Four writers from Fermanagh feature in a new group of women from across the North who have used the global lockdown to fuel a powerhouse of literary creativity.
The writers of Women Aloud Northern Ireland – among them published authors, novelists, poets and broadcasters – are publishing an anthology of short stories and poems, some based on the theme of the virus that is keeping them indoors.
Not content with merely print, they are also staging an online literary festival, bringing their sparkling storytelling to audiences they would usually be entertaining through workshops, readings and other events, were it not for the worldwide restric- tions on their movements.
North Star was conceived by WANI chairwoman, Angeline King, who suggested members turn their quarantine time into a collective creative effort with a marketable product at the end. Her fellow writers rummaged through their back catalogue of best prose and poems to produce a tome awash with myriad themes and issues.
Angeline King, author of Snugville Street, explained: “North Star is all about being creative, keeping the mind busy, encouraging friendships forged through Women Aloud NI, and continuing the energetic collaborative spirit upon which WANI was founded in 2016, and which otherwise has been curtailed by the pandemic.”
“North Star – An Anthology of Literature by Northern Irish Women’ was born out of the wish to portray writers’ homeplaces – our villages, towns, counties, or wherever we have found ourselves firmly rooted at the moment. It is a theme many of our members often depict in their writing, so we already had a deep vault of material to mine.”
A Facebook Live Weekend Festival took place last month, using the social media platform’s live facility to bring a diverse programme of fiction, prose and poetry to audiences in their homes.