The Story Writers

Over the next six weeks we will be releasing audio recordings of six Roscommon writers reading one of their own short stories for you to enjoy. Curated by Gerry Boland, our story writers include both the 2019 & 2020 Roscommon Arts Centre/Words Ireland Mentees Louise G. Cole and Amy Barry, along with Brian Leyden, John Mulligan and Anne Byrne, winner of the 2020 New Roscommon Writing Award.

Every Tuesday, a story from one of our story writers will be released here and available to listen to throughout the week.

The Story Writers Publication Dates are as follows:

Tuesday 26th January: Gerry Boland

Tuesday 2nd February: Louise G Cole

Tuesday 9th February: John Mulligan

Tuesday 16th February: Anne Byrne

Tuesday 23rd February: Brian Leyden

Tuesday 2nd March:      Amy Barry

* Please note dates may be subject to change

Supported by The Arts Council of Ireland



Tuesday 26th January:   Gerry Boland    Click here to hear Gerry Boland: A Visit From My Father

Gerry is a Dublin-born author and poet who moved to north Roscommon in 1999. He writes for adults and for children and has published nine books to date, his latest being The Far Side of Happiness, a collection of short stories from Arlen House in 2018. He was Roscommon Writer-in-Residence in 2013 and 2014. For more information on Gerry’s work visit Gerry’s short story is called A VISIT FROM MY FATHER

Tuesday 2nd February:  Louise G. Cole  Click here to hear Louise G Cole: The Potential Pleasure Of New Soft Furnishings

Louise G Cole won the New Roscommon Writing Award in 2019, the same year she was selected by UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy for publication in the Laureate’s Choice series. The previous year she won the Hennessy Literary Award for Emerging Poetry and had a Dublin pub named in her honour (just for a weekend). Louise has had short stories and poems published in anthologies, newspapers and literary magazines, and she blogs at where she posts weekly creative writing prompts and explains the ‘G’ in her name is there to avoid unnecessary confusion with Louise Cole the underwear model. Louise’s story is called THE POTENTIAL PLEASURE OF NEW SOFT FURNISHINGS

Tuesday 9th February:   John Mulligan Click here to hear John Mulligan: Non Nationals

John Mulligan is an author and journalist from Boyle in County Roscommon. Three of his books have been published to critical acclaim and his work has featured in numerous collections and anthologies as well as in newspapers and magazines. He was runner up in the Fish Awards for short fiction in 2011 and was the outright winner as well as the third placed author in the same competition in 2012. He is a twice winner of the New Roscommon Writing Award. He writes articles and features for a number of publications and contributes a weekly column to the Roscommon Herald newspaper.


Tuesday 16th February: Anne Byrne Click here to hear Anne Byrne: A Prayer Before Dying

Anne Byrne is a writer from rural County Sligo. She was winner of the New Roscommon Writing Award 2020, and first runner up in the same competition in 2018. She was shortlisted in the Kanturk Flash Fiction Competition 2019, and winner of the Poet Higgins Society Poetry Competition 2011. Her stories have been published in the New Roscommon Writing Anthology 2014-2018, the Roscommon Herald, the Autumn Leaves broadsheet 2020 produced by Roscommon County Council Arts Office, and most recently in an online event as part of the First Fortnight Festival 2021. Her writing is inspired by her love of history.

Tuesday 23rd February: Brian Leyden Click here to hear Brian Leyden: Schooldays

Brian Leyden was Ireland’s Age & Opportunity Bealtaine Festival National Writer in Residence (2016) and toured Ireland with the show Old Flames. He co-wrote the feature film, Black Ice (2013) which received an IFTA best actress nomination for its lead. Awards include the Norman Mailer Writers Colony Scholarship(USA), Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, (BAI) Sound and Vision Award (2014). And an Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon “Literary Bursary” 2014. His work has appeared in Winter Papers (Vol. II) ed. Kevin Barry and Olivia Smith and he is a regular contributer to RTÉ’s Sunday Miscellany. Current publications are Sweet Old World: New & Selected Stories, a memoir The Home Place and the novel Summer of ’63. Bernard MacLaverty has described his stories as “Life remembered with precision and love”.

Tuesday 2nd March: Amy Barry Click here to hear Amy Barry: The Good Teacher

Amy Barry writes poems and short stories. She is published in anthologies, journals, and press and e-zines globally, including Southword, Sunday Tribune, The Blue Nib, Paris Lit Up, Opiate, Live Encounters; & included in the UCD Pandemic Poetry Archive. Her poems have been translated into many languages including Spanish, Turkish and Italian. Amy was nominated for the Pushcart 2021 Poetry Prize and shortlisted for the Roscommon Poets Prize 2020. she was a recipient of Words Ireland National Mentoring Programme, supported by Roscommon Arts Centre and a recipient of the Arts Council Of Ireland Professional Development Award, 2020. Amy has featured in the RTE Radio One Extra in Reverberations Series 2, Nov.2019 and regularly organises Poetry events in Athlone.

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