Friday, October 7th – NUMU, Los Gatos 6pm – 9pm – $100

Eventbrite - LGLWF Opening Reception


Join us to ring in the inaugural Los Gatos – Listowel Writers’ Festival with a celebration on Friday, October 7th.  Enjoy food, wine and whiskey tastings as we greet our literary guests from Ireland and the Bay Area. Meet the Mayor of Los Gatos, Barbara Spector, former Irish Parliament Minister, Jimmy Deenihan, and Irish Consul General Philip Grant (who will read a special message of support from Irish President, Michael D. Higgins.)resizedimage579600-teskey-listowel-_2

The “Pat O’Laughlin Contribution to Literature Award” will be presented, and writing contest winners and finalists will be announced.

Máire Logue and Seán Lyons, from Listowel Writers’ Week will announce the HOPE project – a limited edition portfolio piece produced in association with Stony Road Press, featuring five exclusive signed contributions by Eavan Boland, Anne Enright, Jennifer Johnston, Brendan Kennelly and Colm Tóibín. The original texts are illustrated by a limited edition print by Irish artist Donald Teskey.

BONUS, FREE ADMISSION *For those interested in attending Friday presentations “Bullets Over Business” with Rich Moran, 3pm at Town Chambers, or  “John Ford’s Irish Tragicomedy” 8pm at the nearby Adult Rec. Center, admission is included in this opening night ticket price.


ANNOUNCEMENTS & AWARDS – 7.00pm-7.30pm

Pat O’Laughlin Contribution to Literature

Peggy Conaway

Former director of Los Gatos Public Library, local historian and author of three books in the Arcadia series:  Images of America – Los Gatos (2004), Los Gatos Generations (2007), and Images of Modern America – Los Gatos (2015), and co-author of Railroads of Los Gatos (2006) and of Legendary Locals of Los Gatos (2014). Peggy has been writing a local history column for the Los Gatos Weekly Times since 2004.

Short Story Prize $1000

Winner TBA

Shirley McClure Poetry Prize $600

“Across and Down” Kathleen McClung

Youth Poetry Prize $400

“Words” Karen Chen

Special Younger Category Prize $100

“Dirt On My Toes” by Maggie Gray


Pat O’Laughlin Contribution to Literature Award


Former trial attorney and mayor of Los Gatos, Pat O’Laughlin passed away in 2008, leaving behind a loyal following. Pat was a regular at Listowel Writers’ Week, and his passion for writing and poetry led him to complete a literature program at San Jose State University. We are proud to remember Pat with an award dedicated to his name.

A special thanks from the Los Gatos-Listowel festival team goes to Jerry Smith, former state senator and Justice of the California Court of Appeals, and the artist behind our Pat O’Laughlin Award plaque and medallions.

Shirley McClure Poetry Prize

We are saddened to learn of the death on September 23rd of Shirley McClure, who was to join us in Los Gatos to read from her new Penfro Poetry Competition-winning collection, Stone Dress (2015, Arlen House).

ShirleyBorn in Waterford in 1962, Shirley McClure attended Trinity College Dublin, where she studied English Literature and Spanish. She wrote her first poems at about the age of 8, encouraged by her teacher parents and artist and story-teller grandmother. More recently, Shirley had been reading and performing her work as well as conducting workshops at poetry events & festivals around Ireland. Shirley was to host a workshop with fellow Irish poet, Jane Clarke on October 8th at the first annual Los Gatos – Listowel Writers’ Festival, and indeed was one of the first writers on the bill.

With that, we are honored to name our poetry award the “Shirley McClure Poetry Prize” to help cherish the memory of Shirley and her work for years to come. Our thoughts are with her family and friends in Ireland at this time.

“Quirky and wise, studded with razor-sharp double entendres and droll fantasies, these poems introduce a refreshing new voice in Irish poetry.“- Bloodaxe poet Katie Donovan