Kids & Family Literature

4th Annual Rí Rá Children’s Festival of Literature

Discover new books, meet authors and illustrators, and participate in hands-on workshops and activities


$5 per person per event / $12 for 3 events / $15 for all 4 events / $12 per group of 4 per event with code GROUP4 / FREE for Family Circle members

Sun, Jun 2, 2019



Box Office


Irish Arts Center
553 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019


“A cultural twist on story time”Time Out New York

Stay all day or pop in to play at our fourth annual literature festival celebrating work from the best contemporary Irish and New York-based children’s authors and illustrators, including Rowboat Watkins and Julian Gough. Readers tall and small discover new books, meet the creators, and participate in storytelling workshops and activities.

Presented in association with Children's Books Ireland.

Sessions 1-3 are recommended for readers 4-8 years old, and the last event of the day, Children’s Book Publishing 101, is recommended for adults. However, all events are open to (and fun for!) audiences of all ages.

IAC members: For group discounts, email

What does "Rí Rá" mean?

The term "Rí Rá" comes from a longer colloquialism "rí rá agus ruaille buaille," which loosely translates to "fun and madness." Additionally, Rá is a word with a double meaning, also meaning "to say."


Session 1: Dragtivity Time with Drag Queen Story Hour and Sez Me
12–1pm | Recommended for ages 4-8, but open to and fun for all!

Drag Queen Story Hour is just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and community spaces. Through a fun and fabulous literary experience, DQSH teaches children about gender diversity and difference, empathy, and tolerance. In this workshop, Witti Repartee will read books, sing songs, and lead an activity from one-of-a-kind The Dragtivity Book.

Session 2: Meet the Author/Illustrator from New York: Rowboat Watkins
1-2pm | Recommended for ages 4-8, but open to and fun for all!

Learn how Brooklyn-based author/illustrator Rowboat Watkins made his new book, Most Marshmallows, and then design a marshmallow friend to take home!

Session 3: Meet the Author/Illustrator from Ireland: Julian Gough 
2-3pm | Recommended for ages 4-8, but open to and fun for all!

Irish author Julian Gough will lead a fun and interactive storytelling workshop about what makes a story a story. He'll also share how he came up with the idea to write his Rabbit and Bear book series. 

Children’s Book Publishing 101 for Adults with Maya Marlette of Scholastic Inc. 
3-4pm | Recommended for an adult audience but open to all!

Are you interested in writing a children’s book of your own? Have you written a story but not sure how to get it out into the world? This informative presentation will focus on what makes a good children's book and address questions like: What’s the difference between board books, picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult? Do I need an agent? How do I find one? What about illustrations? How do I submit work? There will also be a Q&A component.




Support for this program is also provided by Charles Lawrence Keith & Clara Miller Foundation, Irish Institute, Knights of St. Patrick, and Society of Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Westchester County.

Our Supporters

Irish Arts Center programs are supported, in part, by government, foundation, and corporate partners including Culture Ireland, the agency for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office and the New York City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the National Endowment for the Arts; Howard Gilman Foundation; Jerome L. Greene Foundation; the Charina Endowment Fund; The Shubert Foundation, Inc.; M&T Bank; The Ireland Funds; Northern Ireland Bureau; the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Consulate of Ireland in New York; Tourism Ireland; CIE Tours; Delta; and thousands of generous donors like you.

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