Surprised by Women Aloud NI!

We are delighted to be involved with this year’s C.S. Lewis Festival #CSLFest17. Surprised by Women Aloud NI will take place in The Linenhall Library, Belfast, at 13:00 on Tuesday 21 November. A multi-genre showcase event, the readings will connect with the festival theme ‘surprised by joy’. Participants include:

Vicki McFarland [Young Adult]

Karen Mooney [Poetry]

Kerry Buchanan [Fantasy]

Claire Savage [Poetry]

R B Kelly [Sci-Fi]

Valerie Christie [Short Story]

Mel Bradley [Poetry]

Kelly Creighton [Short Story]

Shelley Tracey [Poetry]

Maria McManus [Poetry]

Belinda Bennetts [Literary fiction]

Stephanie Conn [Poetry]

Ellie Rose McKee [Flash fiction]

Anne McMaster [Poetry]

Gerry McCullough [Short Story]

Elizabeth McGeown [Poetry]

Anna McAllister[ Non-Fiction]

Wilma Kenny [Poetry]

Gaynor Kane [Poetry]

The event is FREE and no booking is required. Please come along and join us. To access the full festival programme please click here.


Events in May and June 2017

In addition to our regular March extravaganzas, we’re starting to do more events at other times of the year. Here’s what’s coming up in May and June.

North Coast VoicesNorth Coast Voices: Saturday 20 May, 2.00pm – 4.00pm, Waterstones Coleraine
Come along and listen to women writers from the North Coast read from their work. Join us for poetry, history, myths, magic and more!

Featured authors and poets:
2.00pm Jo Zebedee [science fiction and fantasy]
2.10pm Nuala McAllister Hart [biographer]
2.20pm Jenny Methven [poetry]
2.30pm Jane Talbot [faerie tales]
2.40pm Bernie McGill [historical fiction]
2.50pm Anne McMaster [poetry]
3.00pm Debbie McCune [fantasy]
3.10pm Hilary McCollum [historical fiction]
3.20pm Sinead Coxhill [TBC]
3.30pm Claire Savage [fantasy]
3.40pm Antoinette Bradley [poetry]
3.50pm Maggie Sutherland [contemporary fiction]
4.00pm CLOSE

BBF 17 waniWomen Aloud NI at the Belfast Book Festival: Saturday 17 June, 2.00pm – 4.00pm, Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast BOOK TICKETS
We’re thrilled to be appearing ‘en masse’ at the Belfast Book Festival this year! Comprising a rapid-fire readathon and a simultaneous mass reading, this event is a wonderful opportunity to get a sense of the extraordinary diversity and richness of the women’s writing scene in the North. It’s also a lovely way to get to know the names of some of our finest emerging and established female writers.

Come along and listen to 50 women writers read from their work both individually and together. The list of readers includes: Jane Talbot, Felicity McCall, DJ McCune, Anne McMaster, Belinda Bennetts, Ellie Rose McKee, Sarah McMahon, Trish Bennett, Eibhlinn McAleer, Kelly Creighton, Tara West, Jo Zebedee, Maura Johnston, Nuala McAllister, Pauline Burgess, Helen Hastings, Vicky McFarland, Jenny Methven, Ev McLaughlin, Gaynor Kane, Annemarie Mullan, Lesley Allen, Helen Nicholl, Eimear O’Callaghan, Dominique Hoffman, Catriona King, Hilary McCollum, Caroline Johnstone, Dianne Ascroft, Valerie Christie, Lunatari Stargazer, Mary Montague, Elizabeth McGeown, Olive Broderick, Wilma Kenny, Stephanie Conn, Emma McKervey, Shirley-Anne McMillan, JS Comiskey, Rosemary Morrison, Seanín Hughes ….. and more!

Many members of Women Aloud NI are featuring at other events at the Belfast Book Festival [7-17 June]. Check out the full festival programme here. There’s something for everyone!

Saboteur Awards 2017

Saboteur Awards 2017 Women Aloud NIWe are delighted to share the news that Women Aloud NI 2017 was voted Best Wildcard and WomenXBorders [our collaboration with the Irish Writers Centre] was voted Best Collaborative Work in this year’s prestigious Saboteur Awards.

Huge congratulations also go to Freya McClements for winning Best Reviewer category and to Stephanie Conn, whose poetry pamphlet, Copeland’s Daughter, was shortlisted in the Best Poetry Pamphlet category.

