Liz Weir 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.
Tara West’s first novel, Fodder, was published by Blackstaff Press to widespread critical acclaim. Her second novel, Poets Are Eaten as a Delicacy in Japan, was published by Liberties Press. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Queen’s University Belfast, is a member of the Society of Authors, and has received a number of Arts Council Northern Ireland Awards for her writing, including the prestigious Artists Career Enhancement Scheme. Her memoir about depression and recovery, Happy Dark, will be published in 2016 by Liberties Press.
Sheena Wilkinson has been described as ‘one of our foremost writers for young people’ [The Irish Times, March 2015]. Since the publication of the multi-award-winning Taking Flight [Little Island] in 2010, she has published several novels for young adults and children. Grounded won the CBI Book of the Year in 2013. She also writes short stories, the most recently-published being ‘Each Slow Dusk’ in Walker’s The Great War anthology . Name Upon Name (Little Island) is her first historical novel, set in Belfast 1916. Sheena is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow, and lives in County Down. You can find out more about Sheena here.
Amy Louise Wyatt is a poet based at the Blackberry Path Studios in Bangor. She has been writing for many years and her work has been featured in on-line publications. She is currently completing a collection of sonnets written to her great aunt who was a spinster seamstress. She hopes to self-publish the collection in 2017. When she is not writing and creating art, she teaches English and R.E. at SERC, and art classes at her studio.
Jo Zebedee is a science fiction and fantasy writer based near Belfast. As well as her extensive Space Opera world, Abendau, Jo writes genre books set in Northern Ireland. Best known for Inish Carraig, set after an alien invasion of Belfast, Jo’s first fantasy book, Waters and the Wild, was released by Inspired Quill in 2017. She is currently writing the sequel to Inish Carraig, in which she destroys yet more of her native land, and the first of a paranormal crime series set in Donegal.
As well as her novels, Jo blogs here, mixing writing advice, motivational blogs and business modelling for writers. She also delivers courses in writing speculative fiction, and provides coaching services to writers. Her website can be found here and she can be followed on Twitter as @jozebwrites.
Myra Zepf is the first ever Children’s Writing Fellow for Northern Ireland, based at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University in Belfast.
She has written two historical fiction books for children, Tubaiste ar an Titanic (Cló Mhaigh Eo, 2012) and Lá leis na Lochlannaigh (Cois Life, 2016) which won the Oireachtas prize for children’s fiction in 2015.
Myra’s first picture book, ‘Ná Gabh ar Scoil!’ (Futa Fata, 2015) was nominated for Children’s Book of the Year. It subsequently won an ILA Children’s Book Award and was IBBY honours-listed for Ireland. It has been translated internationally to Korean and to English (Sterling, 2017).
Most recently, Myra has published a new series of picture books in collaboration with illustrator Andrew Whitson (An tSnáthaid Mhór, 2017, 2018). ‘Rita agus an Róbat’ and ‘Rita agus an tSíog Mhaith’ were published in 2017, followed by ‘Rita agus an Dragún’ in 2018.
Currently, Myra is writing a verse novel for teens, commissioned by Foras na Gaeilge to be published by Cois Life in 2019.
Myra offers a wide range of workshops for all ages of children and teens here.