Spike Island literary festival

A new literary festival is set to take place on Spike Island Cork in 2022, dedicated to the theme of crime writing.  The Spike Island literary festival will hone in on the popular genre with a series of author talks and workshops, agent meetings and publisher advice.  Attendees will have the chance to sit in on speaking events where authors share their experience and advice, helping budding authors.  Agents and publishers from the industry will also be on hand, giving advice on how to navigate the writing and publishing world.  The event is currently going through the funding process with the Irish Arts Council and Cork County Council and interested sponsorship partners can contact the island for information - with heading 'literary festival'.  

Authors Tadgh Coakley, Amy Cronin, Catherine Kirwan, author and event organiser Michelle Dunne, Kevin Doyle, host PJ Coogan - 2021, 

The event follows on from a successful crime writing event for Culture Night in 2021, organised by author Michelle Dunne.  Michelle is an established author with publishing contracts in the UK and US, as well as multiple TV options for her work.

Michelle said, “Cork has a rich and vibrant writing scene and the recent gathering of some of our best crime writers on Spike Island for Culture Night, showed just what a broad church the genre is. It was such a special experience for all who got to be there, that we simply have to build upon it. The Festival will have crime at its core, but there will be something for everyone, just like the incredible island of Spike itself. This will be Ireland’s most unique literary event of 2022.”

Just some of the books whose authors attended in 2021


The Spike Island setting is perfectly fitting given its historic past, as an island prison on 4 separate occasions over the last 400 years.  The last prison incarnation opened in 1985 and only closed its doors in 2004, so the island has an old and also very recent criminal past.  Famous inmates include ‘The General’ Martin Cahill, a Dublin crime boss who was prolific in the 1980’s.  The island has seen its share of murderers and notorious thieves down through the years, which might inspire Cork’s next crime writer to put pen to paper.  As well as a chance to attend author led talks and workshops, each attendee will be brought on a very special tour of the islands former prisons, that will detail the stories of the former inmates.  This includes access to areas normally off limits to day visitors, so attendees might leave with inspiration for a novel of their own. 

Details of tickets and events are set to be launched in early 2022 and will be included here...

Updated info to follow...