Alannah Hopkin

Writer and journalist

Read some of my recent reviews


Head and shoulders picture of Alannah Hopkin, writer and journalist

Alannah Hopkin has published two novels, A Joke Goes a Long Way in the Country and The Out-haul (Hamish Hamilton, London) and her non-fiction books include Eating Scenery: West Cork, the People & the Place (The Collins Press, Cork). Her stories have appeared in the London Magazine and the Cork Literary Review, among others. She has written guides to Ireland for Fodor’s, Insight and Berlitz, and also writes about her own travels abroad for magazines. She is currently a regular book reviewer for the Irish Examiner. She also works as an editorial consultant. She is a tutor on Poetry Ireland’s Writers in Schools scheme, and has led writing workshops for adults up to M.A. level. Her first collection of stories, The Dogs of Inishere will be published shortly. She is currently working on a new novel set in west Cork, The Ballydevlin Hauntings.

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Represented by The Jonathan Williams Literary Agency, Rosney Mews, Upper Glenageary Rd. Glenageary, Co. Dublin. Telephone: 01 280 3482.

You may be looking for another Alannah. If so this page of alternative spellings might help.

What I do


I write books and short stories. My books are available from and from The Collins Press. You can read some of my published stories by downloading them HERE


I mainly review literary fiction, and also biography, letters and essays, usually related to writers or writing. I have a special interest in the short story, and in the work of Roberto Bolaño. I have been reviewing books for national newspapers in the UK and Ireland since 1987. I am currently reviewing for The Irish Examiner. Here are some RECENT PIECES.


I write and update travel guides about Ireland for Fodor’s, Insight and Berlitz. I have an in-depth knowledge of what to do and see in Ireland. I have a special interest in the rural west and southwest including Connemara, the Burren, Killarney, the Ring of Kerry and west Cork. I also work as an editorial consultant. This ranges from assessing book proposals or submissions for publishers to preparing other people’s work for submission. FIND OUT MORE


I run creative writing workshops for transition year students and 5th and 6th years. These are usually organised in advance through Poetry Ireland, but I can also work directly with schools on request. I teach adult writing courses for University College, Cork and for the Munster Literature Centre, among others, and help present and organise literary events.




On the Banks – Cork City in Poems and Songs
This is the first ever anthology of Cork City in poems and songs which I edited for The Collins Press. It will be launched at Cork City Library, Grand Parade on 16 September, 2016 at 8pm. Thomas MacCarthy will speak and Cork’s favourite soprano Cara O’Sullivan will sing. Please join us and hold on to you hats! See for details.

Cork International Short Story Festival
Cork International Short Story Festival 2016 runs from 7 – 10 September. I’m very pleased to let everyone know that my collection of stories, The Dogs of Inishere, will be published next year by Dalkey Archive Press. Too late for this year’s Festival, but on 8 September at 10pm in the Firkin Crane I will be talking to Donal Ryan, rural Ireland’s latest chronicler, and Sara Majka, a young American writer whose amazing stories are set mainly on the coast of New England. Other events at the festival feature Polly Samson, Joanna Walsh, Aidan Matthews, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Neil Jordan and Sinéad Gleeson. Plenty of discussions and workshops for aspiring writers available too. See the travel piece from the Oldie Magazine’s Go Away GB supplement on this website for more information about the festival. See for details.

Iron Mountain Literature Festival
Iron Mountain Literature Festival 2016 runs from 7 – 8 October, and its Director is Vincent Woods. This is a new festival that replaces the annual John McGahern Seminar, and will be held at The Dock, Carrick on Shannon, Leitrim. It has broadened its perspective, and will include writers, artist and thinkers from various disciplines. On Saturday 8 October at 4pm in The Dock Keith Hopper from Oxford University will be talking about language and landscape in the work of John McGahern and Dermot Healy, followed by the launch of Dermot Healy’s collected plays and a book about his work, Writing the Sky: Observations and Essays on Dermot Healy, in which I have a piece. A large gathering of Dermot’s friends and admirers is expected to gather there. The rest of the schedule is unusual and innovative, featuring Anne Enright, Annie Proulx, Conor McPherson, and discussions on mythology and folklore, architecture, nature and the environment and a field trip to Sliabh an Iarainn See!schedule/nyxn9 for details.

Kildare Readers Festival
Thanks to Neil Donnelly, who is masterminding this event on 15 October, this will be the first time that I talk in public about the work of my late husband Aidan Higgins, who died last December. Thanks to the people at Kildare Library and Arts Service for hosting us, and to Neil Donnelly, whose idea it was, and who will be showing some clips from an extraordinary film he is making about the life and work of Aidan Higgins, which should be a lot of fun. Join us at 2pm on Saturday October 15 in the Riverbank Centre, Kildare. See for details.

Poetry Ireland
I am on the panel for Poetry Ireland’s Writers in Schools. I normally work with Transition Year students and fifth and sixth year. Bookings, which are part-funded by Poetry Ireland, must be made well in advance through their website. Find out more about my workshop work.

Sunday Miscellany
My next contribution to this RTE programme, broadcast at 9.10 on Sundays, will be on air shortly. You can listen back to others on this website, go to my Recent Pieces.

Literary Festivals
I have had a long association with the Cork World Bookfest,  hosted annually by Cork City Libraries in mid-April to mark Shakespeare’s birthday, the West Cork Literary Festival, based in Bantry as well as the Cork International Short Story Festival – see above, and see travel piece from the Oldie Magazine’s Go Away GB supplement on this website for more information.


I always welcome the opportunity to work with Alannah for her professionalism, tact, diligence and ability to transform a script. She can see straight to the heart of the matter and is insightful about what is required to turn a script into a publishable prospect.

Paula Elmore, Editor, The Collins Press Guide Books

I have worked with Alannah on several Insight/Berlitz projects. She is a pleasure to work with and has brought her wide knowledge of the tourism business in Ireland, including hotels, restaurants, attractions, outdoor activities and cultural life, to each project.

Tom Stainer, Senior Editor, Insight Guides/Berlitz Handbooks

Alannah has ably hosted and interviewed John Banville and Kevin Barry, among others. She has an instinct for fielding audience responses and framing them to create an engaged, enjoyable session that really opens up a sense of the books. With a writer’s insight, she creates an atmosphere that gives fresh insight, and a sense of really knowing the authors on stage.

Gemma Tipton, Guest Artistic Director, Kinsale Arts Festival, 2011 and 2012.

I have enjoyed working with Alannah on a number of projects. The Cork World Book Fest has commissioned Alannah to be guest curator for continental European writers in 2014.

Liam Ronayne, Cork City Librarian.


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2 Higher St, Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland