What’s Women Aloud NI 2018?
Women Aloud NI 2018 is an initiative which aims to raise the profile of the women’s writing scene in Northern Ireland. On 8 March 2018, a coordinated series of events will take place right across Northern Ireland to celebrate International Women’s Day [8 March]. On 10 March, 50 women writers from Northern Ireland will travel to Dublin to celebrate International Women’s Day with female writers resident in the Republic of Ireland.The events will involve women writers reading, speaking and performing in bookshops, libraries and other venues.
Was There a Women Aloud NI 2016 and 2017?
Yes there was 🙂 In 2016, 130 women writers took part and we organised 17 events. Here’s what happened.
In 2017, 150 women writers too part and we organised 20 events. Here’s what happened.
Who Can Participate in Women Aloud NI 2018?
Women Aloud NI celebrates the work of women writers based in Northern Ireland or from Northern Ireland* : published authors, playwrights and poets; journal-published authors and poets; self-published authors and poets; songwriters and screenwriters; and yet-to-be-published authors, playwrights and poets All members of Women Aloud NI are welcome to participate.
*Women writers who were born in Northern Ireland, but are no longer resident, may apply for membership and participate. Find out more about getting involved here.
What Will Women Aloud NI 2018 Achieve?
It is hoped that the Women Aloud NI 2018 will build on the successes of 2016 and 2017. We want to continue to:
- Give people a sense of the vibrancy of the women’s writing scene in Northern Ireland.
- Raise the profile of the women’s writing scene in Northern Ireland.
- Raise the profile of individual writers in Northern Ireland.
- Help writers to strengthen their relationship with local readers, local booksellers, local libraries and local media.
- Help build an appetite for women’s writing in Northern Ireland – inspiring women to start writing, inspiring readers to start reading women’s writing, inspiring the public to attend performances and public readings, and bringing the current state of the women’s writing scene to the attention of publishers and journals.
- Build a strong, supportive and celebratory sense of community.
Where Are The Events Taking Place?
Events are taking place right across Northern Ireland and in Dublin. You can find the schedule of events here. Do check our events page regularly as more events will be added right up until the end of February.
How Can I Get Involved?
If you are a member of Women Aloud NI, you can read and/or talk at a Women Aloud NI event. Members are also encouraged to set up local independent events. Lovers of literature can go along to an event to support the women who are reading and talking. If you manage a venue, and you would like to host an event, we’d love to hear from you 🙂 . Please hop over to the Get Involved page for more information.
Who’s Managing Women Aloud NI 2018?
This project is being managed by a small team of volunteers who are organising a number of core events across Northern Ireland.
Jane Talbot [Founder of Women Aloud NI and Project Manager; Overall Project Manager for Women Aloud NI 2018, Event Coordinator for Coleraine and Ballymoney Events; NI Event Coordinator for Dublin Events] is a writer and storyteller based in County Antrim. Her first book, The Faerie Thorn and Other Stories, was adapted for the stage by Big Telly Theatre Company. Jane has written [and will appear in] The Wonder Tales, a two-person show for adults which features storytelling and song. The show starts its tour in June 2018. She worked as the writer on Big Telly Theatre Company’s interactive adventure, A Quirky Tale of Quality Streets, and has also received a commission from Big Telly Theatre Company to write a piece of immersive theatre, Operation Elsewhere, which is set to tour in July/August 2018. Jane is a recipient of an Arts Council of Northern Ireland ACES award for 2018. You can visit her website here, follow her on Twitter here and connect with her on Facebook here.
Jo Zebedee [Chair of Women Aloud NI, Event Coordinator for Evening Event in Belfast] writes science fiction and fantasy, either in her space opera world of Abendau or on the streets of her native Northern Ireland. She’s the author of The Inheritance Trilogy, Inish Carraig and Waters and the Wild. She regularly blogs here at and can be followed on Twitter here .
Dianne Ascroft [Event Coordinator for Evening Event in Enniskillen] writes historical and contemporary fiction with an Irish connection. Her series, The Yankee Years, is a collection of novels and short reads, set in World War II Northern Ireland. The history of her adopted country inspires the stories of the urban Canadian, who has settled in Fermanagh with her husband and an assortment of strong willed animals. Online she lurks here and you can follow her on Twitter here.
Liz Weir [Event Coordinator for Library Event in Bangor] is a storyteller and writer from Northern Ireland, who has told her stories to children and adults on five continents. As a children’s librarian for the city of Belfast in the 1970s, she learned about the healing power of storytelling. She was the first winner of the International Storybridge Award from the National Storytelling Network, which cited her “exemplary work promoting the art of storytelling within Ireland and between other countries”. Liz is currently Storyteller in Residence with Libraries NI.
The Literary Ladies [Event Coordinators for Evening Event in Derry] Julieann Campbell, Lynne Edgar, Felicity McCall and Freya McClements are Derry-based writers and friends who also provide creative writing facilitation and writing, editing and PR/marketing services for the arts sector, as well as event management and book launches.
Gaynor Kane [Women Aloud NI Board Member, Event Coordinator for Lunchtime Event in Belfast] is a poet with work published in journals in the UK, Ireland and America. In 2016, she was a finalist in the Funeral Services NI National Poetry Competition. She came fifth this year in the Annual Bangor Poetry Competition.
Who’s Supporting This Project?
This is currently a zero-funded project. Participation is on a voluntary basis. We are enormously grateful to all those who have given their time, enthusiasm, energy and expertise to this project. We are especially grateful to the venues hosting Women Aloud NI 2018 events and to the organisations who have supported us this year :
Arts Council of Northern Ireland [supporting #WomenXBorders via Irish Writers Centre]
Blakes of the Hollow, Enniskillen
East Side Visitor Centre, Belfast
Irish Writers Centre, Dublin
Primrose on the Quary, Derry
And we’ve really appreciated the warm encouragement and support from other organisations in the arts sector -and beyond.