This inaugural Convention is being organised by the Burren Tolkien Society and will take place in the Burren Region of County Clare, as part of The Gathering Ireland 2013. The organisers say the event will highlight Tolkien's many visits to the Burren and how the world-famous karst landscape and Celtic legends of the West of Ireland may have inspired his masterwork, The Lord of the Rings.
The Convention will feature contributions from Tolkien experts, writing workshops, Tolkien-inspired culinary and music sessions, lectures and guided walks of the locations frequented by Tolkien, including Poll na Gollum Cave which event organisers suggest influenced the creation of one of the author’s most famous characters (Gollum).
Tolkien visited the West of Ireland on numerous occasions with his close friend and fellow fantasy literature icon CS Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia series. Their friendship dates back to 1926 when the pair met at Oxford University, 7 years before The Hobbit was originally published. Tolkien also spent considerable time in the Burren when he was External Examiner to NUI Galway's English Department on five separate occasions between 1949 and 1959, during which time he revised and published The Lord of the Rings.
A model maker and special effects artist for Peter Jackson’s 2012 film 'The Hobbit' and a leading international academic on the writings of JRR Tolkien have been named amongst the line-up of participants for the Burren Tolkien Convention from May 9-16th.