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Local writer signs with JK Rowling’s publishers




By Michelle Crean

A local woman is hoping to have the same success Harry Potter author JK Rowling after being signed by the same publisher.

And not only that, but talented Barraduff woman Olivia Howe - who writes under the pen name Olivia Hope - has signed a three book deal with Bloomsbury who are famous for working with award-winning writers.

Bloomsbury recently announced the acquisition of 'Be Wild, Little One', a lyrical anthem of courage and imagination from the debut author, which will be published in May 2022.

Olivia’s second book, 'Little Lion Girl' - illustrated by bestselling, award-winning Fiona Woodcock, will be published in 2023, with a third book scheduled for 2024.

Olivia has a special love for children's fiction, and before becoming an author, she was a former record-breaking athlete, and competed internationally.

"I have been writing for about 10 years," Olivia, a mother of two boys, told the Killarney Advertiser this week.

"I have also worked with children using imaginative play."

When her youngest child was born Olivia said she couldn't find a book about a strong robin.

"I decided to write my own. It was something that just happened and that was the starting story."

Then during the Cork World Book Festival she pitched her work to a scout who loved her ideas.

The story is inspired by nature with the uplifting picture book celebrating the wildness in everyone as well as the beauty of the world around us.

"We [JK Rowling] have the same publisher and I still don't quite believe it! I can't wait until it's published next May."

Olivia currently works as a Creative Learning Assistant in Siamsa Tíre, Tralee, creating the story behind the acclaimed art exhibition for children, 'A Way Home'.

She added that she was inspired by the beautiful surroundings Killarney has to offer for the nature side of the book.

"One of the scenes near the back pages looks like Killarney National Park."

Pari Thomson, Commissioning Editor, Bloomsbury Children’s Books, said "Olivia Hope is a huge talent and we’re thrilled to be working with her".

"Brought to life by Daniel Egnéus’s luminous illustrations, 'Be Wild, Little One' is an unforgettable journey through the wonders of the natural world. I hope that its uplifting magic and beauty will enthral readers far and wide."

Shirley Hughes, famed author and illustrator of more than 200 books spanning 60 years called 'Be Wild, Little One' an "outstanding book to enchant readers of all ages" - high praise indeed for the Irish debut.

'Be Wild, Little One' is available to pre-order from bookshops.



Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]




The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.


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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]




The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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