Aine MacAodha is a poet and keen photographer from Omagh in County Tyrone. She has three volumes of poetry published; her latest collection ‘Landscape of Self’ was published in 2014 by Lapwing Press.
Tess Maginess was born on the Tyrone-Armagh border, in the townland of Annaghbeg. She is a Senior Lecturer in Education in the School of Education, Queen’s University Belfast, where much of her work is with older learners. She has published on literature, education and mental health and has published one collection of poetry, Vivarium [Lagan Press, Belfast, 1997] and has had a number of poems published, for example: in The Yellow Nib,and in The Art of Poetic Inquiry.
Natasha Martin Living and working in Co. Fermanagh, Natasha Martin writes from the heart. She likes to appeal to a wide audience and includes humorous anecdotes in her stories and poignant emotion in her poetry. She has had both her fiction and non-fiction writing published and was a founding member of MoPoSoGs [Monaghan Poets & Songwriters Group] before joining Fermanagh Writers in the Summer of 2013.
Paula Matthews is a poet, playwright and editor from County Down. She is Creative Director of Marginal Theatre and is developing her creative practice via an Arts Council SIAP award. Paula edits The Launchpad children’s literary journal and writes children’s stories regularly for Newtownabbey InTouch Magazine. Paula is passionate about bringing voices from the margins to the centre and is currently developing a play about women struggling to sound their own voices.
Eibhlinn McAleer is an emerging writer from Belfast. She has a special interest in flash fiction but is working on a play and her first novel at present.
Orla McAlinden is a Pushcart Prize nominee, Eludia award-winner and the winner of the BGE Irish Book Awards short story of the year. Her award-winning debut collection, The Accidental Wife [Sowilo Press], depicts the complications and contradictions of living in contested territory, through the daily lives of the extended McCann family. The Accidental Wife has been chosen by Libraries Northern Ireland as the inaugural title for The Armagh Big Read in March 2017 and is widely available to borrow through Libraries NI.
Bronagh McAtasney curates her 1981 diary online using the Twitter account @NrnIrnGirl1981. She was awarded an Arts Council ACES award in 2014 to develop her writing and explore the untold narratives of The Troubles, especially of women and in areas beyond Belfast. Currently, she is working with the 1981 Hunger Strike Symposium on two articles. She has also given talks to international and local schools, at various events and had articles on the diary on radio and in newspapers. You can visit her website here.
Roisin McAuley grew up in Cookstown, went to Queen’s University, joined the BBC and began a reporting career that took her around the world. When she stopped reporting fact, she began writing fiction. She is currently writing her sixth novel. And she has returned to BBC Northern Ireland where her career began, and where she now presents the Radio Ulster programme, Sunday Sequence.
Doreen McBride is a storyteller with an international reputation, having shared her tales throughout the British Isles, America, Canada and New Zealand. At present she is concentrating on the written word by collecting folk tales. The History Press published her collection of ‘Louth Folk Tales’ in April 2015, ‘Fermanagh Folk Tales’ in November 2015 and she is currently collecting ‘Tyrone Folk Tales’, which The History Press have scheduled for publication in December 2016.
Felicity McCall has been a full time writer for 15 years, after a 20 year BBC career as a journalist. Her publishing credits include 20 titles spanning fiction, non-fiction, young adult, graphic novels and anthologies for publishing houses including Penguin, Little Island, Guildhall Press and Blackstaff. A co- founder and director of several theatre companies, she has had 12 plays professionally staged, and received 4 screenplay credits. Awards include the Tyrone Guthrie for stage and screenplay, six Arts Council individual awards, two Meyer Whitworth nominations and Irish theatre awards for best overall play production and best female actor. Felicity is Cathaoirleach of the Irish Executive of the National Union of Journalists and a lobbyist for miscarriages of justice.
