Saturday 17th



Playing Devil’s Advocate: an introduction to screenwriting for film & TV

Screenwriters workshop with Lindsay J. Sedgwick

The Sean Staunton Room, Westport Town Hall Theatre




Playing Devil’s Advocate: an introduction to screenwriting for film & TV.


Screenwriting is the tightest, trickiest medium, but also one of the most satisfying and exciting forms of writing. This workshop will look at what an idea needs to work for the screen, how to develop characters that will pull us in and keep us in the world you’ve created and how to structure a script from the individual scene through to the finished script. If you have a wicked and visual imagination and love creating characters, screenwriting might just be for you.


A former journalist, Lindsay is an award-winning screenwriter and playwright with more than eight hours of credits for TV and film work, including a feature film, TV series and short films. Her series Punky has been recognized as the first mainstream cartoon series in the world in which the main character has special needs (Down’s syndrome). It is available in over 100 countries with circa 5 million hits on YouTube. A screenwriting tutor since 1995, she runs courses and workshops all over Ireland, she published Ireland’s first comprehensive guide to screenwriting, Write That Script in April 2018. She has also published two novels, Dad’s Red Dress (2017) and The Angelica Touch (2018). Her books can be found on Amazon and in good bookshops.


Find out more about Lindsay on her website and on her blog.




On the Couch

Independent Thinking

Claire Grady talking with author Stefanie Preissner


W Cinema Westport



Stefanie Preissner

Stefanie Preissner, Munich-born but Mallow-raised is the creator of hit comedy-drama series Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope – the show was originally commissioned by RTÉ in Ireland - however both seasons have since broadcast on BBC Three and is available on Netflix.


Stefanie has also produced a series of short documentaries entitled How To Adult which she presents for RTÉ's online platform RTE Player.


Her newly released  RTE podcast Situationships is enjoying great ratings on the iTunes charts. The show is co-hosted with Stefanie's best friend Rachel Yoder and each episode looks at a different type of relationship and how to navigate it.


Her first feature film script has been commissioned and is supported by Parallel Films and the Irish Film Board.

Her one-woman theatre show, Solpadeine Is My Boyfriend, enjoyed sell-out runs in Dublin before touring internationally to Bucharest, Edinburgh and Australia, and – as a radio play – it became RTÉ’s most downloaded podcast.


Stefanie graduated from University College Cork with a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies and Spanish.

Alongside her career as a screenwriter and playwright, she has won several awards as an actor. She is a regular contributor to Ireland’s Sunday Independent newspaper and her voice is well-recognised from her prolific voiceover career.


Her first book Why Can’t Everything Just Stay the Same? was nominated for several awards in 2017 and her second book No. It's a Full Sentence is set for release in 2019.



Claire Grady

Westport native Claire Grady started her career in journalism in the Mayo News and, over a 30 year career in newspaper journalism, worked in the Dublin-based Echo newspapers, the Evening Herald, Sunday Tribune and Irish Independent. She worked as a news reporter, news editor, commissioning editor and finally as editor of the Herald and editor of the Irish Independent.  An occasional contributor to radio and television news programmes, Claire is currently working in communications for a state agency. An avid reader, she’s been turning up at the Rolling Sun Festival for the last few years.




Book Reading  from Cupid on Trial

By author Brian Jory


McLoughlins Book Shop



Cupid On Trial

If you’ve ever fallen in love, struggled with love, or faltered in love, Cupid On Trial will speak to your heart and change the way you feel about yourself and someone you love.


You will laugh, cry, scratch your head, even tremble as you eavesdrop in the bedrooms, kitchens, dance clubs, and coffee shops of Lovejoy—a fictional city where real couples are struggling with love in turbulence, relationships pushed to the brink, and situations they never saw coming. Like us, they’re learning to love on the job and without an instruction manual. You will adore some of these couples—they are heroes. Others you will not like at all. Love or hate, you’ll be entertained and come away with a deeper understanding of what it means to love and be loved, including what it means to love yourself.


Cupid on Trial is a unique book of inspiration, insight, and romance —written in simple story form and easy to understand. One read and you will never look at love the same way again.



Dr. Brian Jory

Dr. Brian Jory has been researching relationships, teaching about intimacy, and counseling couples for years. He wrote Cupid on Trial with the belief that it is never too early—or too late—for couples who love one another to plan a happy ending.


He has been researching relationships, teaching about intimacy, and counseling couples for years. His theories and research studies have been published in prestigious academic journals, and have won numerous awards for their focus on spirituality and personal responsibility in relationships. Dr. Jory is a Professor at Berry College, near Atlanta, where he teaches about love, intimacy, and sexuality. He currently serves as Chair of the Education Department and as Director of the Family Studies Program. He is affiliated with the American Psychological Association, the International Family Therapy Association, and the Family Science Association of America.





From Russia With Love

Conor O’Clery and his wife Zhanna talk to Rick O’Shea about his new book The Shoemaker and his Daughter


Westport Town Hall Theatre



In the Soviet Union in 1962, shoemaker Stanislav Suvorov is imprisoned for five years. His crime? Selling his car for a profit, contravening the Kremlin’s strict laws of speculation. Laws which, thirty years later, his daughter Zhanna helps to unravel. In the new Russia, yesterday’s crime is today’s opportunity.


The Shoemaker and His Daughter takes in more than eighty years of Soviet and Russian history through the prism of one family – a family author Conor O’Clery knows well: he is married to Zhanna. It paints a vivid picture of a complex part of the world at a seismic moment in its history: of erratic war and uneasy peace; of blind power and its frequent abuse; of misguided ideologies and stifling bureaucracy; of the slow demise of Communism and the chaotic embrace of capitalism. The Suvorovs witness it all. Both intimate and sweeping in scale, this is a story of ordinary lives battered and shaped by extraordinary times.


'Welcomed by everyone who cares about good writing and human stories.' Richard Lloyd Parry, author of Ghosts of the Tsunami


'[A] superb, illuminating book ... A memoir of great power and poignancy.' Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday


'A tour de force ... O'Clery is a gifted writer.' Luke Harding, bestselling author of Collusion


'An arresting and evocative story.' Keggie Carew, author of Dadland


Conor O’Clery

Belfast-born Conor O’Clery is a twice winner of Journalist of the Year for his dispatches from around the world for The Irish Times. He is the author of a number of books on Russia and the former Soviet Union, including his most recent, The Shoemaker and His Daughter, a story of one family’s life in the former Soviet Union and modern Russia; Moscow, December 25, 1991, an account of the last day of the Soviet Union, and Melting Snow, a memoir of his time as a correspondent in Moscow. His other books include The Billionaire Who Wasn’t, a biography of the philanthropist, Chuck Feeney, which was ‘Book of the Year’ in both The Economist and Businessweek, and a novel, The Star Man, about a rebel newspaperman in Ireland in the 1790s. He lives in Dublin with his wife, Zhanna.


Rick O’Shea

Rick has been a presenter with Ireland’s state broadcaster RTE since 2001. He was previously with RTE 2FM for over 15 years and is the former presenter of The Poetry Programme on RTE Radio 1. He currently presents weekday mornings on RTE Gold.


He runs The Rick O’Shea Book Club (Ireland’s largest with over 20,000 members) and, along with author Sinead Moriarty, recommends quarterly book choices for Ireland’s largest book retailer Eason. He also hosts events and public author interviews at arts festivals all across the country and is the literary curator of the Waterford Writers Weekend. Outside of the book world he has been the National Patron of Epilepsy Ireland since 2006.

He is one of the judges for the 2018 Costa Book Awards.