Welcome to the website of the John O’Connor Writing School & Literary Arts Festival.

John O’Connor

John O’Connor

The writing school in John O’Connor’s name is intended to mark the rediscovery of his highly acclaimed novel, Come Day – Go Day.

Our Writing Courses provide intensive tuition for everyone, including new and emerging writers – with the option to take a taster session for those who are new to creative writing . The choice of tutor is designed to ensure that the focus rests firmly on inspiring, celebrating and encouraging each and every ‘student’, irrespective of their level of skill and expertise.

Our Literary Arts Programme bring the the best of literary, musical and artistic talent both from Armagh and further afield.

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Due to lack of funds we are sadly unable to run the festival in 2019.  

Despite huge goodwill from the local community, the Arts Council and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council we will not have sufficient funds this year to provide the quality festival that we and our participants would expect.

We are aiming to celebrate the centenary of John O’Connor’s birth with a 2020 festival and will post more information here when it is available. We will also be running some one-off events this year so please don’t think that we’ve gone away! 

If you are able to support us with a financial donation we will have facilities to donate here soon.  If you are a business or organisation that would like to sponsor our work please get in touch.


We are delighted to announce that Daragh Carville has agreed to join us as an Honorary Patron to support the brilliant work of our festival patron Paul Muldoon.

Daragh is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter from Armagh. Born in 1969, Daragh studied Drama and Film at the University of Kent. He has since gone on to become one the UK and Ireland’s most versatile writers, having had nine acclaimed stage plays produced, several screenplays, radio plays and episodes for television.

Paul Muldoon

Paul Muldoon

“The world of John O’Connor is a world of the freshly snedded turnip, the new-sawn plank, the sod shining under the plough. His extraordinary gift is to render the life of the mill row in Armagh as deftly and definitively as Steinbeck renders cannery row or Bob Dylan desolation row.”

Paul Muldoon - Festival Patron


We Are Very Grateful To Our Sponsors