening to Ugandan novelist Jenifer Nansubga Makumbi read from her bestselling book The Girl with the Louding Voice. Donations are encouraged.
Dublin Book Festival, Dublin (27th November- 6th December)
Do you love science but do not care for the pretentious vocabulary many scientists use? Professor Luke O’Neill’s new book Never Mind the B#ll*cks, Here’s the Science will have all the factual answers you are looking for wrapped in a witty package. From chapters like “Why are you working a bullshit job?” to “Why won’t you get vaccinated?”, this scientist’s guide will fascinate and educate you.
The Dublin Book Festival offers an extensive online programme with over 40 events, most of them free, including many opportunities for you to get involved. The Young Writers Delegate Programme is among them and will make the dreams of four lucky writers come true. The chosen writers will be able to enjoy several events at the festival and attend exclusive workshops led by an established writer – yet to be announced. Does this sound like something you might be interested in? More information can be found on the festival’s website.
No live audience means no live questions, queries and discussions but you can still ask your favorite author the questions you’ve always wanted to ask. This Literary Festival will feature a few authors on their social media platforms each week, you then have the chance to post your question with the hashtag #AskAnAuthor and, with a bit of luck, get an answer right away.
Ó Bhéal and the Winter Warmer Festival, Cork (26th – 29th November)
Poetry lovers – write these dates down, because not only will you have the chance to meet over 36 poets from all over the world, but you can take part in various workshops, by poets for poets. The Winter Warmer Festival really has something for everybody, and it is right on our doorstep. Among this extensive list of poets are Jacob Polley, Susan Musgrave, Mary Jean Chan and Sinéad Morrissey, who will read out and discuss their creative work. Many Tongues of Cork will be presenting poetry to celebrate our multicultural city.
The screening of the winners of the International Poetry-Film Competition and music from Tionscadal na nAmhrán Ealaíne Gaeilge (the Irish Language Art Song Project) are just some of the many things to look forward to. All events are free and online, donations are encouraged.