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New Literary Tourism Project to Provide Up To €10,000 in Support

Article by ERMurray © 18 November 2019.
Posted in Guest Blogs ().

Are you an entrepreneur, culture vulture, or community group? Join a Spot-lit workshop this month in Galway, Mayo or Sligo to discover how to create new products for the untapped literary tourism market in the West of Ireland and bring even more tourists to your region.

Spot-lit, a new EU Funded innovation programme, will shine a light on literary tourism over the next three years, with a focus on developing new literary tourism products or services.

Workshops are being held in Sligo at The Glasshouse Hotel on November 26th, in The Ellison Hotel, Castlebar, Co. Mayo on November 27th, and in The Maldron Hotel, Galway, on November 28th. Attendance at the workshops is free of charge, though registration is essential at https://www.spot-lit.eu/

The Western Development Commission (WDC) are the Spot-lit  Irish partners and through the programme are working to develop and support organisations and businesses in this culturally-rich region to grow, collaborate and engage with wider audiences and customers.

CEO Tomás Ó Síocháin of the Western Development Commission said:

‘The west has a fantastic story to tell; an area of arresting physical beauty, centres of innovation and economic growth, however Spot-Lit is an opportunity to focus on some of the stories as yet untold. I would urge communities, groups and SMEs to engage with the Literary Business Support Programme, one aspect of the work of the WDC in supporting the Creative Economy.’

Focused on the coastal counties along Ireland’s western seaboard, the Spot-lit programme is open to small businesses, social enterprises, community groups and literary associations with a unique idea for the development of literary tourism in their area. A series of monthly engagement workshops, learning journeys, business advice clinics and individual mentoring supports will be available. Attendance at one of the initial workshops is essential for any organisation that wishes to proceed to the next stage.

Literary Tourism is an emerging niche sector within the wider cultural tourism sector, where places with literary heritage offer author and fiction-related literary tourism opportunities along with opportunities arising from literary festivals, trails and book shops.

In Ireland, this would include literary rich locations such as Sligo, synonymous with the poet WB Yeats, Seamus Heaney and Bellaghy in Derry, Cuirt International Festival of Literature in Galway, Doolin Writers’ Weekend in Clare.

Following on from the workshops, micro-enterprises/SMEs from the West of Ireland, which show potential for the development of their business and the wider region through literary tourism, will be invited to apply to the Spot-Lit programme.  The programme provides up to €10,000 per participating business to support their development over the project duration.

Further information on the Spot-lit programme is available online from www.spot-lit.eu or follow on social media @spot_lit_eu


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Elizabeth Rose Murray lives in West Cork where she writes, fishes, and grows her own vegetables. Her first book for young adults Caramel Hearts (Alma Books) was published June 2016. Her debut novel for children aged 10-12, The Book of Learning - Nine Lives Trilogy 1 (Mercier Press) was chosen as the 2016 Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Citywide Read for Children and the follow-up The Book of Shadows - Nine Lives Trilogy 2 was shortlisted for the 2016 Irish Book Awards. The final installment The Book of Revenge will be published in February 2018.

Elizabeth has poetry and short fiction published in journals across the UK and Ireland - including Ogham Stone, Southword, South Circular, Esc and 3am - and has been shortlisted in various competitions including TV3AM Short Story, Francis MacManus, and Aesthetica Creative Works. She has also performed in Ciudades Paralelas: Station - a live writing installation.

Hoping to encourage new writers, Elizabeth provides manuscript reports and online writing courses through Inkwell Writers and Big Smoke Writing Factory. She is a regular at literary festivals, and offers adult workshops on writing for children and young adults, as well as multiple events and workshops for children and teens.

You can connect with Elizabeth on Twitter @ERMurray, Facebook www.facebook.com/ERMurray.Author or her blog www.ermurray.com