Maria Edgeworth Literary Festival goes virtual

This year’s Maria Edgeworth Festival will take place online

For 2021 The Maria Edgeworth Literary Festival is going virtual from May 22 and will feature a number of exciting events including readings, conversations, music, workshops and competitions.

Contributors this year will include writer and author John Connell, poet Annemarie Ní Churreáin, Creative Writer Laura McKenna, Edgeworth expert Clíona O’Gallchoir (UCC) and many local artist and musicians.

The Maria Edgeworth Writing Competition is an eagerly awaited event with many previous winners going on to cite the competition as being the catalyst for future creative works.

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’.

Maria Edgeworth was a prolific letter writer, her letters have left a social legacy of great importance. Fortunately, many of these letters have survived with the majority being held by the National Library of Ireland and the Bodleian Library at Oxford.

The remainder are held by institutions all over the world and recently a collection of notebooks and letters fetched in access of €200,000 at auction.

This year, the competition will have two categories with three prizes, post primary to Junior Certificate and post Junior Certificate to Leaving Certificate.

The competition is innovative in that entrants will be required to write a letter based on one of two selected letters.

Entrants will be guided through the letter writing process by adjudicator Laura Mc Kenna, Laura has a PhD in Creative Writing from UCC and an MA in Creative Writing from UCD. New Island has just published her novel Words to Shape My Name and she has been the recipient of many awards including the Penguin/RTE Guide Short Story Prize.

This is a great opportunity for young budding writers to participate in an innovative writing competition and be guided through the process by such a prestigious writer Laura Mc Kenna.

Details of the competition and the rules can be found at

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