Introducing the Lagan ‘12NOW’ up-and-coming New Original Writers

Lagan Online is proud to announce the line-up for our ’12NOW’ series. Showcasing the best up-and-coming poets and prose writers within Northern Ireland today, these are the names to watch out for in the year ahead.

Our chosen twelve are Peter Adair, Olive Broderick, Tory Campbell, Patricia Devlin-Hill, Paul Doran, James Guiney, Anne Harris, Paula Matthews, David Mitchell, Matthew Rice, Claire Savage and Ross Thompson.

Lagan Online has selected the 12 New Original Writers based on one criterion alone: stunning writing. We believe in supporting quality local writers, to help build an audience for their work and writing careers.

Over the next number of months, we will be promoting each writer, showcasing their work, with exclusive interviews and sharing their published work and literary achievements. We’re confident that much success is ahead for them all, and we look forward to helping nurturing their careers and seeing their progression and hearing more from each of them.

Each of the writers will work with Verbal Arts Centre’s Reading Rooms, a mobile shared reading programme that gives participants a voice, reduces isolation and anxiety, and promotes wellbeing. Using a reading aloud and shared reading setting the programme encourages participants to share personal experiences from their past, sparking memories, stimulating new thoughts and provoking conversation related to the short stories and poems from our writers, selected in advance and tailored to the needs of the group by the project’s Literary Guide.

Reading Rooms currently has five strands: Young People, Older People, Criminal Justice (working with ex young offenders), Schools Programme and Mental Health. Overall, the poems and stories from each of the 12NOW will have been read by hundreds of people in dozens of Reading Rooms groups across Northern Ireland, catering to both adults and children. Additionally, each writer will also go out to visit selected groups to read to them and discuss their work.

We hope you enjoy discovering the work of these writers, and seeing how they each progress.