Karen McCartney Writing is Karen McCartney’s passion in life but to earn a living she takes short-term contracts teaching academic writing. Over the years she’s worked as a freelance journalist for a Spanish newspaper and for several journals reporting on political developments in Northern Ireland. She’s also worked as a travel writer and a translator and won prizes [London Telegraph and Irish Independent] for her travel articles. Her book, Living Inside the Revolution: An Irish woman in Cuba, is self-published.
Chelley McClear is a poet and storyteller. She has performed all over the world, both individually and as member of the performance group ‘Scream Blue Murmur’. A current recipient of the Arts Council Artists Career Enhancement Scheme Award, Chelley also manages the Literature and Verbal Arts projects at the Community Arts Partnership and has edited more than twenty anthologies of local poetry.
Freya McClements is a writer and journalist based in Derry. Her first collection of short stories, The Dangerous Edge of Things, was published in 2012 with the support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and her debut novel, The Living and the Dead, is due for publication in 2017. She is also a producer and documentary-maker with BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Foyle/Ulster and a literary reviewer and feature writer for the Irish Times. Freya also provides creative writing facilitation, editing, event management and PR & marketing services for the arts sector as one of the Literary Ladies.
Hilary McCollum writes both historical fiction and contemporary drama. Her first novel, Golddigger, which spans the California goldrush and the Irish Famine, won the Golden Crown Literary Society award for historical fiction in 2016. In 2014, her play, Life and Love: Lesbian Style, was nominated for best original writing at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival and won the best female performance award. She has written two verbatim plays about LGBT lives in northwest Ireland and a lesbian pirate comedy-drama, The Pirates of Portrush, which wasdeveloped with the support of the Arts Council NI and the Big Lottery. She is currently working on a novel set within the British suffragette movement which will be published in 2018. Find out more about Hilary and her writing on her website.
Ashley McCook lives and works in Portrush on the beautiful North Coast with a menagerie of dogs, cats and children. She is a self-published author of four books: the Emily Trilogy [Demon’s Daughter’, ‘Demon’s Revenge’ and ‘Demon’s Blood’] and ‘Shudder’ which is based in Portstewart. You can visit Ashley’s website here.
Gerry McCullough is the author of 6 bestselling novels as well as a children’s book and 2 collections of short stories published by Precious Oil Publications, Downpatrick. She has had over 70 short stories published, a number of which were prize winners, short listed or placed in prestigious literary competitions. Her debut novel Belfast Girls was a No 1 bestseller on Amazon in 2012. Gerry was born and bred in Belfast and now lives just outside Bangor, County Down. You can visit her website here.
Debbie [DJ] McCune was born in Belfast and grew up in a seaside town just north of the city. As a child she liked making up stories and even wrote some down, including a thriller about a stolen wallaby. She read Theology at Trinity College, Cambridge but mostly just read lots of books. She lives in Northern Ireland with her husband, daughter – and two cats with seven legs between them. Her books have been published by Hot Key Books [Death & Co., The Mortal Knife, and Fault Lines]
Anne McCusker is a retired teacher and founder member of Ballymoney Writers who will be celebrating their 20th year this year with a new publication planned for the Autumn/Christmas term. She writes short stories, poetry, memoir and humorous observational articles. She has been published in four anthologies by Ballymoney Writers and completed the MA in Creative Writing at QUB in 2001. She enjoys facilitating writing groups locally and proofreading for people planning to publish.
Mary McElroy has had work published in the Babble Anthology and in “Moment” from the Community Arts Partnership. In 2013 she won both the Babble Literary Festival Slam and the Regional Section of Funeral Services NI Poetry Competition. She is currently working on her memoir.
Vicky McFarland is a storyteller and emerging writer of children’s books and plays.
Aileen McGee Originally from Pomeroy, Co. Tyrone, Aileen McGee is a mother of three and lives in Co. Donegal. She is an author and columnist for The Inishowen Independent and writes articles on positivity and wellness. During 2007-2012 she produced/presented a series of programmes for radio, including a magazine type mid-morning chat show, and won a national and an international award for her radio journalism.Her first book, A World of Our Own [A Journey of Love through Autism] was published by Poolbeg Books in 2009. Her second book, A Life of Our Own [Learning from Autism] was published by Liffey Press in 2015. She is currently working on her first novel.
