Libraries NI Hosts Local Authors to Celebrate Book Week NI

As part of this year’s Book Week NI celebrations Libraries NI is delighted to welcome local authors Séamas O’Reilly, Louise Nealon and Niamh Campbell along with book critic John Self for a series of interviews with BBC NI presenters.

Book Week NI, now in its sixth year, is a joint initiative celebrating the pleasures and benefits of reading, arising from the partnership between BBC Northern Ireland and Libraries NI. During the week everyone is encouraged to visit their local library to start reading again, read something new, to set some time aside for reading with the children in our lives or to simply take some time to yourself to read and relax.

The series of events will take place in local libraries and will also be streamed live online.

On Monday 18 October at 6:30pm in Derry Central Library, Séamas O’Reilly will be in conversation with music legend and BBC Radio Ulster presenter Mickey Bradley.

Séamas O’Reilly’s first book is a memoir about his childhood entitled “Did Ye Hear Mammy Died?” It is by turns a moving and hilarious account of life as the ninth of 11 children, growing up in 1980’s Derry following the death of Seamus’s Mum.  The book explores grief with wry observations about a loving, loud, chaotic family and their inimitable patriarch, Joe.

On Wednesday 20 October at 1:00pm, Omagh Library will welcome BBC’s Ireland Correspondent Emma Vardy who will interview Irish authors Louise Nealon and Niamh Campbell.

Louise Nealon is an award winning writer from County Kildare who was the 2017 winner of the Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition and was the recipient of the Francis Ledwidge Creative Writing Award. SNOWFLAKE is her first novel.

Niamh Campbell’s debut novel This Happy was nominated for the An Post Irish Book Awards, the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award, and the John McGahern Book Prize. In 2020 she also won the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award for her story ‘Love Many’. She is the 2021 Writer in Residence at University College Dublin.

To complete our trio of Book Week NI events, Marie-Louise Muir from BBC Radio Ulster’s The Culture Café, will be interviewing book critic and self-titled ‘book botherer’ John Self in Tullycarnet Library at 6.30pm on Thursday 21 October.

John Self lives in Belfast, is a freelance book critic writing a number of publications including The Guardian, whilst also being the lead fiction reviewer for The Critic.

John will share some of his unique experiences about being a book critic providing insight into his process and just some of the books that he has reviewed over the years, and looking forward to the best reads of this year.  This event is a must for serious book lovers.

These events are open to all library members and virtual library members and will also be streamed live online. If you’re not a member, simply join online at or call in to your local library.

To book your place, please email and include your name, membership number and the title of the event you would like to attend indicating also if you want to attend in person or join the live stream.