Listowel Writers' Week Fringe

Blogging Listowel's Literary Scene
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LWW Takes a Great Leap Forward for 2010

January 20, 2010 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: 2010, blogs, connections, events, historical, organisers, preparations, Reflections, starting up

Today Listowel Writers’ Week joined the new world. The Festival published its revamped website, which looks great.

But it had a good website last year.

The great leap forward is the simultaneous launch of its Facebook page and Twitter identity. This change is significant. It’s just in time for the 40th anniversary of LWW Literary Festival. I’ve immediately sent a request to be admitted as a Facebook Friend.

In my opinion, it would have been better if the Festival set up its Facebook presence differently – made it possible to become a “Facebook Fan” of Writers’ Week. But the big step it to get out where the public is.

The Festival is in Listowel for a few days every year, but there is a whole world of people who can’t make it to Listowel. There are so many who would be interested to know what’s going on. This Facebook presence give everyone a chance of linking up with the spirit of Listowel Writers’ Week. John B Keane and Bryan McMahon would have approved. They always wanted the Festival to break the boundaries of the parochial.

The Twitter move is dramatic.
Once you go on Twitter, you have to engage. People follow you, and you can’t afford to ignore them – it damages your reputation if you offer nothing to your followers. You have to tweet. People can see how serious you are about sharing, linking, engaging… Twitter is a medium which exposes a lot of your soul.
As soon as I got alerted to @writersweek on Twitter, I followed. I urge you all to do the same. Nothing will do more to raise the profile of LWW, all round the world, than a really good presence on Twitter.

It’s still not clear to me what this blog’s plan for LWW2010 is to be.
We are completely independent of the Festival Committee. We love the Festival. We’d love the Committee to love us, but we have no right to expect it. During 2009 Festival, the organising committee were civil to us. But if they liked anything we did, they didn’t let us know.

I have huge emotional attachment to Listowel Writers’ Week Festival.
It would be wonderful to continue to blog it again. I am completely convinced that all Festivals that are any good should be blogged. It’s all about making the hard work of organising the Festival visible to the audience of the future. All valuable Festivals deserve to be out there, reaching round the globe.

We’ve heard a lot about the Irish Diaspora, what about the Listowel Writers’ Week Diaspora?

This is surely a day for celebration. May the Fesitival of the Future be a credit to the joyful spirit of its founders…

Is there any news about LWW2010?

October 27, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: blogs, connections, historical, organisers, preparations

Or is it all under wraps… in committee?

Does everyone know that LWW10 will be number 40?

It means that the planners must be wondering how they can mark the occasion fittingly. It’s not as if there hasn’t been enough time to prepare for it.

No one’s approach this blog to see if we’ll be live for the 2010 Festival. That doesn’t surprise me because no one from the committee approached the blog during 2009. No one official contact – imagine.

It was as if we the bloggers were the elephant in the room.

I bet there are loads of ideas out there concerning how the 40th anniversary should be celebrated. The challenge is how to let others contribute their goodwill?

These are the kind of issues that cause the passion of bloggers to be engaged. If LWW doesn’t get it’s act together and engage with bloggers, what will bloggers do?

Answer: they’ll chatter about myopia on Twitter. It’s the world we live in now – so different from the locals who set up Listowel Writers’ Week.

A Rumour about

September 24, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: blogs, organisers, Reflections

I’ve heard a rumour that Writers’ Week has appointed a person to produce an official blog of the 2010 Festival, the 40th one …

Anyone heard any more?

Since 2009 Writers’ Week, we the bloggers have unfortunately had no contact with the Organising Committee of Writers’ Week.

This has saddened me. But it may be the sort of world we live in, sometimes…

The future of literary festivals in Ireland

August 21, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: preparations

Make no mistake about it, there are people in high places planning to cut public funding for literary festivals.

It’s an issue we have no interest in ignoring. All of us who’ve enjoyed Listowel Writers’ Week better not take it forgranted that LWW2010 will go ahead as before.

It may. I don’t know anything about the financing of LWW09, so I have no idea how dependent it was on public funding.

