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. She is also working on a collection of stories, and a new novel set in west Cork, The Ballydevlin Hauntings.
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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.
‘You can’t eat scenery’ is an old saying about the difficulty of making a living in beautiful but remote places. West Cork, from Kinsale to the Beara Peninsula and from the Atlantic to the Lee Valley is such a place.
SHIP OF SEVEN MURDERS
In June 1828, the Mary Russell sailed into Cork Harbour from the West Indies. Seven crewmen lay in the main saloon, brutally and inexplicably murdered by the captain.
A few years ago I was introduced to a woman at a party in Kinsale, where I live. ‘I’m very interested to meet you,’ she said, ‘I hear you’ve written a novel about my husband.’
A JOKE GOES A LONG WAY IN THE COUNTRY
There is a certain librarian in Cork who, every time he sees my name on my ticket, says in a furtive whisper ‘You wrote A Joke Goes a Long Way in the Country!’, and winks...
Travel guide to Cork city and county. Probably the most thorough guide to Cork City and County ever written, this was one of the first books from the Collins Press, now a major figure in Irish publishing.
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. http://www.poetryireland.ie/education/writers-in-schools.html. Find out more about my workshop work.
Cork World Book Fest 2014
I will be curating the foreign language strand of Cork City Library’s annual World Book Fest event, which starts on Shakespeare’s birthday, Wednesday 23rd April 2014.
I have had a long association with the Kinsale Arts Festival which takes place in July each year and served on the committee. I have also been involved with West Cork Literary Festival, based in Bantry and the Cork International Short Story Festival.
“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.