Saboteur Awards WomenXBordersOur best wishes go to all winners and shortlisters. You can find full details of winners and runners-up for all categories over on the Saboteur Awards website. Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who voted for us: we really appreciate the support. Thanks also to the folks at Sabotage Reviews for administering the awards and for the warm hospitality at the recent award ceremony in London.

The organisers of the awards sent us a copy of voter comments: they make for heart-warming reading! There are too many comments to list all of them, so we’ve just selected a few to give you a flavour.

Women Aloud NI 17 HighlightsVoter Comments for Women Aloud NI 2017
‘It has highlighted the positive energy and creativity in Northern Ireland.’
‘It’s the most incredible initiative that has brought the profile of women writers in Northern Ireland to the forefront.’
‘A brilliant initiative bringing women writers from NI together.’
‘Supported me and hundreds of other N. Irish women writers.’

Women Aloud NI 2017‘A brilliant initiative that has galvanised the female writing community in Northern Ireland.’
‘In the past year, Women Aloud NI have really made a splash. Women from all stages in their writing have joined this Northern Irish movement which has connected women through social media, live events and, above all, created a community of women writers supporting and encouraging each other.’
‘Great collaboration, inspiring writers, showcasing work, building links across borders, challenging sexism , breaking down barriers.’
‘Brilliant organisation which has done so much to raise the profile of women writers in NI. Very inclusive.’
IWC CollageVoter Comments for WomenXBorders
‘Inspiring and important work.’
‘Dynamic. Inclusive. Daring. Wild and wonderful. We need this.’
‘A truly inspirational cross-border effort.’
‘A fantastic cross-border initiative which brought out the creative and positive voices of Irish women.’
‘It was the best feminist expression of creativity to celebrate international women’s day.’
‘The mass reading at the end of the event was incredibly powerful.’
‘It really built a sense of community, it helped people to make literary connections and friendships across national boundaries, and it did a great deal to raise the profile of women’s writing on the island of Ireland. Whatever happens with the physical border between the North and the South as a result of Brexit, these women have made sure that the literary border is porous!’
Dublin Readathon Crew‘A brilliant idea that gained huge momentum: N Ireland women writers crossing the border to join their counterparts in the South. They performed on the train, in the streets, indoors with such joy and enthusiasm. So well organised it’s bound to become an annual event.’
‘One of the best spoken word events I’ve ever been to.’
‘A joyous experience of Northern Irish women writers crossing the border into the Republic of Ireland, many for the first time.’
Dublin readathon parnell sq‘Women have too often been sidelined in Irish literature.  This event marked a departure and fresh beginning so that, in years to come, women will not be relegated from the canon of Irish history and culture.’
‘I was there. It was very impressive.’
‘Stunningly presented collaboration between the North and the South.  Excellent management made this project a huge success.’

We Did It Again!

Between 07 and 11 March 2017, in the region of 150 women writers took part in Women Aloud NI 2017, an initiative to raise the profile of the women’s writing scene in Northern Ireland. Over the course of three days, women’s writing – and International Women’s Day – was celebrated at 20 events: 12 in Northern Ireland and 6 in Dublin [including the hugely successful #WomenXBorders events at the Irish Writers Centre]. There were also 2 special events this year: a well-supported women’s poetry competition run by Waterstones Coleraine and an in-train recital on the Translink NI Enterprise service between Belfast and Dublin!

Collage 2017 WANI

We’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who helped to make Women Aloud NI 2017 successful :

  • The writers who took part
  • The venues who hosted our events
  • The audiences who came along to listen
  • The Irish Writers Centre in Dublin who partnered with us for #WomenXBorders
  • The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the National Lottery and Words Ireland who made our trip to Dublin possible
  • The friendly folk at Translink NI who helped keep our in-train recital ‘on track’ 😉
  • The publishing community – and broader creative community – who offered us enthusiastic encouragement
  • Local press and media who helped us to spread the word
  • Everyone who shared news about our events on social media

This year, we’ve managed to capture the energy of our events on film 🙂 . Scroll down to watch highlights from our Belfast literary flash mob, some of our ‘best bits’ from our trip to Dublin and the literary soundscape we created with our fellow writers from the South.

See you at Women Aloud NI 2018!


Women Aloud NI 2017

wani 17 side barWe’re thrilled to announce our programme of events for Women Aloud NI 2017! Building on last year’s successwe’ll be running a series of literary events to celebrate International Women’s Day and to help raise the profile of women writers based in Northern Ireland or from Northern Ireland.