Elizabeth McGeown is Belfast-based and came to poetry from a background of singing, sometimes using snippets of song in her pieces. She has been published in journals such as Panning for Poems and Anomalie. She regularly performs at Purely Poetry nights and recently ventured further afield, reading at Swell Festival, and Stendhal Festival. She joined the Red Pill Spoken Word Showcase in performing at this year’s Lingo Festival, Dublin, qualifying in the video heats to take part in the Lingo Slam.
Bernie McGill has written for the theatre [The Weather Watchers, The Haunting of Helena Blunden], the novel, The Butterfly Cabinet and a short story collection, Sleepwalkers. Her short fiction has been nominated for numerous awards and in 2008 she won the Zoetrope:All-Story Short Fiction Award in the US. She is a recipient of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s ACES [Artists’ Career Enhancement Scheme] Award in association with the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University, Belfast. She lives in Portstewart in Northern Ireland with her family and works as a Creative Writing facilitator. Visit Bernie’s website here.
Eina McHugh was born in Omagh and studied at Trinity College Dublin. She was director of ‘Cinemagic’ the International Film Festival for Children and of the Ark, Cultural Centre in Dublin dedicated to children. Her book, ‘To Call Myself Beloved’, is a memoir exploring the individual experience of therapy and is published by New Island, Dublin.
Ellie Rose McKee is the author of Still Dreaming, Wake, Four Season Summer, and The Love Poems. Ellie is a self-proclaimed lover of travel, art and chocolate cake. She runs her own business: Ellie Rose Writing Services.
Emma McKervey has worked in community arts and education, and as a musician and poet. Her poems have been published in Abridged, The Honest Ulsterman, The Incubator, The Linnet’s Wings, The Galway Review, Skylight 47, Gold Dust, Reflexion, Panning for Poems, A New Ulster, SHIFT (Lit), and in numerous anthologies. She is also winner of the Translink/Poetry NI 2015 poetry competition.
Ev McLoughlin likes coffee, books and city lights. Her poems were published in Community Arts Partnership Anthology “Making Memories” and in Shalom and Crescent writers shared anthology “Between light and half light” in early 2015. She was also selected as one of 12 participants for Seamus Heaney Poetry Summer School in June 2015.
Lucie McLaughlin is an artist and writer from Belfast. She writes essays, poetry and experimental fiction. She has performed her poems live at events in London and Berlin, with another performance forthcoming in 2017 in Paris. She studied at Belfast School of Art and is currently completing a BA (Hons) Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, London.
Maria McManus is a poet and playwright. The recipient of numerous awards [including an Artist’s Career Enhancement Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in 2015/16] , her writing credits are many and include: We are Bone [Lagan Press2013] and The Cello Suites [Lagan Press 2009]. She co-wrote Bruised for Tinderbox Theatre Company and her other theatre credits include : His n Her’s and Nowhere Harder  for Replay Theatre Company, and The Black-Out Show  for Red Lead Arts. A screenplay adaptation of the poetry sequence ‘Aill na Searrach; The Leap of the Foals’, was developed in 2013 with NI Screen. Find out more about MAria and her work on her website.
Anne McMaster is a poet, playwright, editor and arts facilitator living on an old farm in rural mid-Ulster. A finalist in the 2015 FSNI Poetry Competition and shortlisted participant in the 2016 Bangor Poetry Competition, Anne’s poetry has been published in the US and NI – in The Honest Ulsterman; 19,751 Words – an Anthology; Paper Plane Pilots; The Poetry Marathon Anthology (2014 and 2016). Her plays (25 original works and literary adaptations) have been performed in theatres and schools across NI. Anne is artistic director of Hydra – a theatre company specialising in original devised work. She is happiest spending her time writing, restoring the old Georgian farmhouse where she lives, or out in the garden trying not to kill plants. Follow Anne at www.theoldfarmatrosehill.co.uk or on Twitter here.
