Join Louise Nealon in conversation with Sheila Armstrong, Olivia Fitzsimons and Aingeala Flannery as they meet to discuss the role of the sea in their lives, both on and off the page.
At the beginning of Sheila Armstrong’s Fallen Animals, a body washes up on the North-West coast of Ireland, and the search for his identity causes a ripple effect in the lives of people he would never meet. In Olivia Fitzsimon’s The Quiet Whispers Never Stop, a tumultuous relationship comes to blows on a beach in Donegal. The sea is a constant presence in Aingeala Flannery’s The Amusements, which explores the lives of the characters in the sea-side village of Tramore, while in Snowflake, Louise Nealon’s characters find solace on a fictional island of their own.
In the gorgeous space of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown’s Lexicon, the writers will meet to discuss their relationship with the sea, their literary influences and more.
Sheila Armstrong is a writer and editor from the north-west of Ireland. She is the author of two books: How To Gut A Fish (2022), a collection of short stories, and Falling Animals (2023), her debut novel. Her writing has been listed for the Society of Authors Awards, the Kate O’Brien Award, the Irish Book Awards, and the Edge Hill Prize. She is an Arts Council Next Generation Artist.
Olivia Fitzsimons is from Northern Ireland now living in County Wicklow with her husband and two children. Her debut novel, The Quiet Whispers Never Stop (2022), was shortlisted for the Kate O’Brien and Butler Literary Awards, and named as one of the Irish Examiner Books of the Year for 2023. She is a contributing editor for The Stinging Fly.
Aingeala Flannery is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster and writer. In 2019, her short story Visiting Hours won the Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Prize. She is a former Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair winner and has twice been a finalist in the RTÉ Short Story Competition. Aingeala was awarded a Literature Bursary by the Arts Council of Ireland in 2020 and 2021. Her critically acclaimed debut The Amusements was published by Penguin Sandycove in 2022. It won both the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year at Listowel Writers’ Week and the John McGahern Prize in 2023. Aingeala holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UCD. She is working on her second novel.
Louise Nealon is a writer from County Kildare. She has a degree in English literature from Trinity College Dublin and a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Queen’s University Belfast. In 2017, she won the Cork International Short Story Competition. Her debut novel, Snowflake was released in May 2021, and won Newcomer of the Year at the An Post Book Awards. Snowflake has been translated into several languages including German, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Croatian, Slovakian and Chinese. Her short story ‘What Feminism Is,’ is currently being adapted into a short film by Pure Divilment Pictures. Louise is currently working on her second novel.