Launch of Cork County Rainbow Library Anthology

County Cork is one of eight locations taking part in The Rainbow Library, a pioneering publishing initiative to create more books for young readers that include LGBTQ+ identities and experiences. Supported by Cork County Council’s Library and Arts Service and Creative Ireland, Cork County is the only location in the Republic of Ireland, joining groups in Belfast and Derry in Northern Ireland, Nottingham, Manchester, Basildon in England, and Dumfries and Inverness in Scotland. 

Throughout 2022, Pop Up Projects delivered creative workshops across the UK and Ireland as part of The Rainbow Library. At a six-day residency in Cork County, aspiring young writers and illustrators were guided through the process of bringing their unique stories to life by writer Kel Menton and illustrator Kip Alizadeh. By joining a community of creative peers with shared lived experiences and passions, the aspiring writers and illustrators developed their craft and found a new network of creatives to belong to, even collaborating on submissions together.

An anthology of work by these eight talented young people – Caoimhín McCarthy, Kate Clery, Kei Fitzpatrick, Marly Crowley, Morgan Lyons, Lee Boyle, Scar McCarthy and Sloane Quirke – showcases their work and highlights some of the very best illustration and writing in the young LGBTQ+ community. It will be launched as part of West Cork Literary Festival on the 13th of July at 2.15pm, where participants will read their work and share the anthology. 

Congratulating the participants, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Danny Collins said,

The Rainbow Library is a pioneering publishing initiative to create more books for young readers that include LGBTQ+ identities and experiences. I congratulate the eight talented participants who have paved the way for a brighter, more diverse literary landscape for young readers in Cork. By embracing diversity in literature, we foster a world where every young reader can see themselves reflected on the pages.

Participants have been enjoying the workshops, saying, “I've really enjoyed the workshops, there's never been anything like this available to me before, and it's been really nice to see other people my age with similar interests in creative arts, but also similar worries and struggles with their sexualities and genders. I love to write and draw, and it’s been so nice to have exercises and chances to improve on subjects that don’t always get a lot of love.” 

Cork County Council’s Library and Arts Services is committed to providing a safe space for young people to participate. Email or phone (021) 4285995 for an application pack and information. No previous writing or drawing experience is required to apply. There is no cost to participate in this course.

Visit for details of the anthology launch.