Shirley-Anne McMillan was born in Lisburn. She writes Young Adult Fiction. Her self-published title ‘Widows’ Row’ was released in 2012, and ‘A Good Hiding’ will be published by Little, Brown in August 2016.
Martelle McPartland is a poet, playwright, editor, script writer, arts facilitator and creative writing tutor based in Lurgan, Co. Armagh. She has won many awards for her short stories, notably as a finalist in the Bridport. She is a founding member, chair and facilitator of Lough Neagh Writers.
Aimee McVeigh is an up-and-coming performance poet and writer from Craigavon. She has had poetry and a short story published in the Young Writer Collection, and she enjoys writing short original sketches. Aimee has competed from a young age in speech and drama festivals, winning many awards, and this is where her love of poetry and performing blossomed. She is a talented actress and singer, and has performed in many shows in theatres such as Grand Opera House,The Marketplace, Island Theatre and in professional productions in The Braid, Ballymena. In the future, Aimee hopes to have a career in the Arts. At 14 years of age, Aimee was the youngest participant in Women Aloud NI 2016!
Clare McWilliams is a mother, published poet, spoken word artist, a playwright and an experienced poetry and intercultural arts facilitator. She performs regularly on the festival circuit and likes to pop up in places where poets don’t normally tread as the Belfast Beatnik. Originally from Bangor, County Down and shaped by the sea, she now resides in Belfast and loves the opportunities the city provides for developing her artistic growth.
Jenny Methven has recently published her first book of poems illustrated by her own art work.Following a career in teaching and social work, she has returned to her first training in art and is now a full time artist. She focuses particularly on words and images that reflect the centrality of nature and explore the older woman’s experience. She has an MA in Education and an MSc in Peace and Conflict Studies. Jenny lives on the north coast.
Ailbíona Mhic Lochlainn is a writer, photographer and AWOL academic of Austro-Hungarian extraction, based in both Derry and Donegal. Earning her PhD in psychology from the University of Cambridge, she has worked as a researcher at Dartmouth College and as professor at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. Writing in English, Russian and German, she has published fiction and essays under various pseudonyms since 1999. In popular culture today, she is most known (or rather, unknown) as the unnamed author of the cycling blog Lovely Bicycle.
Mary Montague has authored two collections of poetry [Black Wolf on a White Plain, Summer Palace Press, 2001; and Tribe, Dedalus Press, 2008]. She is working on her third collection and on a novel. You can find out more about Mary, who is based in Belfast, on her website.
Karen Mooney is a poet. Her writing journey was triggered by the death of her father in January 2016. Writing about life events and locations, she has published two poetry booklets to support local charities: Observations In Rhyme for Cancer Research UK; Ards Peninsula – Observations In Rhyme
Rosemary Morrison lives at the mouth of Strangford Lough in County Down. A passionate entrepreneur since the age of 24, she has operated and managed a number of small businesses and now works as and business trainer and consultant. The Dogged Adventures of Deefir and Pat [a book for children] is the first in a series. While the theme and characters are hers, the first story “ A Day at the Beach” was co-written with her husband, Gordon, who helped make the stories rhyme.
Annemarie Mullan A graduate from the Queen’s Creative Writing Masters Programme, Annemarie is a member of Belfast’s Shalom Writing Group and Queen’s Writing Group and has been published in anthologies both locally and in England. She is a regular facilitator with Community Arts Partnership’s Poetry In Motion programme and runs the Clachan Open Mic on Keady Mountain.
Heather Newcombe is an award winning poet from Ballycastle. She has published two collections of poetry ‘Almost Dancing’ and ‘A Purse of Shadows’ both published by Summer Palace Press. She has read her work in Ireland, the UK and Asia. A creative writing Tutor, she was also a columnist with C.W.N. She co- directed ‘Let Me Take You To the Island’ Literary Festival on Rathlin Island for eleven years. A Purse of Shadows was selected as ‘book of the week’ by the Ulster Tattler. She is currently compiling a third collection of Poetry and working on a novel, A Grafted Life.
