Elizabeth (EM) Reapy is an award-winning Irish fiction writer and mentor. She is the author of two novels Red Dirt (2016) and Skin (2019). Her debut novel Red Dirt won Newcomer of the Year at the Irish Book Awards and The Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 2017.
E.M. Reapy is from Claremorris, County Mayo. She graduated from NUI Galway, University College Cork, and has an MA in Creative Writing from Queen's University, Belfast. Reapy also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Education and is a certified hypnotherapist.
In 2013 Elizabeth (EM) Reapy was selected as the Irish entrant to PEN International / New Voices Award. Her work was translated into French and Spanish for the award.
Reapy's first major work, Red Dirt, is an acclaimed tale of three young Irish immigrants in Australia, running from the economic ruins of post-boom Ireland. The book is based on the personal experiences and observations of the author.
"Lots of people left Ireland to find better prospects with their good education. Lots of people left Ireland out of utter desperation. Some left to go travel around and, to use the old cliché, find themselves. I was privileged enough to be one of the latter.
Wanting to be a writer, I had a different career path to follow that involved reading, crafting, and other work not constrained by geography but by self-discipline. I was more a drifter in Australia, not really sure what I was doing, trying to figure myself out after some personal crises and trying to find that elusive self-discipline to write.
Though the book is fictional, the characters formed easily in my imagination; their voices were an amalgamation of some of the Irish people I’d met… I was inspired by how we were bound to each other in Australia by being Irish. I was inspired by the dislocation and interactions taking place within this new, stunning landscape."
At present, Elizabeth Reapy is completing her debut feature-length screenplay and facilitating workshops on creative flow with musician Donal McConnon.
Photo credit: FB @emreapywriting