SiarScéal Festival 2020
– Programme of Events –

Note to Festival Goers

In view of Government restrictions on public gatherings, we will be monitoring the situation and making a decision in respect of a venue for this year's SiarScéal Festival closer to the time. In the event that a public gathering is not possible, we hope to go ahead, using online social media platforms to facilitate a 'virtual' festival.

The Hanna Greally International Literary Awards will take place and prizes will be awarded, even if a public presentation ceremony cannot be held.

Publication of Beneath Western Skies anthology will also proceed, even if a formal launch has to be postponed to a later date. Copies will be available to buy online and at the festival itself, assuming that a public gathering can be facilitated.

SiarScéal is a historical, literary, community festival hosted annually in Roscommon Library. SiarScéal is inspired by the cultural and heritage of County Roscommon and celebrates all artistic media and forms, including internationally, through the Hanna Greally Literary Awards, exhibition and publications that we produce.

Dates and Venue

SiarScéal Festival 2020 will commence on Friday, 2 October and continue through Saturday, 3 October at a venue to be announced (see Note to Festival Goers above).

Programme of Events

The Hanna Greally International Literary Awards (this year, with an Overall Prize of €400 and two Highly Commended prizes of €100 each) is a regular feature of the festival. This year’s theme is, Western Reflections. As with previous years, we will be accepting entries in all writing disciplines, including poetry, prose, short story. The closing date for entries is Tuesday, 1 September 2020. See our Competition page for further information, including how to enter.

The highlight of this year's festival will be the launch of Beneath Western Skies anthology, compiled and edited by poet and author, Anni Wilton-Jones, from winning entries at last year's festival that also saw the launch of the Beneath Western Skies exhibition and, which subsequently went on tour at venues across Ireland.

An exciting programme of events has been lined up for the two-day festival.

Day One – Friday, 2 October

11am – 1pm: Schools launch of Beneath Western Skies anthology, to be followed by presentation of the Hanna Greally International Literary Awards in the schools and junior categories, on the theme of Climate Change and Me. The chairperson of Roscommon County Council will present the awards to the school children. Readings from the winning entries will form part of the day's ceremonies. Regional counties will be represented by children from Leitrim's Aughavas NS, Dromahair Library Book Club, Bunnanaddan NS in Co. Sligo and locally by Roscommon’s Castleplunkett NS.

The Ger Hanily Memorial Cup presentation will follow.

Day Two – Saturday, 3 October

10am – 12.30pm: Official launch of Beneath Western Skies anthology and The Hanna Greally Literary Awards ceremony, officiated by the chairperson of Roscommon County Council. The overall prize winner will receive €400 with two Highly Commended entries each receiving €100. There will be readings from all of the winning entries.

Award-winning poet, Jessamine O’Connor will be the Guest Poet at this year's SiarScéal Festival and will act as adjudicator for the Hanna Greally International Literary Awards.

2pm – 4.30pm: Open mike. Please SMS or text SiarScéal at Int+353861649756 for inclusion in the Reading List.

Further Information

We look forward to seeing you and all our welcome to attend. Further information can be obtained by contacting SiarScéal. The festival programme of events is available to download and share.