Right now there are plans to cut everything. If you have any influence, I hope you are using it to ensure LWW10, the 40th, will be the best ever.

Joseph O’Connor on the Arts & Listowel Writers’ Week

August 17, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: connections, journalism

A fine article by Joseph O’Connor in the Irish Independent recently…

Including…

“We are not a people who will ever feel that our purpose is to grub like dung-beetles, in order to stave off the IMF. This year, at the Writers’ Week festival in Listowel, a thousand local people attended the opening night. That’s an awful lot of people for a small Irish town. I wonder could any TD in the nation draw the same?

We need the arts now. We never needed them more. To damage them would be to damage ourselves, and all we hold dear, and all we have inherited from the greats…”

Bloggers have been on summer holiday in Limerick, staying in UCH

August 16, 2009 By: ana Category: audio podcast, blogs, connections, preparations

We’ve been resting & recovering in Limerick with some Summer Music on the Shannon.

It’s been just like the Riviera. Crowded, hot, exciting and exhausting…

We’ll need a holday to recover from living with people from so many countries. Limerick has become a cosmopolitan place. Visitors from Canada, USA, Japan, Norway, UK, Spain, Italy, Kildare, Germany… and so on.

Like any hothouse there has to be a common language. It’s been music.

If you want to find out more about how hot Limerick’s been, try this link – when you have time on your hands.

We look forward to resuming normal service here soon – when we’ve recovered. Rest assured, we’ve been telling them in Limerick all about Kerry.

[One thing for sure, we hope Listowel Writers’ Week 2010 – the 40th festival – will be live streamed – broadcast live on the internet. After what they did in University Concert Hall, it should be possible…?]

George Kimball mentions Listowel Writers’ Week in an obituary

August 06, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: connections, historical, journalism, participants

‘.. .This summer I was invited to read at a literary festival, the Listowel Writers Week in Ireland. Another of the invitees was the novelist and director Rebecca Miller, who in addition to being Daniel Day-Lewis’ wife is also Arthur Miller’s daughter. One morning at our hotel there I read her the offending passage from Meyers’ book.

“That’s absurd,” she said. “I’m sure my father never believed that. A View from the Bridge and On the Waterfront were always going to be two separate plays. One had nothing to do with the other.”

I know I told Benn about that conversation when I returned from Europe. But now it occurs to be that I never got a chance to tell Budd, who would have, I suspect, found it comforting…’

Read the whole piece here, in “The Sweet Science“. This is the first time I’ve read George Kimball in the flesh, his latest column.

I must say he’s every bit a wonderful writer as he is a person. Brings back memories of having breakfast with him @LWW2009…

Colm Toibin @ Listowel Writers’ Week 2009

August 01, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: connections, organisers, participants, photographs

I took this photograph in Listowel Arms Hotel on the first day of Writers’ Week 2009.

Shortly after I introduced myself to Colm and told him about the blog. He said he’d be happy to be interviewed later.

However, in the fire of the festival, I never got back to him – so I’m left with “the one that got away”.

P J Kennedy of LWW fame opens an exhibition in Ballinamore

July 29, 2009 By: ana Category: connections, events, painters & paintings, poet

Read this report in the Anglo-Celt

The Solas Art Gallery in Ballinamore, County Leitrim, has a group exhibition of paintings – on the theme of “Painted Poems”.

Recent regulars @Listowel Writers’ Week will remember PJ Kennedy – a Belturbet, County Cavan, poet.

The future of this blog

July 22, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: connections, Imagining, Reflections

Ever since the idea of developing a blog around and in honour of Listowel Writers’ Week came to me, I’ve been thinking about the future of this blog.

  • Is it to live?
  • Is it to carry on after Writers’ Week 2009?
  • Or is it to be given a decent wake, burial & obituary?
  • If it is to live, in what form?
  • If it is to carry on, what form should it take, and in whose hands?
  • If it is to be closed down, how best to do that, and when?

I would like to invite views…

I would like to give everyone who is interested a chance to have their say?

There may be other future-oriented questions: if members of the audience, the community, the ‘tribe‘, would like to put fundamental questions on the table, please do.

There is only one now, and now is the time to have your say…


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