General, Partnerships

Third NI Writers Day Takes Place at the Lyric

28th September, 2022

The third NI Writers Day took place on Monday 26th September at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast.

Damian Smyth, Head of Literature at the Arts Council, Liam Hannaway, Chair of the Arts Council, Playwright/Author Bonnie Greer and Irenosen Okojie at the Lyric Belfast
Pictured: Damian Smyth, Head of Literature at the Arts Council, Liam Hannaway, Chair of the Arts Council, Playwright/Author Bonnie Greer and Irenosen Okojie at the Lyric Belfast

Hosted by the Royal Society of Literature (RSL) and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland the event focused on writing for stage and screen, showcasing writers who have enjoyed success in TV, film and theatre.

The event unfolded in two parts, opening with an intimate lunchtime writing workshop for 10 up and coming scriptwriters with critic and playwright Bonnie Greer.

The evening event featured a panel discussion lead by Bonnie, with an introduction from Irenosen Okojie, writer and Vice-Chair of the Royal Society of Literature, and highlights from a specially recorded interview with Declan Lawn (BBC’s Salisbury Poisonings, Netflix’s Rogue Agent), who shared his tips and insights into the writing and commissioning process, in conversation with Aine Toner, Features Editor of the Belfast Telegraph.

Bonnie Greer is a Chicago born writer, playwright and critic. She studied with David Mamet and Elaine Kazan, taught playwriting to students and formerly incarcerated women, and has seen her plays performed to great acclaim around the world.

Joining her on the NI Writers Day panel was writer and theatre director Fionnuala Kennedy whose play, Removed, produced by Prime Cut Productions, in partnership with Voice of Young People in Care (VOYPIC), won the 2020 Zebbie award for Best Play and is set to tour internationally in 2023.

Director and performer Stacy Gregg, also shared their experiences of the industry, having written extensively for television and worked with global broadcasting platforms. Most recently they directed a block of The Baby (Sky/HBO) and wrote and directed the feature film Here Before, which premiered at South by Southwest.

Paul McVeigh completed the line-up. A multi-award winning author, Paul has written comedy, essays, flash fiction, a novel, plays and short stories. His work has been performed on radio, stage and television, and published in seven languages. Paul most recent work for stage, Big Man, will premiere at the Lyric Theatre next month.

This event marks the third Arts Council and RSL NI Writers Day collaboration and the first in the series to take place live.

Director of the RSL, Molly Rosenberg, explained:

“The RSL is really happy to be working with the Arts Council in collaboration on the third instalment of Northern Ireland Writers Day. This year our day celebrates the work of writers beyond the page, across screen, theatre and performance. We hope that the workshop and evening discussion this year will inspire even more connection between writers across forms and across Northern Ireland.”

Damian Smyth, Head of Literature and Drama at the Arts Council, said:

“Once again the Arts Council is working in partnership with the Royal Society of Literature to help raise the profile of writers from NI and highlight the range of skills writers bring to the contemporary scene. It’s a particular joy to welcome Bonnie Greer, whose wisdom as a writer and thinker has influenced so many.”