Dublin Villager

Dublin Irish Festival

Irish Authors' Corner growing; will host 18 writers

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To embrace the storytelling roots of Irish culture, the 2014 Dublin Irish Festival will host 18 writers in the Irish Authors' Corner.

The Dublin Irish Festival, set for Aug. 1-3 in Coffman Park, has brought in Irish and Irish-American authors for the past two years.

"Literacy is important to the history of Ireland," said Mary Jo DiSalvo, Dublin events administrator.

"That's why we continue to grow that part of the festival."

The first year started with 10 authors and the number has steadily increased.

"This year we have 18 based on demand and request," said Sara O'Malley, a Dublin events assistant.

"We host meet-and-greets with the authors and people can purchase their books on site," O'Malley said.

"It's a great way to learn about new authors."

Cindy Thomson is no stranger to the Dublin Irish Festival. The 16-year central Ohio resident attended the festival before joining the Irish Authors' Corner last year.

"I really like to think it was the cultural part (of the festival) that drew me to it first," she said.

"I wrote my first novel several years ago and the Dublin Irish Festival sparked my interest in that."

At the Irish festival several years ago, Thomson learned about St. Brigid and then decided to write a fictional story about the Irish saint.

Her book on St. Brigid as well as others will be available at the Irish Authors' Corner and Thomson said she's always happy to discuss literature or her work.

"I like it when people come by to talk about the writing process or Irish history," she said.

"It's nice to get out and talk to people because the writing process is pretty solitary," Thomson said.

"I like to get out and talk to readers."

Author Sandra McCone also plans to talk to many people at the festival.

Making her second appearance at the festival, McCone will be part of the Irish Authors' Corner, as well as the Fairy Tea Parties and as a speaker in the Wendy's Wee Folk area and Daughters of Erin tent.

"A good friend who was an author said 'You have got to go to Dublin,'" McCone said of getting involved in the festival for the first time last year.

"He put in a good word for me and I contacted Barb Burkholder and told her about myself. She said, 'You're not just an author, but an entertainer.' "

Her inaugural year was good enough that McCone decided to return for a second year and talk about fairies.

Her books, the Three Little Lasses series, are about fairies modeled after her three granddaughters.

"I'll spread a little bit of fairy luck around and I'm coming looking a little bit different this year," McCone said.

"I'm coming as the shamrock fairy this year."

Other writers in the Irish Authors' Corner this year include: Philip Brady, Brenna Briggs, Arthur Cola, Jeanne Crane, Eleanor Y. Stewart, Kathi Hess, Sean Kay, Larry Kirwan, Michael McCarthy, Julie McGhee, Nemo Niemann, John O'Brien, Ann O'Farrell, Ann O'Farrell DeVoe, Elizabeth Osta and Tim Sells.

An authors' panel is slated for 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2.

For more information, look online at dublinirishfestival.org.

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