The university will hold the third annual Literary Convention this Sunday, writes Cathy Lee.
NUI Galway will host the Writers’ Society’s third annual Literary Convention this Sunday from 11am-5pm.
 
Ruth Sweeney, Auditor of NUI Galway Writers’ Society, said the event is going to be “all about fun concepts”, special guest speakers, workshops, a poetry slam and reading/writing spaces. “I’m really looking forward to the response that we’ll get,” Ruth added of the event that will take place in Áras na Mac Leinn, NUI Galway.
 
The cost of admission is just €5 for students and €8 for non-students. Highlights include a comparison by Dr. Rebecca Barr of 18th century novel 'Pamela' and Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James.
Ruth said that the society have “tried to get a balance between academic speakers and kind of fun playful speakers – people who really love their art”.
 
She added that, with academic speakers such as Dr. Barr and Dr. Muireann O’ Cinneide, “it’s quite high quality and academic but at the same time it’s not to alienate anybody” for those who just show up on the day.
 
On the day there’ll be over ten workshops which include beginner's writing, writing religion, writing politics, “10 books to read before you die”, writing film, world building, writing in Irish culture and fan fiction.
 
Another exciting element is the “Blind Date with a Book” where you receive a book wrapped up in paper to be shared among others. Ruth says this allows for the introduction to “books you might not otherwise go for”.
 
Commerce student Luke Brennan will be organising a Marketing workshop and reading corner from 1-3pm with food provided by Pearla na Mara, where participants can share work and get feedback during discussions.
 
The competitive Poetry Slam will take place from 3-5pm, which will include prizes and a chance to represent NUI Galway in the National Poetry Slam. Ruth says “even if you’re not associated with NUI Galway, you can still come and you can still win prizes. It’s just open to the public full stop”.
 
Irish poets will also be showcasing on the day, including the return Kevin Higgins along with Mary Kennedy, Ann Egan and Gabriel Fitzmaurice. Ruth said creating the event has been “a lot of work” but she “could not be given a better committee of people to help. They’ve done fantastic relentless work”.
 
Overall Ruth says, “It’s a literary convention but it’s not just books, it’s kind of creativity in general and it’s very much about how you can make that fun and engaging”.