J.B. Keane Room, Listowel's Writers Week 2013. (Photo: Ann McNamee).
The strategic context for the Arts Council’s support of literature and all other artforms and areas of arts practice is set out in Making Great Art Work: Arts Council Strategy (2016 –2025) (PDF, 3.29 MB). It describes how we will lead the development of the arts in Ireland over the next decade. Our strategy has five priority areas: the artist; public engagement; investment strategy; spatial and demographic planning; and developing capacity.
Literature is an integral part of people’s lives in Ireland: books, stories, language and reading are essential to our culture and society. Ireland’s strong international reputation for literature is enhanced by contemporary writers who enjoy critical acclaim, win prestigious literary awards and attract significant readerships around the world. And while digital technology will continue to change the way we engage with literature, the writer and reader will remain at the heart of this artform.
The Arts Council’s remit for literature includes high-quality poetry, fiction, short fiction, children’s literature, critical writing and some forms of creative non-fiction. The Arts Council’s supports for individual writers are designed to help create the optimum environment for writers to create their best work.
Through direct support and through partnerships with libraries and others, the Arts Council works to create opportunities for people across the country to engage with writing from Ireland and around the world. As the international, commercial publishing industry benefits a number of established Irish writers, Arts Council support is concentrated on indigenous, independent literary publishing houses that platform new voices and stories that are distinctively Irish.