Tom Phelan

Creative Nonfiction Writer, Fiction Writer


Author's Bio

Tom Phelan was born and reared on a small farm in Mountmellick, Co. Laois, Ireland.

Tom had just turned fifty when his first novel, In the Season of the Daisies, was accepted for publication by the Lilliput Press in Dublin. Books Ireland’s reviewer wrote, “The most obvious question posed by a novelistic debut with as much resounding vigour as this is: Where has Mr. Phelan BEEN?”

In the Season of the Daisies, which centers on the 1921 IRA murder of a young boy and the effects on the survivors, was chosen for the Discover Great New Writers series sponsored by Barnes & Noble. It was also a finalist for the Discover Great New Writers Award.

Since then, Tom has penned six other novels--Nailer, The Canal Bridge, Iscariot, Derrycloney, and Lies the Mushroom Pickers Told--and he has seen his works published in four countries and three languages. He has also written a memoir, “We Were Rich and We Didn’t Know It: A Memoir of My Irish Boyhood” (Gallery Books/Simon and Schuster, 2019). For additional information, see

Publications & Prizes

Brandon Book of Irish Short Stories (Brandon Books, 1998)
The Brandon Book of Irish Short Stories (Brandon Books, 1998)
Lies the Mushroom Pickers Told (Arcade, 2015)
The Canal Bridge (Arcade, 2014)
The Canal Bridge (Lilliput Press, 2005)
Derrycloney (Brandon Books, 1999)
In the Season of the Daisies (Four Walls Eight Windows Press, 1996)
Iscariot (Brandon Books, 1995)
Iscariot (Brandon Press, 1995)
The Recorder: Journal of American Irish Historical Society
Prizes won: 

--2008-2009 Fellow of the Christopher Isherwood Foundation

--Selected by Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program (In the Season of the Daisies, 1996)

--Selected by Ireland Fund of Monaco as fall 2012 writer-in-residence at Princess Grace Irish Library, Monaco

--Long Island Arts Council 2013 Literary Award

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
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Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Mountmellick, County Laois, Ireland
Raised in: 
County Laois
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Mar 31, 2019