Words By Water – Kinsale Literary Festival

Like so many others, the team behind Words By Water, Kinsale’s Literary Festival, have sorely missed in-person events as we all stood firm and tackled Covid-19 by staying apart.

Now that it is once again possible to meet and share communal experiences, we are delighted to announce plans for a very special evening in Kinsale in early October.

When the pandemic first reached Ireland, and we adjusted to living very different lives for as long as necessary, one poem in particular brought comfort to many during the initial lockdown, reminding us that ‘the sun rises in spite of everything’.
‘Everything is going to be All Right’ by the wonderful Derek Mahon was widely shared during those dark and sometimes scary months.
“Derek passed away in October and was rightly lauded as ‘one of the great poets of his native Ireland and of the English-speaking world’,” Festival chairperson Ruth McDonnell says.
“Now finally, one year on from his sad passing, we have the opportunity to mourn his loss and celebrate his great talent in the town he called home for so many years.”
A celebration of Derek Mahon will take place in the Trident Hotel on Saturday October 2nd.
The evening of poetry and song will feature John Spillane, David Peare, Alannah Hopkin, Matthew Geden, Gerry Wrixon, Katherine Boucher Beug and Joachim Beug.
Speakers will read selected favourite poems and John Spillane will share a new song, inspired by Derek’s poetry, with the audience on the night.  This will be followed by a John Spillane concert. This will be a ticketed event with a full bar and pop-up book shop. Tickets can be booked online at wordsbywater.ie or by calling 086 2895 075.
For further information, please contact kinsaleliteraryfestival@gmail.com or grainne.mcguinness@gmail.com.
Kind Regards,
The Words By Water team

Words By Water,

Kinsale Literary Festival

1st – 4th Oct 2020
Co Cork


Competition Winners

Short story: 

Winner: Cadenza by Rachael Murray

2nd: Coercion Cake by Rhiannon Lewis

3rd: On Edge by David Butler

Judges comments:

General comment on the shortlist

There were so many well-written entertaining, heart-breaking and funny stories in the shortlist that it was very difficult to whittle it down to just three winners. In the end the winning stories were selected as they were both on theme and excellently written.

  1. Cadenza

This story is an original and imaginative take on one person’s experience of the post-covid world. Set in the near future, full of mystery and suspense from the outset, the slow release of information creates a reading experience that is both poignant and heart-warming.

  1. Coercion Cake

This is a witty, insightful story in which adult sibling rivalry is brought into focus through different approaches to socialising post-lockdown. The tension between characters is presented with humour using skilfully executed dialogue, internal monologue and vivid scene-setting.

  1. On Edge

 It takes great skill to deal with a difficult topic without talking about it directly. This story achieves this to a chilling result for the reader. The dialogue is fantastic and the tension builds brilliantly throughout the story right to the last line. 


Winner: Prelapsarian by Partridge Boswell

2nd: To the Barber of Labrraid Loingsech by Niamh Twomey

3rd: Rolling a Cigarette by Daniel Johnson

Irish Poetry

Winner: Cóisir an Taoisigh by Caitriona Lane

2nd: Lasair Choille by David Butler

3rd: Íomhánna an Iarthair by David Butler 

Congratulations to our winners and thank you to all entrants 

Social Feed

Welcome back... ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
#kinsale #cork #ireland #wildatlanticway #kinsaleliteraryfestival #thistooshallpass ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

Become a Friend

This is the fourth year of Words By Water and our fledgling plans are being helped enormously by the support of Friends of the Festival.

Get in touch!

Contact us for information on our upcoming Events, Competitions, Promotions or getting involved!


never miss our latest news and events updates

Our Sponsors