Kerry Newcombe – a member of Ballycastle Writers Group for many years – is originally from Cushendall. Now married and living in Ballycastle, she is a mother of three. She is an experienced writer of poetry although she has experimented with writing for children. She is currently compiling a portfolio of poetry for publication. A driving force and co-directer of “Let Me Take You To The Island” Writing Festival on Rathlin Island, her work has been published in the Group’s anthology, Rhythm of Hearts, and appeared in many publications.
Joan Newmann, along with Seamus Heaney, Stewart Parker and James Simmons, began in the Philip Hobsbaum Belfast Group in the 1960s. She is the recipient of the Criobh na hEigse for services to poetry. She has published three collections and is co-founder of the Summer Palace Press.
Kate Newmann Before reading English at King’s College, Cambridge, Kate Newmann worked at the Museum of Cretan Ethnology. She was Junior Fellow at the Institute of Irish Studies, Queen’s University, Belfast, where she compiled and published the Dictionary of Ulster Biography . She has written four collections of poetry, the most recent of which is ‘Grim’ [Arlen House 2015].
Réaltán Ní Leannáin is from Northern Ireland but has been living in Dublin since the 80s. Her poetry collection, Turas Ailse, reflects on living with a cancer diagnosis. Her acclaimed short story collection, Dílis, reflects the daily lived – and loved – experience of women during and after the Troubles. Réaltán was the first Irish writer to take up residency abroad as part of the European Other Words initiative in Friesland 2015.
Helen Nicholl is a retired bookseller, writer, and author of two children’s books, The Animal Bus [published in South Africa and Japan] and Moon’s Travelling Circus [awaiting publication]. Her first adult novel, The Traveller’s Guide to Love, was published by Blackstaff Press in 2015. Born and brought up in South Africa, she has lived and worked in England, Northern Ireland and Zimbabwe, but at the age of 67 has remarried and settled for good in Holywood, County Down. She is the founder and Life President of the Literary Ladies Get Slightly Drunk Society (membership now closed) and is currently working on sequels to both Moon’s Travelling Circus and The Traveller’s Guide to Love.
Eimear O’Callaghan Belfast-born author and journalist, Eimear O’Callaghan, lives in Portstewart and is married with three grown-up children. Before writing Belfast Days: A 1972 Teenage Diary, she enjoyed a 30-year career as a journalist — most of it with the BBC, but also with The Irish News and RTE in Dublin. She now runs a media training business and works as a feature writer for the Canada-based magazine, Celtic Life International.
Geraldine O’Kane is a poet, creative writing facilitator, arts administrator, curator and mental health advocate. She currently works for the John Hewitt Society. She is co-host of Purely Poetry, a monthly poetry open mic night, and co-runs Poetry NI, a multimedia platform offering news and opportunities for poets in Northern Ireland. Her first pamphlet “Quick Succession” was released by Pen Points Press in 2014. She is working towards her first full collection of poetry, and recently received an Artist Career Enhancement Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Brigid O’Neill Co. Down singer songwriter Brigid O’Neill’s music blends great country blues with folk and a delicious dash of jazz. Still riding the crest of a wave from the release of her EP debut of originals ‘Arrivals and Departures’, she writes songs that ‘dispense wisdom and life lessons with a melody and delivery that nods ever so subtly to Dusty Springfield’s Memphis days’. [Folk and Tumble 2014].
Marie O’Reilly sings and plays her own songs. Her performing style is lively and interactive. At present she is writing an anniversary song, and her song MISE ÉIRE, for an NI choir.
Kate O’Shea writes a wide range of poetry, both page and stage, from snap shots and observations right through to strong conversation starters on issues such as mental health, illness and general life challenges.