Maria Edgeworth Literary Festival

Welcome to our 2021 Literary Festival

Angela Tuite – Chairperson  Edgeworth Literary Festival Committee.

Welcome to our first ever virtual Literary Festival. This year the festival committee are delighted to announce a collaboration with a new initiative ‘Digital Edgeworth Network: University College Cork and University of Oxford, in collaboration with the National Library of Ireland and Bodleian Libraries’ This is a very prestigious collaboration and is funded by UKRI-AHRC and the Irish Research Council under the ‘UK-Ireland Collaboration in the Digital Humanities Network Call’ (grant numbers AH/V002287/1 and IRC/voo2287/1). We’d also like to thank Mary Carleton Reynolds and Creative Ireland Longford as well as Poetry Ireland for their ongoing support.

Below you will find our virtual events, biographies and introductions. We hope you will enjoy this program of events and if you would like to support us financially then please consider making a donation using the green button below. We’d also like to hear your comments, so feel free to contact us using the Contact Us button below, comments will be moderated. Thank you very much for your support.

RTE Supporting the ArtsIrish Research CouncilPoetry Ireland Logo

John Connell

...multi award winning author, film producer and former investigative journalist

John Connell is a multi award winning author, investigative journalist, documentary producer and columnist for the Irish independent. His debut memoir The Cow Book was a bestseller and is being adapted to a documentary and his latest book The Running Book was released in late 2020.

Annemarie Ní Churreáin

...2020 Artist In Residence at The Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris

ANNEMARIE NÍ CHURREÁIN is a poet from the Donegal Gaeltacht. Her publications include Bloodroot (Doire Press, 2017) and Town (The Salvage Press, 2018). She is a recipient of The Next Generation Artist Award from the Irish Arts Council and a co-recipient of The Markievicz Award. She is a former literary fellow of the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany and the Jack Kerouac House of Orlando. Ní Churreáin was the 2019-20 Writer in Residence at Maynooth University of Ireland and a 2020 Artist In Residence at The Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris. Her second full-length poetry collection is forthcoming with The Gallery Press in 2021. Visit


Digital Edgeworth Network

Dr Clíona Ó Gallchoir (UCC), Prof Ros Ballaster (Oxford), Dr Máirín MacCarron (UCC), Dr Anna Senkiw (Oxford)

Dr Clíona Ó Gallchoir, School of English and Digital Humanities, (UCC), Prof Ros Ballaster (Oxford), Dr Máirín MacCarron (UCC), Dr Anna Senkiw (Oxford)introduce the ‘Digital Edgeworth Network’ (DEN). Its aim is to explore and analyze the manuscript archive of the celebrated author Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849) and the Edgeworth family, an archive that is divided between the Bodleian and the NLI. The DEN focuses on establishing collaborations between disciplines, between institutions, and between researchers and the community in order to establish optimal approaches to the application of digital tools and methods to this manuscript archive in order to unlock and enhance its potential for scholarly research and for cultural and heritage tourism in Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford.

Laura McKenna

...poetry and fiction writer

Author Laura McKenna was the judge of this years Literary Festival Competition. You can hear her comments on the entries in another video. In this video she reads an extract from her book ‘Words to Shape My Name’

Laura McKenna

Commentary on Letters and winners

This year’s writing competition took a different format to that of other years, where people chose to enter poems or short stories. Honoring the fact that Maria Edgeworth was a prolific letter writer, this year’s competition invited students from Longford secondary schools to write a letter instead. In an age of tweets, emails and texts this was a unique challenge to the students. In this video our judge Laura McKenna gives her feedback on the letters submitted and on the winners.

Making the case for Maria

Interview with Matt Farrell

Matt Farrell, Chairman of the Edgeworth Society in conversation with Des Rynn from Radio Mostrim.

Ciara Tuite

Ciara Tuite is a Writer/Visual Artist originally from the Midlands, Ireland. Her background in Fine Art, Performing Arts and Journalism results in a multidisciplinary approach, using imagery and word to explore dark yet real elements with a touch of colourful serenity and artistic licence.
Extensive travels, living among aboriginal artists in Australia, to Butoh dancers in Scandinavia, to researching refugee camps in Palestine in 2019 and her most recent residency at Cill Rialaig Artist Retreat, Co. Kerry, Ireland has shaped her creativity. Her paintings have been exhibited widely and held in private collections in Ireland and abroad and her writing is published in various magazines online. She is currently working on a creative non-fiction novel and a first collection of poetry which will be published soon. She was accepted for a solo show in the Backstage Theatre, Atrium Gallery, Longford which will be held in 2021.

David Butler

David Butler is a novelist, playwright, short story writer and poet and a former winner of the Maria Edgeworth Festival  Short Story competiton

Kate O'Donohoe

Kate is a member of Mostrim Players and has featured in many of their productions. 

Noreen McLoughlin

One recent feature of our Festival has been a trip out to nearby Glen Lake nature preserve. Here local ecologist Noreen McLoughlin takes us on a virtual Tour

Fiona Sherlock

Fiona Sherlock is an author of crime novels and Meath writer in residence.

The Entertainers - Part One

Down through the years our town has been blessed  with an abundance of talented singers and musicians and we have frequently have had these perform during the Literary Festival. This year we have some more examples of local talent on display for your enjoyment. 

The Entertainers - Part Two

Down through the years our town has been blessed  with an abundance of talented singers and musicians and we have frequently have had these perform during the Literary Festival. This year we have some more examples of local talent on display for your enjoyment.