Author Seamás O'Reilly says he's been invited to a real-life Icelandic Fish Festival, after making one up in school.
The writer recently went viral, after confessing to creating the event for an essay.
On Twitter, he wrote: "When I was 7, my teacher told us to write an article about 'world cultures' for school over the weekend.
"I remembered it late on Sunday so in a panic I made up something called the 'Icelandic Fish Festival', figuring said teacher wouldn’t know either way."
When I was 7, my teacher told us to write an article about “world cultures” for school over the weekend. I remembered it late on Sunday so in a panic I made up something called the "Icelandic Fish Festival", figuring said teacher wouldn’t know either way.
— The author, Séamas O'Reilly (@shockproofbeats) May 17, 2022
Seamás recalls: "I stayed up all night making sure the essay delivered on the premise.
"As it got later and later, it became a bit more unhinged.
"Filled with asides and personal reportage. I believe I quoted 'the King of Iceland' as if he'd spoken to me personally."
But he told Lunchtime Live Iceland has actually embraced his lie.
"Iceland as a country has really taken to the story, which is good for me I suppose, that I'm not offending them.
"I was on the front cover of Iceland's paper of record yesterday, it was my entire story translated into Icelandic.
"I've had, at current count, five or six invitations to go to an actual fish festival in Iceland."
He says he will go when the festival resumes in 2023.
"They're a very welcoming and forgiving people, it would seem.
"If I do get to the Fiskidagurinn Mikli, which is the Great Fish Festival in Dalvík, then I will be sure to give a more accurate telling of what actually goes down there".
'Was I actually there?'
Seamás recalls he really thought his essay was foolproof.
"I thought 'If i just write something that's from very far away, and almost kind of made up - like Iceland - my teacher's not going to know'.
"I basically went into Sister Veronica - my teacher always encouraged me to write - so I was like 'I'm not going to let her down'.
"It was unclear from the piece as it got longer and longer: was I actually there? Did I start the festival? Do I go there every year?
"In that way you can tell a child is lying when they keep adding extra details upon details, upon details.
"I did that for eight whole pages".
'I still think of it and flinch'
He says he still remembers the last line of the piece distinctly.
"I can remember very little about the actual piece itself, except that I ended it with: God, those Icelanders really love their fish.
"It was very chirpy and cheerful, it was written like it was a brochure or a TV holiday segment".
But the Derry writer says he made one fatal mistake.
"The second - in fact the literal, atomic instant - that I handed it to her, I realised she’d not asked us to write this at all.
"I'd dreamed that she had.
"So I'd just written, and presented, this breezy eight-page memorandum on the Icelandic Fish Festival for absolutely no reason."
But Seamás says he wasn't expecting such a reaction.
"A lot of people reacted to it, a lot more than I expected, and also tens of thousands of replies at this stage now.
"People, a lot of them, are telling about the stupid lies that they've been caught out on, things they've done in school".
He adds: "I still to this day, it's one of those things which I can think of and sort of involuntarily flinch."