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EBCF to move online this March, with live events planned for September

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THIS year’s Ennis Book Club Festival will be going online, organisers have confirmed. Due to Covid-19 restrictions the popular festival’s March 2021 programme will be virtual, while there are also plans for a day of live events in glór in September.
A full programme line-up is due to be announced in the coming weeks, however the EBCF organising committee have revealed some of the big names taking part this year.
“We have prioritised giving our readers the chance to engage with their favourite books and writers,” said a spokesperson for the organising committee. As part of that, there will be a bookclub meet-up with Donal Ryan, in small groups, via Zoom, “to allow for intimacy and the sense of one-to-one contact with a writer”. Roddy Doyle will join the festival from home to talk about his most recent title ‘Love’. While Exciting Times author Naoise Dolan will be answering people’s questions in an online chat next March.
On September 11 the festival will host a gathering in glór with two events featuring international guests, and a production with Irish writer Sara Baume, including live music and themes of ‘making’ from her book Handiwork.   
The EBCF are partnered with Clare Library Service for Teen Week and will have a range of free events for young people, including Fighting Words workshops, and online events with Louise O’Neill and Sarah Moore Fitzgerald (March 2-5). Ennis Book Club commissioned Sarah Moore Fitzgerald in November 2020 to host a series of book club workshops with four Transition year groups in County Clare in the lead up to the festival in March 2021. During the three workshops the students met with Sarah Moore Fitzgerald to discuss character and story arcs, Tools and techniques to generate sharper levels of story awareness and discussion of the Apple Tart of Hope and a Strange kind of brave. Some of these students will now be involved in the setting up of a Young Adult advisory group to EBCF.
The festival has also partnered with the Wild Atlantic Way initiative: The Lighthouse Project, a site-specific literary offering at Loop Head, that will take place in late April featuring Clare poet Frank Golden, with an immersive outdoor experience, showcasing the beauty of Clare. This project will allow both Clare locals and visitors to embark on an adventure at the Loop Head Peninsula, enjoying a bespoke soundscape and literary audio experience.

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