Are you a writer, reader or publisher? Curious about Arts Council funding and policies for writers and writing? Find out more about the Arts Council's support for literature by reviewing our list of frequently asked questions.

Still can't find the answer to your question? Email Sarah Bannan, Head of Literature, at sarah.bannan@artscouncil.ie or telephone her at +353 1 618 0296.

I'm a writer and I need money to finish my book. Can the Arts Council help?

You may wish to apply for a Literature Bursary Award.

The bursary is intended to cover a writer's usual financial commitments while he or she works to complete a particular literary project. Writers apply for bursaries to free them up from the costs of mortgages, rent, childcare or other living expenses, or to allow them to take a break from their regular work in order to concentrate on a piece of writing.

Details are listed here.

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What kind of writing does the Arts Council support?

The Arts Council supports high quality poetry, fiction, short fiction, critical writing, creative non-fiction, children's literature, illustrated picture books and graphic novels. We also support drama, though playwrights should apply under theatre.

We support writing in English and in Irish.

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Do you only support really established writers?

Literature bursaries are awarded to writers at all stages of their careers, though larger bursaries are typically awarded to writers with an established track record.

Each round, a small number of bursaries are awarded to writers who are at the beginning of their careers. These bursaries will be awarded at a value of €3,000.

You can see a list of who we've funded here: http://www.artscouncil.ie/en/we_funded.aspx

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I've finished my book and I want to publish it myself. Can the Arts Council help me?

The Arts Council does not support self-publication, but instead offers funding assistance to a number of literary publishers and journals across the country. We do this to ensure that Arts Council funding goes towards works which will be published, distributed and marketed in the most effective way possible by professional publishers with knowledge of the issues and mechanisms involved. 

The Arts Council supported 25 publishers and journals in 2012 through its funding programmes. You can download a list of them here:

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I’m a writer and I want to travel to research my book. Can the Arts Council help me?

You can apply for a Literature Travel and Training Award. This is intended to allow writers to undertake international travel to develop their practice. Details of the award are here:


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I'm a writer and I've been invited to read at a festival abroad. Can I apply to the Arts Council for funding?

No. You can apply to Culture Ireland, the national body for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide. You can find out more about Culture Ireland and funding opportunities here: http://www.cultureireland.ie/funding

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I’m an established publisher. Our company doesn't receive Arts Council funding but we don’t have enough money in our budget to publish a very important literary book. Can the Arts Council help us?

You could consider applying for the Publications/ Title by Title Scheme.

The scheme is designed to assist in the production of high quality literary books and publications, and their promotion and dissemination to a wide audience. You can read more about the scheme here.

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I’m a writer and I want more information about how to get published, networking, entering competitions, finding a space to write, residency opportunities, etc. Who should I contact?

The Arts Council supports a number of resource and service organisations that provide this type of help to writers at all stages of their careers.

The Irish Writers' Centre, located on Parnell Square in Dublin, is the national organisation for writers and writing in Ireland. You can read more about them here: http://www.writerscentre.ie/

Poetry Ireland is the national organisation for poetry in Ireland and is dedicated to developing, supporting and promoting poetry through Ireland. You can read more about them here: http://www.poetryireland.ie/

The Munster Literature Centre, based in Frank O'Connor's former home in Cork City, is dedicated to the promotion and celebration of literature, especially that of Munster. To this end, the organisation organises festivals, workshops, readings and competitions. You can read more about them here: http://www.munsterlit.ie/

Children's Books Ireland is the national children’s books organisation of Ireland. Through its activities and events, the organization aims to engage young people with books, foster a greater understanding of the importance of books for young people and act as a core resource for those with an interest in books for children in Ireland.  You can read more about them here: http://www.childrensbooksireland.ie/

You should also visit http://writing.ie/, an online magazine site for writers and readers of all ages, which provides resources for writers, listings of events, interviews with writers and publishers and general information about reading and writing in Ireland.

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I’m a writer and I have a finished work which I want to get published. Can the Arts Council help me?

The Arts Council supports a number of literary publishers and journals and you can download a list of them here (0.03 MB, Adobe PDF). This list is by no means exhaustive, however, and you should also consult the resource organisations listed above for further advice, including contacts for literary agents.

You should also consider consulting the Writers and Artists Yearbook, which should be available at your local library.

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Does the Arts Council ever fund writers to go into schools?

Yes, the Arts Council founded and funds the Writers in Schools Scheme, one of the longest running arts-in-education programmes in the country. 2007 marked the 30th anniversary of the Scheme, which is run by Poetry Ireland on the Arts Council's behalf.

The Scheme part-funds visits by writers and storytellers to primary and post primary schools throughout the Republic of Ireland. There are over 250 writers and storytellers for schools to choose from on the Writers in Schools Web-Directory of Writers.

You can find out more about the scheme on Poetry Ireland's website, here: http://www.poetryireland.ie/education/writers-in-schools.html

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Does the Arts Council ever fund writers to go into prisons?

Yes, the Arts Council supports the Writers in Prisons Scheme which offers opportunities for writers to work with groups of students in Irish prisons. This scheme is managed jointly by the Irish Prison Service (through its Education Department) and the Arts Council.

The scheme provides selected writers the opportunity to work with students in the prison schools. The teachers or librarians from any of the prisons in the Republic of Ireland invite selected writers to visit to carry out a reading, a workshop or a series of workshops with the relevant students. The workshops in the past have included literature, poetry, playwriting and screenwriting.

Initially the teacher and/or librarian and artist discuss the reading or type of workshops that are required and when the aims and objectives are clarified and dates agreed, the writer carries out the work with the students.

If you are a writer interested in becoming a member of the panel from which writers are selected or are involved in prison education please contact the scheme co-ordinator:

Veronica Hoen, Art Development Worker, Prison Education Service,
Phone: 087 954 8178,
Email: vmhoen@ipsedu.ie

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James Joyce (mixed media) Brian Bourke, 1982, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.
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James Joyce (mixed media) Brian Bourke, 1982, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.

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