Announcing: IWC Young Writer Delegates 2021

We are delighted to announce that four young writers have been selected for this year’s Young Writer Delegate programme at the Dublin Book Festival this November. 

Each year, four writers between the ages of 18 and 26 are welcomed to the programme by the Irish Writers Centre.  Abby Connolly, Eilish Mulholland, Kel Menton and Róisín Ní Riain will attend a variety of events and will be encouraged to reflect on their experiences. Throughout the festival period, the writers will receive support, advice and guidance from their professional mentor, Sue Rainsford. 

Bookings for the Young Writer Delegate Showcase, where each of the four writers will share a piece of writing which they have developed during the festival, are now open!

Thank you once again to the Irish Writers Centre for partnering with us on the YWD programme once again this year.

The Delegates

Abby Connolly is currently a final year English Studies student in TCD. This year her final project will be a long form creative writing piece and during her time in college she has written a short play, poetry, short stories and reviews for various Trinity publications and societies. She hopes to write in a professional capacity after graduation and to date has had a short story published in the Dublin based magazine Sonder.

Eilish Mulholland is a 23 year old graduate based in Belfast currently working towards her first collection of short stories. She has a detailed record of writing, exploring and reading creative writing across the UK & Ireland. She has been shortlisted for the Anthony Cronin International Poetry Award in 2018, longlisted for the Chair of Ireland Commemorative Anthology in 2020, the recipient of the No Alibi’s Prize for American Fiction in 2020, the Sibéal Feminist and Gender Studies Essay Award 2021, the IWC bursary for NI writers 2021 and is a Words Ireland national mentee for 2021-22.

Kel Menton is a non-binary writer from Ireland. They completed their undergraduate degree in English literature in 2019, and their MA in Medieval literature in 2020. They have devised, written, and produced plays for several years in conjunction with Graffiti Theatre Company, and have had a number of articles and pieces of short fiction published in The Irish Examiner. They are now a youth theatre facilitator-in-training, and the Assistant Coordinator for Fighting Words in Cork.

Róisín Ní Riain is from County Limerick. She is currently doing an M. Phil in Irish Writing at Trinity. She writes prose and poetry, for her sins. Her writing on arts and culture has also appeared in several student publications. She is Literature Co-Editor at TN2 Magazine.

Their Mentor

Sue Rainsford is an Irish fiction and arts writer living in Dublin. A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, IADT and Bennington College in Vermont, she is a recipient of the VAI/DCC Art Writing Award, the Arts Council Literature Bursary Award, and a MacDowell Fellowship. She has been awarded residencies by such institutions as the Irish Museum of Modern Art and Maynooth University, and recent commissions include RTÉ Radio 1 and BBC Radio 4. Her debut novel, Follow Me To Ground, received the Kate O’Brien Award in Ireland, was long listed for the Republic of Consciousness Award and the Desmond Elliott Prize in the UK, and received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly upon its release in the US. Her short story, “Shorn”, was a finalist for the 2021 New York Radio Festival Awards, and her second novel, Redder Days, was published by Doubleday in March 2021.