Olivia Fitzsimons is from Northern Ireland but now lives in Wicklow. She started writing at the close of 2017. From a working class background she is passionate about access to the Arts for all.
Her debut novel, The Quiet Whispers Never Stop, was published by John Murray Press in April 2022, with an Italian edition by Altantide, Le Voci Non Si Fermano, in November of the same year. The novel was shortlisted for The Butler Literary Award 2022 and was an Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair Winner for 2020.
Her writing and professional development has been generously supported by Literary Awards from the Arts Council of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wicklow County Council Arts Office, Culture Ireland and the National Mentoring Programme WORDS IRELAND.
She has received several residency awards; the latest a year long studio space with thirty other contemporary multi-genre Artists who reside at the DEANS ART STUDIOS in Dublin. In May 2023 Olivia will be travelling to Paris for a month courtesy of CCI PARIS/Literature Ireland to work on her second novel. She has also been a recipient of residencies from Irish Writers Centre/Cill Rialaig and Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annamakerig.
Her writing can be found in many journals in print and online, including The Stinging Fly, The Irish Times, The Cormorant, BBC Radio 4 and forthcoming from Banshee in 2023. She is a reader for The Stinging Fly and a member of their Diversity Action Group.
Olivia has appeared at numerous Literary Festivals and events in Ireland, such as First Fridays @MOLI, CULTURE Night, Belfast Book Festival, Dingle Literary Festival and Ennis Book Club Festival 2023. Her online events include West Cork Advent Calendar 2022, writing panel discussions for The Irish Writing Centre and The Stinging Fly, as well as Nollaig na Mban 2022, and BridsFest for the German Embassy. She has international events scheduled in 2023 across Belgium, Italy, Germany and France.
In 2021 she was a participant in the Irish Writers Centre inaugral Evolution Programme and was selected to teach a self-directed Creative Writing course to First Year Undergraduates at The National University Ireland Galway for a semester. She has taught workshops to MA and 2nd Year students in Cork University and at several Literary Festivals.
Her flash fiction has won Bray Literary Festival 2018 and Fiction At The Friary New Writer Showcase at Cork International Short Story Festival in the same year. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Wigleaf Best of the Net, BIFFY TOP 50 and UK National Flash Fiction Award. Her short stories have been placed or short listed in many competitions including Benedict Kiely twice, Sunday Business Post/Penguin SS and Dalkey Creates.
Hell's Kitchen Ltd, are developing her feature film screenplay, THE FREQUENCY OF LIFE and short LESLEY AGUS FIONN, with funding from MEDIA Europe. She has a passion for book to screen adaptation and works in development for Greenhorn Films. She is co-writing an adapted screenplay of a well-known Irish novel, with actress Denise McCormack. She has collaborated with the acclaimed visual artist Mary-Ruth Walsh on several film pieces, the latest, Skin Deep, can be viewed here. She was a participant at X-Pollinator Women in Film Programme 2019 and worked on many shorts and features in production roles, including PAVEEN LACKEEN and BREAKFAST ON PLUTO, before taking a break from film to have her kids.
With Visual Artist Joanna Kidney and Playwright Philip St John, Olivia runs the Wicklow Artist Salon, in collaboration with Wicklow County Council and Mermaid Theatre, which presents four artist focused discussion panels annually. Guests include BrokenTalkers, Mia Gallagher and Emmet Kirwan.
Olivia holds an MA in Film from DIT and a BA HONs History from Trinity College Dublin. She spent her Erasmus year at the Rijksuniversteit Groiningen, Netherlands.
She is currently working on her second novel set in Dublin, Paris and Sligo.