Since last year, our community of 130 women writers has grown to an incredible 250. We’re still as diverse and as inclusive as ever, and it’s been wonderful for us to be able to network with each other and support each other over the last 12 months.

This year, we’ll be starting our events a day early on the 7th March [it’s always good to have a warm-up 🙂 ] and finishing our events on the 11th March [it’s always good to make the fun last as long as possible 🙂 ]. There are 12 events taking place in Northern Ireland [11 on the 8th March, International Women’s Day]. On 11th March, 50 of us will be travelling down to the Irish Writers Centre in Dublin to celebrate International Women’s Day with women writers resident in the Republic of Ireland. 

wani events schedule 17 final (1)

Find out more about our NI-based events here. Find out more about the Dublin events here.  Find out more about special events [including a poetry competition, an in-train recital and an independent event in Dublin] here. If you’re a female writer based in NI or from NI, there’s still time to join us. If you’d like to support us as an audience member at one of our events, please see individual event descriptions for booking details.

Summer Poetry Recitals

Funeral Services Northern Ireland asked if we’d like to put together a series of free poetry events to help promote the FSNI annual national poetry competition. We said yes 🙂 .

FSNI Poetry Recital August

Thursday 4th August, 7-9pm
Venue: James Brown & Sons, 300 Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 1HF
Readers: Mel Bradley, Erin Burnett, Elizabeth McGeown, Amy Wyatt Rafferty, Gerry McCullough, Csilla Toldy, Wilma Kenny, Teresa Kane, Lara Sunday, Mary McElroy, Ellie Rose McKee
Event Coordinator: Ellie Rose McKee

FSNI poetry recital SeptemberPOETRY RECITAL 2
Date/time: Thursday 1st September, 7-9pm
Venue: Houston & Williamson, 117 Crumlin Road, Belfast, BT14 6AD
Readers: Helen Hastings, Laura Cameron, Annie Rose, Shelley Tracy, Annemarie Mullan, Yvonne Boyle, Emma McKervey, Doreen McBride, Eibhlinn McAleer, Anne Harris, Ellie Rose McKee
Event Coordinator: Ellie Rose McKee

No booking is required, but you can RSVP on Facebook by clicking on the image for each event. Light refreshments will be provided.

We Did It!

On 08 March 2016, International Women’s Day, 130 women writers took part in Women Aloud NI 2016, an initiative to raise the profile of the women’s writing scene in Northern Ireland. On that day, women’s writing was celebrated in fifteen venues across Northern Ireland [and in two venues outside Northern Ireland].

We’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who helped to make Women Aloud NI 2016 successful :

  • The writers who took part
  • The venues who hosted our events
  • The audiences who came along to listen
  • The publishing community – and broader creative community – who offered us enthusiastic encouragement
  • Local press and media who helped us to spread the word
  • Everyone who shared news about our events on social media

We’ve got lots of images to sort through, and we’ll be creating a gallery for the website over the coming weeks. In the meantime, here are two little somethings to give you a flavour of Women Aloud NI 2016.

Here’s a recording of the mass reading that took place at the end of the evening in No Alibis bookshop, Belfast [27 writers took part in this event ] :

And here’s a collage capturing the spirit of some of the Women Aloud NI 2016 events. [With thanks to Maria McManus for permission to share the black-and-white image taken at No Alibis].

Women Aloud NI 2016



There’s Just A Week To Go!

With only a week to go until Women Aloud NI 2016, we’re busy making final preparations. A quick tot up of numbers took our breath away : 130 women writers will be taking part on the day! [Yeah. 130. That’s a lot of women writers, right?!] With 15 events happening in Northern Ireland on 08 March [and events in Scotland and Spain too], there’s plenty on offer. We hope that you can join us at one of our events and help us to celebrate our work and our vibrant community.

Women Aloud NI 2016

Join Us At A Women Aloud NI Event on 08 March!

There’s plenty going on to celebrate Women Aloud NI 2016, and we hope you can join us at one of our events. Most events are free of charge 🙂 Find out about all our events in Northern Ireland [and any booking requirements] here. Find out about our events outside Northern Ireland here[Yes, we actually have some of those!]

Women Aloud NI 2016

There’s Still Time To Get Involved!

We’ve been busy 🙂 . We’ve reached our target of running at least one event in each of the 6 counties, and more than 100 women have registered to take part in the project so far. If you’d like to join us, there are still some reader slots available.

You can find the current events schedule [and get details of how to contact the relevant event coordinators] here and find more out about the project here.

Copy of Copy of December (11)