This festival had its origins in the John Broderick Weekend. The first of these was held in May, 1999 and was hosted by the Rotary Club of Athlone. Spurred on by the success of that event the John Broderick Committee was formed and it was this committee which organised the 2001 event.
In 2003, the committee decided that Athlone needed a major literary event and that the focus of the John Broderick Weekend was too narrow to attract national attention. It was agreed to change the name to Athlone Literary Festival but apart from a change of name there was also a change of focus. Whilst still retaining a John Broderick element it was felt that we should broaden the appeal and become more outward looking and aim to attract to Athlone a share of the many talented writers that this island produces.
From these humble beginnings, a major literary event is growing. Additional information about the Athlone Literacy Festival website