DBF2020 Goes Digital!


Since 2006 the Dublin Book Festival has been a mainstay of the Irish writing and publishing scene and a highlight of the literary year. With its special focus on Irish-published authors, the 2020 Festival will continue this tradition of promoting and supporting Irish literary voices, both established and emerging. This year the festival will be presenting its programme online due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

In a world of uncertainty at the moment, we wanted to be able to provide certainty for publishers, authors and audiences that Dublin Book Festival would be going ahead in Autumn 2020. As the festival takes place in winter we felt the only way to guarantee a festival of events and the safety of our authors, audiences and staff was to bring the festival online.

To make the most of changed circumstances, we are curating a programme of events running from the 27th November to 6th December for families, schools and book lovers of all ages to enjoy from the comfort and safety of their own homes. The programme will showcase the wealth of talented authors published in Ireland, supporting our home-grown talent and publishers. Events will be presented from many of our usual attractive and intimate venues throughout Dublin city and we hope that, through an online platform, we will provide an enriching and entertaining festival for all involved.

The Dublin Book Festival has always been one of collaboration, and in 2020 the range of these partnerships has grown. In a time when the arts are struggling Dublin Book Festival will bring together as many as possible, to work together to showcase the breadth of talent in Ireland today. The festival will host events in collaboration with literary festivals including IMRAM, Murder One and Belfast Book Festival, literary organisations such as Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, Dublin City Libraries, Children’s Books Ireland, Poetry Ireland and many more.

Venues have always been a key part of the festival. This year we will continue to work with the National Library of Ireland, National Botanic Gardens, Dublin City Libraries–even if audiences cannot attend in person, authors will bring the unique character of these Dublin locations to their virtual events.

We are disappointed not to be able to hold the festival in its usual format, however, we will work hard to make it as interactive and enchanting as possible. We also see this as an opportunity: as Ireland’s only book festival that celebrates Irish published authors, poets and illustrators, withonline events we will be able to showcase their work not only on a national level, but on an international stage, which is really exciting!

We will be asking readers of all ages to get in touch, ask an author, poet, illustrator a question and we will try our best to incorporate these into the online events, so your voice can be heard too. Keep an eye on our website for our list of participants and then send us through your questions!

There will be approximately 40 events covering everything from cookery to poetry, nature to history, fiction to comedy, children’s storytelling, illustration workshops, writing workshops and much more! The festival will be putting out a call to readers, young and old, asking them to send questions to authors and illustrators taking part in the festival. A full programme will be released herein early Autumn.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our funders, who have been so supportive during these difficult times, for their unwavering support and advice.

The festival could not go ahead without them, so thank you.The Dublin Book Festival is supported by Arts Council of Ireland, Irish Copyright Licensing Agency,Dublin City Council, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature.

We look forward to sharing our programme with you and engaging with you in many creative, fun and sometimes slightly different ways over the upcoming months!

Julianne Siron
Programme Director
Dublin Book Festival