Irish Arts & Writers Festival, Los Gatos

Please email Festival Team for further information, and to inquire about sponsorship and volunteer opportunities.

The Irish Arts & Writers Festival brings together Irish writers and audiences in the historic and intimate town of Los Gatos, CA, for an arts and culture festival held in several venues over three days.

Founded and directed by Dubliner Catherine Barry, The Irish Arts & Writers’ Festival is a project of Irish Culture Bay Area.

The inaugural Los Gatos Irish Writers’ Festival took place in October 2016. Los Gatos was chosen as a location due to its 23-year-old sister city relationship with Listowel, Ireland, where the internationally acclaimed Writers’ Week has been held for the past 40 years. The charming town lends itself to an intimate festival due to proximity of venues and availability of accommodation at a festival discount, making it an ideal getaway weekend for the literary and arts minded.

Thanks to the support of our festival sponsors, including: The Consulate General of Ireland, Montalvo Arts Center, Culture Ireland, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Aer Lingus, Los Gatos Library, Kerrygold, Alice Phelan Sullivan Foundation, Tullamore Dew, Tourism Ireland, Whitney Modern, Friends of the Los Gatos Library, Ranger Pipelines, Silicon Valley Bank, and the Los Gatos Lodge.

The festival was nominated for a 2018 Irish Central Arts & Creativity Award

See 2018 program here

See 2017 program here

See 2016 program here


 2016 Testimonials   2017 Testimonials   Feedback? Please feel free to send us an email with any comments or suggestions. We value your input.

San Jose Mercury News – Irish Writers Festival Returns to the South Bay, Sept. 2017
San Jose Mercury News – Historian Receives Literary Award O’Laughlin Awardee, Oct. 2016
Irish Crime Fiction Writers “Murder in the Morning at Menlo College!” more Oct. 2016
San Jose Mercury News, Los Gatos Edition – June 2016 article   September 2016 article
Crime Writers on Writing.ie
The Kerryman – Writers’ Week to go Stateside, 2016
Los Gatos Magazine – Irish Writers Fest, 2017


We remember former trial attorney and mayor of Los Gatos, Pat O’Laughlin, who passed away in 2008 leaving behind a grieving community of followers. Pat’s passion for reading and writing poems and short stories led him to the literature program at San Jose State. A regular visitor to Listowel for Writers’ Week, we are proud to remember Pat annually with an award or prize dedicated to his name.

The 2017 O’Laughlin Award was awarded to historian and
author James P. Walsh

James P. Walsh is a Los Gatos writer and co-author of Legacy of a Native Son: James Duval Phelan & Villa Montalvo. Walsh received the California Historical Society’s Holliday Award for his (six) books which, taken together, reinterpret the history of the Irish in California. Dr. Walsh is the opening speaker at the 2017 Los Gatos Writers’ Festival, at Phelan’s Montalvo.

The 2016 O’Laughlin Award was awarded to historian and
author Peggy Conaway.

Former Director of the Los Gatos Library, Peggy is the author of three books in the Arcadia series:  Images of America – Los Gatos (2004), Los Gatos Generations (2007), and Images of Modern America – Los Gatos (2015), and co-author of Railroads of Los Gatos (2006) and of Legendary Locals of Los Gatos (2014).  Peggy has been writing a local history column for the Los Gatos Weekly Times since 2004.

Nominations for future O’Laughlin awards are welcomed. Please email suggestions here.