Mark Calendars for 2017 Los Gatos Irish Writers’ Festival, October 5th-8th, 2017

The Los Gatos Irish Writers’ Festival was founded by Catherine Barry of Irish Culture Bay Area and Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts & Heritage, Irish Parliament, 2011-2014, and is devoted to bringing together writers and audiences at unique and innovative events in the historic and intimate town of Los Gatos, CA, located an hour south of San Francisco. Los Gatos has a 22-year-old sister city relationship with Listowel, Ireland, and this festival is inspired by the internationally acclaimed Writers’ Week held there for the past 40 years.

This year’s Los Gatos festival, held from October 6th to 9th, saw the best of contemporary Irish literature in the inaugural four-day festival that featured readings and workshops with award-winning Irish writers Mike McCormack, Louise Phillips, Niamh O’Connor, Claire McGowan, Frank Shouldice, Rose Doyle, Jane Clarke and Caroline Bracken.

Local writers Emer Martin, Ethel Rohan, David Brundage, Matt Spangler, Joseph McBride, Pireeni Sundaralingam, Sara Berkeley, Elizabeth Creeley, Lori Phillips—and even a politician or two—joined the lively festival contingent. Visiting Connemara artist, Bridie Ryan, displayed her work at Gallery 24/Whitney Modern during the course of the weekend, and Patricia Kennelly’s Irish dance school students entertained at children’s events.

The weekend wrapped up with a crime writers-meet-detectives event, a presentation by independent publishers Lisa Coen and Sara David Goff of Tramp Press, and an end-of-year nod to Ireland’s uprising of 1916, with filmmakers Colin and Dave Farrell.

A closing night tribute to Flann O’Brien with Bay Area Flanneurs Conor Howard, Colm ORiain and Owen Murphy, along with guest UC Berkeley professor and Joyce and Flann O’Brien scholar, Catherine Flynn, sent everyone home in spirited form.

Thank you to all at the many festival venues including the Los Gatos Library, Friends of The Library, Village House of Books, NUMU, Los Gatos Lodge, Hotel Los Gatos, Gallery 24 and Whitney Modern – and, of course, to Johnny Hannegan and Chris Benson at the trusty festival headquarters, C.B. Hannegan’s.

See photos here, and participant feedback here

Writing Contests

We received high standard submissions to our youth and adult poetry and short story contests – see results here

Pat O’Laughlin Award

We remember former trial attorney and mayor of Los Gatos, Pat O’Laughlin, who passed away in 2008 leaving behind a grieving community of followers. Pat’s passion for reading and writing poems and short stories led him to the literature program at San Jose State. A regular visitor to Listowel for Writers’ Week, we are proud to remember Pat annually with an award dedicated to his name. This year’s O’Laughlin Award winner is historian and author, Peggy Conaway.

San Jose Mercury News – O’Laughlin Awardee
Menlo College News
San Jose Mercury News, Los Gatos Edition – June 2016 article
Crime Writer Events on Writing.ie
The Kerryman – “Writers’ Week to go Stateside

Presenting Partners
Listowel Writers’ Week • LitQuake • Irish Culture Bay Area • The Los Gatos Library • The Irish Literary & Historical Society • The Consulate General of San Francisco • C.B. Hannegan’s • Friends of the Los Gatos Library • Town of Los Gatos • Village House of Books • Hotel Los Gatos  • Irish American Bar Association • Irish Network Bay Area • Los Gatos Lodge • Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce • Irish-American Crossroads Festival

Please email Festival Team for further information.