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Writers in Residence at the Irish College, Leuven for 2020

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Article by ERMurray © 17 January 2020.
Posted in Guest Blogs ().

Closing date for application: 20th January 2020.

The Leuven Centre for Irish Studies (LCIS) offers a grant to four writers per year to be Writer in Residence: two in spring (March-April), two in autumn (October-November).

We offer a quiet room in an inspiring city, with ample time and space to get some work done.

We also hope that the strong Irish tradition in Leuven will allow for familiarity while in a new city. Our Irish Franciscan College (one of the four Irish colleges that used to exist in Leuven) has been a place of sanctuary for Irish culture since 1607. It is located in the centre of town, at the heart of university life. With its 100.000 inhabitants and ca. 35.000 students Leuven is a compact and picturesque town with a distinctly Flemish culture but a highly cosmopolitan and international student population, meaning English is widely understood wherever you go. With its historic collegiate university dating back to 1425, three abbeys (the oldest being founded in the 12th Century) and large, secluded woods, Leuven provides a contemplative and inspiring environment in which to think and write. Situated in the Flemish Brabant, Leuven is 10 km away from Wallonia and 20 km from Brussels, 1 hour from Ghent, with Antwerp and other great cities in easy reach. With its rich and poignant history, artistic legacy, Flanders offers writers a nuanced perspective of a complex and storied European culture while also affording our resident writers easy access to many of the great centres of Europe, with Paris, Lille, Cologne and Amsterdam are all between 1 and 2 hours away.

In the time our writers are with us, we hope to offer them a snapshot of life in continental Europe in the 21st Century. We can facilitate visits to the EU Commission, the EU Parliament, to Luxemburg, and through the meeting with other writers. Together with colleagues from KU Leuven, our EFACIS network in Belgium and with Passaporta (the House of Literature in Brussels), we will arrange for meetings and debates (both private and public) with writers, academics from different disciplines, students and friends of Irish literature and culture from across Belgium and the EU.

What do we offer?

· Paid accommodation in the Irish College for between three and four weeks, with breakfast and lunch included.

· A travel grant between Ireland and Belgium.

· A stipend of 750 euros for the duration of your stay.

· We will also buy ten of your books to be used as presents for guests at your events.

· Visiting Scholar status at KU Leuven, giving you access to all university facilities during your stay (library, gym, restaurants etc).

What do we ask from you?

· Up to two public readings with question and answer sessions.

· One lecture on an aspect of Ireland in connection to Europe, OR participation in a panel discussion OR teach a class on creative writing based on their own work.

· Make use of social media to report on and publicise your stay.

· Produce a short written piece (between 1500-3000 words) on any aspect of life in Leuven, or on the differences between Ireland and Flanders, or indeed any topic connected to Flemish culture. This would be completed within three months of your stay. You may also collaborate with your fellow resident writer on this piece if preferred.

· One hour-long interview on your work which will subsequently be published as a podcast.

· Acknowledgement of Leuven Residency in any publication resulting from your time here.

Selection criteria

· Entries must have published at least one critically acclaimed piece of work and have written proof of forthcoming publications

· A CV showing complimentary experience with the activities required of the residency

· Enthusiastic and at ease within the residency framework and a genuine interest in European culture

· Letter of motivation and brief description of the work you wish to develop during your stay.

Please e-mail all expressions of interest or queries to Dr. Hedwig Schwall at: hedwig.schwall@kuleuven.be

Closing date for application: 20th January 2020.

If you qualify for a residency, we will rapidly invite you for an interview.

You can apply for a residency at any moment of the year. The selection of writers will take place in January 2020 for the spring residence and March 2020 for the autumn.

This residence is made possible thanks to a cooperation between

KU Leuven / LCIS, the Irish College in Leuven, Culture Ireland, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Irish Writers Centre, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature and EFACIS.


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