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Northern Irish Writers: Call for Roaming Writer-in-Residence Programme

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Article by ERMurray © 29 October 2018.
Posted in Guest Blogs ().

Applications Deadline: 15th November 2018

Funded by ACNI and in partnership with Irish Rail and Translink, we are excited to announce the return of our mobile all-island residency working with a Roaming Writer-in-Residence (RWIR).

Travelling from north to south on our railway lines, the Roaming WIR will listen to voices and conversations of people on the trains, accumulating stories and building a treasure chest of potential workshops or essay ideas. The writer will connect and work with student writers all over Ireland. We will be working with two prestigious universities in Northern Ireland (QUB and Ulster University Coleraine) and two in the South (NUIG and UCD), working directly with their Creative Writing students.

What will the residency involve? 

Using their own travel, and in particular train travel experiences to develop the residency, the Roaming WIR will aim to inspire student writers to explore different ways to use overheard conversations, or events witnessed on trains in various different literary contexts.  We anticipate the writer will also encourage students to connect with the journey of his or her own work through various online platforms.

Workshops:  The workshops will be designed by the Roaming WIR as a means to developing their own work while also bringing their talents to university students and linking these various communities together via online platforms.

Length of workshops:  Two hours.

No. of workshops: Four.

Online Blog & Social Media Platform: Through the use of blog posts and social media, the Roaming WIR will create vehicles for students to connect with him or her on their journey and also with other peers in similar university courses. We have a dedicated Instagram Roaming WIR account which will be the main promotional platform for the selected writer to update our audiences and the travelling public on the project throughout the contact period.

Who is eligible to apply?

This is an open call to writers who are either Northern Irish of origin living in the south, or writers who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland.  Applicants must have a proven track record and at least one book of fiction or short stories published by a recognised publisher. Experience of leading creative writing workshops is essential.

Where is the programme taking place? 

In universities in Belfast, Coleraine, Dublin and Galway and on the trains anywhere in between!

How long will the whole project last? 

The project will start in December and will roll out over a 4 month-period, ideally finishing by the end of March 2019.

Are travel expenses available?

Yes, all rail travel will be covered and accommodation as necessary.

What is the outcome of this process?

A fiction or non-fiction essay (2,000 – 2,500 words) which will be published online by the IWC under a special project designation on our website, and with a view to publication in the Irish Rail and Translink websites and print magazines, or another written outcome of a similar nature.  For example, in the first Roaming WIR scheme, the outcome was a series of 6 postcards and Instagram posts which portrayed short pieces arising from the project.  We will also expect a short written feedback report from the Roaming WIR outlining their experience.

When is the deadline for application to the Call?

Thursday November 15th 2018 at 5pm. Late applications will not be considered.

Application details

If you are interested in applying, please send the following to Kiki Drost   at opportunities@writerscentre.ie with Roaming Writer-in-Residence in the subject line:

  1. A cover letter including your personal details concisely outlining in detail how you propose to:
    • Approach the delivery of the workshops with the students.
    • Inspire student writers to develop their writing skills.
    • Develop and produce a piece of writing and various online blog posts.
    • Engage and excite student writers and the general public to participate in your online platforms as you go on this writing journey.

We would also like to hear how you envisage this programme might develop in the future, bearing in mind that we would value building on the new connections created during the Roaming period on the trains and with the universities.

  1. An updated Curriculum Vitae (max. two A4 pages) including publications with ISBNs.
  2. Clearly labelled samples of recent work (three short samples from different works of up to 400 words or between 4-6 poems. Please do not send more as it will not be read.)
  3. Any relevant information (as necessary) on your proposed project such as written excerpts, photos, research information, etc. (max. two A4 pages)

Please collate all documents into one attachment, either Word or PDF.

Writers Agreement brief

In advance of the residency, an agreed model of practice (to include evaluation), clear goals, roles and responsibilities will be agreed between the writer, the IWC and the hosting organisation.

Fee: £1500 (or Euro equivalent) inclusive of VAT.

This is an Irish Writers Centre initiative supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.


Follow Elizabeth online, on Twitter and on Facebook.

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

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