Featured Readers

Each month we sit down for a chat with a ‘Featured Reader’, to find out about their favourite books of all time, their literary preferences, recommendations, revered authors, & the likes...

This Month

Paper lanterns website

Paper Lanterns


We wanted to capture the teen experience, those few years that are a burst of self-expression and self-discovery. They can be fleeting but powerful.

Paper Lanterns, Literary Journal

Tell us a little about Paper Lanterns and the kind of things that you publish.

Paper Lanterns Literary Journal was founded in 2020 with the goal of acting as a platform for young writers and to foster a love for young adult writing. The journal focuses on all things teen and YA literature and consists of new creative writing, features on the latest book news, insightful essays, interviews, artwork, photography, and informative book reviews.

Whether you are a reader, writer or artist, there is a space for you within Paper Lanterns. It is also perfect for enthusiasts of teen and YA literature; from teachers and librarians, to parents and youth workers. The journal is published four times a year and accepts work from both teen and adult contributors.

How did you decide on the name?

We wanted to capture the teen experience, those few years that are a burst of self-expression and self-discovery. They can be fleeting but powerful. We mind-mapped ideas through word association; paper and lantern sort of encompassed our goal. Paper can be delicate, but it has been essential to writers and artists for centuries! And a lantern is a source of light; it can light the way but can also act as a beacon of hope and celebration.

Tell us about the team

Co-editors Grace Kelley and Amy O'Sullivan and Production Manager Maggie Masterson met while doing an M.Phil. in Children’s Literature in Trinity College Dublin in 2018. Grace and Amy completed their undergraduate degrees in Trinity too. Maggie was a children’s librarian before moving to Ireland. Intern Joyce Dignam recently graduated from UCD where she studied English and Sociology. She is set to do a masters in Literature and Publishing this September at NUIG.

What is your favourite part of the job?

We love reading the creative writing submissions, especially from the teen writers. The process of selecting pieces always makes for lively discussion. Working on the final edits is exciting as we get closer to holding a final printed copy in hand.

Where can people find you?

If you are a teen reader or writer or an adult lover of YA, we would love to hear from you! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter: @Paper__Lanterns, and Instagram: paperlanterns_lit, by email: paperlanternsjournal@gmail.com, or through our website: https://paperlanternslit.com/. Look for us on TikTok, too!

Are you taking submissions?

The submission period for creative writing is timed to each issue, however submissions are open year-round for art, photography and features! You can find more information about submissions here: https://paperlanternslit.com/submissions/

Please make sure your writing is aimed at a teenage audience! This is the most common error people make when submitting work to us.

What was your favourite book as a child?

Joyce: I loved The Chronicles of Narnia as a child. I read them all in a Summer and distinctly remember telling the kids on my street I wasn’t coming out to play so that I could continue reading!

Amy: I loved anything by Shirley Hughes, her Lucy and Tom books especially. The illustrations are gorgeous - they're still a comfort read!

Grace: I loved Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. This was my go-to book before I could read! It completely transported me to another world. I still love it, especially the illustrations.

Maggie: I loved The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, and The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Edwards. Pickle-Chiffon Pie by Roger Bradfield was one of my favorite picture books as a very young child.

What are you reading right now?

We’re reading The Crooked Mask by Rachel Burge, to prepare for our first online book club. We are hosting our book club on Discord. It’s exclusively for teenagers and you can email us on paperlanternsjournal@gmail.com to let us know if you would like to join!

Which of your books is battered from using again and again?

Joyce: I thought about giving a cool answer for this but truthfully, it’s probably Twilight.

Amy: I think it's a tie between The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge, and Georgette Heyer books which I borrow from my Mam so are pre-loved to begin with!

Grace: Probably The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter. Those stories always have something new to offer with each read.

Maggie: I have a pretty beat-up copy of Anna Quindlen’s How Reading Changed My Life, but worse is the recipe book my mom started for me when I was a teenager. She was a professional caterer, and added recipes to it for years.

Where is your favourite place to read?

Joyce: Reading outside in the sunshine is my favourite (although it is a rarity in Ireland!)

Amy: I'll read anywhere, but am especially happy in a library.

Grace: On a beach, but second favourite (and much more likely to happen) would be in bed with a hot chocolate!

Maggie: I love reading in cafés or pubs, with a little buzz in the background that isn’t distracting.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

We have a new internship programme that we started this year. We’ll be making some announcements over the coming months about applications opening for future issues, so please follow our social media pages to keep an eye out for updates!


The Books

We have been finding out about the books that matter to you, to grow this virtual bookshelf that represents the lives, families and culture of the people that call Dublin home. Here are a selection of some of the books that you have been telling us …

Share Your Favourites?

We want to hear about the books that matter to you. Tell us about your most cherished books, what you’re reading right now, your favourite book from your childhood, and the books that make up the story of your life. Share your recommended reads and take part here

Take Part

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