Head of literature

Decision date for applications: 15 June 2007



The Arts Council is currently undertaking a major re-organisation in an effort to better equip itself for delivery of its strategy for the period 2006 – 2010, Partnership for the Arts. This re-organisation aims to achieve more effective and efficient business processes in order to provide excellent customer service to the public, the arts community and other key stakeholders within the public and voluntary sector.



This role offers an exciting opportunity to establish a new team which will lead on delivering the Arts Council’s strategic objectives for Literature. The team forms part of the new re-organised structure at the Arts Council and the post-holder will have the opportunity to develop and shape the work of this team from the outset.



Manage all elements of the Arts Council’s policy formulation, development initiatives, grant and relationship management in the area of Literature in the Irish language and the English language; manage and motivate the Literature team; collaborate with the Arts Director, the departmental management team and other staff in the implementation of specific cross-organisational projects to deliver the objectives of Partnership for the Arts.


Principal responsibilities


  • Develop relevant policy and appropriate strategies for the development of Literature in line with Partnership for the Arts
  • Customise the Arts Council’s support programmes to meet the development needs of Literature


  • Design and develop a work programme which implements the Arts Council’s overall strategic goals for Literature
  • Gather and maintain key intelligence on Literature and maintain sensitive two-way communications with relevant key individuals and organisations
  • Advise the Arts Council on the best use of funds and the optimum deployment of resources for grant and non-grant supports
  • Lead and manage the on-going development of relationships with relevant funded organisations and the wider arts community
  • Develop in collaboration with Arts Director an annual budget and manage performance against this budget with assistance from Finance as required
  • Collaborate with other managers for the effective utilisation of all resources so that peaks and troughs are managed as effectively as possible
  • Collaborate with the Information and Research manager to ensure that all relevant research projects are well designed and brought to fruition to the required quality
  • Manage, through the relevant Advisers and Support Staff, the achievement of all of the objectives of the team, as set out in the Team Responsibilities Document attached
  • Ensure that policy and development issues fully inform the grant-making and other activities


  • Lead, motivate and manage a team of Advisers and Support Staff to the delivery of excellent customer service and the delivery of Partnership for the Arts within a focused team environment
  • Agree with all advisers and support staff key work priorities on an annual (and on-going) basis
  • Manage the team’s input into the various decision making processes (SMT, Committees, Panels, Council) in liaison with the Operations Team
  • Manage the records and information needs of the team
  • Manage the inputting of Art Council grant decisions onto the MIS system
  • Manage one’s own Health and Safety at work and ensure that one does not personally put at risk the Health and Safety of others
  • Provide, as directed from time to time, appropriate assistance to other Sections/Departments where urgent and important work peaks occur
  • Undertake other responsibilities and duties as may be agreed from time to time with management Person


The post holder will have a third level qualification (or equivalent); a minimum of five years relevant experience, and:

  • a proven track record in and demonstrable commitment to the development of Literature
  • a keen understanding of the policy environment for arts development, in particular for Literature and its related areas
  • an ability to think analytically and communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively
  • good interpersonal skills, including an ability to listen and negotiate
  • evidence of experience in strategy development and implementation
  • an detailed knowledge and understanding of the key strategic issues relevant to arts development in the current environment
  • excellent standards of written and oral communication skills
  • a commitment to high standards of public service
  • experience in management and administrationBasis of employment

This appointment will be made at the equivalent of the Civil Service Higher Executive Officer Grade. Point 1: €43,445 (excluding pension) – LSI 2: €58,049 (including pension)


How to apply

To apply for this position, please send a letter outlining your reasons for applying for the role and a copy of your curriculum vitae in confidence to:

Sylvia O’Reilly
HR & Corporate Services Officer
Arts Council, 70 Merrion Square, Dublin 2

The deadline for receipt of applications is 5pm Friday 15 June 2007.

It is expected that interviews for this position will take place as soon as possible thereafter.


Responsibilities of the literature team

Focus AreaResponsibilities
ArtistsThe Council’s policies and practices as they relate to the professional development needs of writers (within the Irish and English languages) and the conditions that affect their work.
FundingThe Council’s funding programmes in literature – at present this includes grants to individuals, project, annual, programme and regular funding.

The proposal of improvements and refinements to the Council’s funding programmes as they affect literature.

The maintenance of good quality relationships and being familiar with the work of literature organisations and the monitoring and evaluation of the work of these organisations.
PartnershipsThe maintenance of strategic partnerships appropriate to the development of literature in Ireland.

The media in respect of broadcast opportunities for writers. Partnerships with other state bodies with respect to the written word – Foras na Gaeilge and Bord na Leabhra Gaeilge.
In contextThe proposal of policy, funding and initiatives to develop literature in context, including writers residencies, literature and young people, and the development of literature (written and read) at local and international level.
Advocacy and initiativesThe proposal of development projects, interventions and other work that the Council will carry out directly to support literature, for example the creation of a publishers intern system, the publication of sample contracts.
AudienceThe development of readership from the viewpoint of how the audience for Irish literature in the Irish and English language can be developed in Ireland and abroad.

The examination of the dissemination and marketing of Irish writing and how it can be improved.
Policy making and researchThe regular updating of the Council’s policies for literature.

The creation and maintenance of access to the best quality intelligence about current and future trends in literature.
Corporate servicesThe regular liaison with Press and Public Relations in respect of opportunities for press coverage of issues related to literature and related public relations.

The on-going contribution that will be necessary in support of the roles of Information and Research, ICT and Human Resources as their work and initiatives interact with literature and the management team with Arts Department 1.
AdviceThe Literature Team will provide advice on literature issues to relevant other teams, to the Council, to Government and other relevant parties as appropriate.
Cross organisational projectsThe team will participate in projects with other teams, and will have responsibility to lead one of the major cross-artform or cross-departmental projects as set out in the Business Plan.
Tulips in Calary Studio, (oil on paper) - Camille Souter, 1983.
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Tulips in Calary Studio, (oil on paper) - Camille Souter, 1983, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.

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