Anthony J Quinn Cavan Writer in Residence

Cavan County Council in association with the Irish Writers Centre and supported by the Arts Council is pleased to announce the appointment of Cavan Writer-in-ResidenceAnthony J. Quinn.  


Anthony J Quinn, a native of County Tyrone is an experienced author and teacher at Queen’s University Belfast.    He worked as Writer in Residence for Northern Ireland Libraries in 2016 and 201.   He is the award winning author of nine novels, Disappeared (Mysterious Press, 2012, and Head of Zeus, 2014), Border Angels (Mysterious Press, 2013, and Head of Zeus, 2015), Blood-Dimmed Tide (No Exit Press, 2014), Blind Arrows (No Exit Press, 2015), Silence (Head of Zeus, 2015 and Mysterious Press (2016), Trespass (Head of Zeus, 2016, and Pegasus, 2017),  Undertow (Head of Zeus, 2017), The Listeners (Head of Zeus, 2018), and Turncoat (No Exit Press) due to be published in 2020.


His debut novel Disappeared was picked as one of the Best Books of the Year by The Sunday Times, was a Daily Mail Crime Novel of the Year, and was shortlisted by the book critics of the Washington Post, the LA Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle for a Strand Literary Award in the US. It was also selected as one of the top ten thrillers of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews and long-listed for the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year. In 2014, he was awarded an Artists Career Enhancement Bursary for Literature by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. His short stories have twice been shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award. In 2016 and 2017.


In addition to his success as a novelist Anthony J Quinn has also worked as a mental health social worker and creative writing therapist from 1998 to 2005, and as a journalist from 2006 to 2016.

During his career he has worked as a creative writing and reminiscence therapist with the Southern Regional College and the South West Regional College where he facilitated group programmes across a variety of community settings and engaging with hundreds of participants with varied experiences. These classes provided opportunities to meet in group settings to share rich stories and experiences, make connections and develop memoir writing.


Speaking about his expectations for his residency in Cavan Anthony J Quinn said

The Ulster landscape I know and love has its own geography of moods, an interweave of darkness and light, which I find constantly mesmerizing. I will use the residency to inspire participants to realise that the Cavan landscape they inhabit, be it rural or urban, is much more than geography. It's a part of our collective identity. It's also a window into the soul of our country and its history.   I will encourage and support workshop participants to create a fictional landscape made up of their own observations, personal histories, emotions, historical facts, social customs, folk beliefs and impressions of the landscape to create interesting narratives that reflect the tensions and complexity of living in modern day Cavan.”


Anthony J Quinn has met with the library staff in Cavan, Bailieborough and Cootehill.   He has visited the Lit Lab writing group in Bailieborough and over the next six months he will provide a series of events in County Cavan including working with the Older People’s Council and the POD youth group at Ramor Theatre.


Anyone interested in further information about the writer in residence is advised to contact the arts office 049 4378548 or

Date and time:

02 Jul 2019 - 03 Jan 2020

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