The Irish Writers Centre provides a wealth of helpful resources for, well, writers! Valerie Bistany was appointed as the centre’s director in 2013, funding was renewed and the Georgian premises on Parnell Square in Dublin 1 has become a vital hub for writers and aspiring writers alike.
National Lottery Funding for Good Causes
The centre received €90,000 in annual funding through the Arts Council, part-funded by the National Lottery Funding for Good Causes, in 2016 to finance its mission as a resource organisation for writers at all stages of their careers.
As well as a wide range of courses to help writers with their professional development, the centre provides a place for them to work, a networking hub and opportunities to further their careers and earn money through residencies.
“Writers crave two things,” Valerie Bistany said. “They need time and space to write, and a residency provides that. “And the second thing writers crave is feedback – a community whereby they can get critical, informed robust feedback in a kind way.”
The centre offers opportunities for such feedback in a variety of ways, including mentoring, courses, writers’ groups and the ability to network with writers whose careers are more developed as well as with book publishers and publishers of literary journals.
A writer’s life can be a solitary one, but the centre also offers a reprieve from isolation. “The social aspect is very important. We are a membership organisation and that brings a sense of community.”
In addition to its own courses, the centre offers highly regarded intensive writing workshops in association with The Stinging Fly literary journal and it is increasingly becoming an all-island resource for writers by building links and offering events and courses around the country and in Northern Ireland.
Approximately 30 cent of every €1 spent on games go back to National Lottery funding for Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts and heritage. Over €5 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 30 years ago. In 2016 alone, the National Lottery raised over €210 million for such good causes.