My Writing Story | Cathy Sweeney


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This event will take place in the United Arts Club, 3 Fitzwilliam Street Upper, Dublin 2 on Saturday June 15th.
The event will start at 3pm. Doors open from 2.45pm.
Duration: 90 minutes.
The concession rate is for anyone who is unwaged or on low income.

The author photograph is by Meabh Fitzpatrick.


Join us for this special in-conversation event with Cathy Sweeney where she will look back on her development as a writer since the publication of her early stories in The Stinging Fly to the publication this year of her bestselling debut novel, Breakdown.

Cathy will be in conversation with Declan Meade, The Stinging Fly’s founding editor and publisher. She will also read from her work.


Cathy Sweeney began publishing stories in The Stinging Fly and in other Irish literary magazines in 2011. Her collection, Modern Times, was published by The Stinging Fly Press in March 2020, just as the world was entering lockdown. The collection was published in the UK by Weidenfeld & Nicolson (W&N) later in 2020. Cathy’s debut novel, Breakdown, was published by W&N in January 2024. She currently lives in Wexford.

‘With a crispness and clarity and weirdness unlike any other fiction being published now… Sometimes chilling, eerily accessible – and as wickedly droll as they are horrifying… The voice running through is lucid and bright and highly readable, each sentence stripped clean and polished… The stories themselves, long-sweeping, succinctly told anatomies of spectral lives lived in sad rented places or loveless middle-class homes, are absolutely for this moment.’
Maggie Armstrong, The Irish Independent

‘Breakdown is set to be one of the most talked-about books of 2024. The novel follows as [a woman] breaks societal rules and taboos in a quest for freedom, while contemplating a woman’s lot in the Ireland of the 2020s.’
Sunday Times Ireland

‘Cathy Sweeney is one of the most original writers at work today, and Breakdown is a novel of at once spectacular reach and unforgettable intimacy. Her writing gleams throughout like a stone underwater.’
Adrian Duncan


The Stinging Fly is a literary magazine, a book publisher, an education provider, and an online platform. We are independent and not for profit. Our mission is to seek out, nurture, publish and promote the very best new writers and new writing.

Additional information


Full Price, Concession Rate