14 – Freddie Alexander

Genres: Children | Debut | Fiction | Illustrator | Irish Writing | Novel

Welcome to Day 14 of our West Cork Literary Festival Advent Calendar. Our author today is Freddie Alexander.


Freddie Alexander lives in Dublin with his wife, his son and, he suspects, a large family of mice. Freddie rarely eats spice bags these days, although the same assurances cannot be given for the mice who come and go as they please. Mr Spicebag is his first book.

Helen O’Higgins is an artist and illustrator from Dublin. She studied printmaking — with a particular interest in etching — in the National College of Art and Design and is a member of the Black Church Print Studio in Temple Bar. She works in a wide variety of mediums, both analogue and in recent years, digital. Mr Spicebag is the first book she has illustrated.


Freddie is reading an extract from Mr Spicebag which was illustrated by Helen O’Higgins and published by Harper Collins in September 2021. Today’s video unlocked on 14th December 2021 and may be viewed below. Closed caption subtitles are available and may be turned on or off. Click on “youtube” or “full screen” icon in the video to watch it in full screen or visit youtube here.



About our WCLF Literary Advent Calendar

2021 was another wonderful year for Irish writing and so many incredible books by Irish authors and authors living in Ireland were released this year. Even though festivals returned in-person and online not every author had the opportunity to launch their books with a public celebration or to engage with audiences in the “usual” way. We’re delighted to bring you a small selection of these authors and we’ve invited twenty-four writers to submit a short video reading from their new books. Our selection is an attempt to show the wide range of Irish writing and in particular to focus on writers whose books we feel deserve more attention and those who were not previously featured in WCLF 2021 events. We hope that you will enjoy the chance to hear these writers reading their own work and to discover some new books for your reading piles.

©Harper Collins
Arts Council - funding literature
Fáilte Ireland
Wild Atlantic Way
CCC Library & Arts Service
Cork County Council
Pure Cork
Creative Places West Cork Islands
RTÉ Supporting The Arts
Maritime Hotel