Iron Mountain Literature Festival


Arising from the John McGahern seminar which ran from 2007 for eight years, the Iron Mountain Literature Festival was established in 2016, reframed in a wider context involving writers, artists and thinkers from many perspectives. The festival continues to draw much of its motivation from the works and legacy of John McGahern, an approach which has allowed for a wide-ranging literary event combining panels, talks, readings and field trips which look to ideas central to and arising from an exploration of place, home and identity and the role of literature in shaping an understanding of history and human experience.

As part of the Iron Mountain Literature Festival and with the support of the McGahern Estate Leitrim County Council developed the John McGahern Award to encourage the development of emerging Irish writers and to pay tribute to the exceptional contribution of John McGahern to literature, and to Leitrim. The recipient of the award receives a prize of €2,000.

The Closing Date for receipt of submissions for the 2022 John McGahern Award is Friday 29th July 2022.

Previous John McGahern Award recipients

2016-Phil Kearney Byrne
2017-Anne Griffin
2018-Sean Tanner
2019-Zoë Comyns
2020-Niamh Mac Cabe
2021-Sonya Gildea

John McGahern is one of Ireland’s most respected and celebrated authors. His fiction is critically acclaimed internationally, has been translated into many languages and has appeared in many anthologies. He was a member of Aosdána and won numerous awards, including the Irish-American Foundation Award, the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, and the Prix Etranger Ecureuil. He taught at universities in Ireland, England, the USA and Canada. Amongst Women, which won both the GPA and Irish Times Award, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and made into a BBC television series.

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