Budding Wexford Children’s Writers and Illustrators Invited to Apply for the Raising Voices Fellowship


Aspiring children’s writers and illustrators from underrepresented backgrounds or communities have been invited to apply for the Raising Voices Fellowship, a fully funded, career-changing program that includes a multitude of creative and practical materials. The scholarship is run by a group of literary organizations including Children’s Books Ireland (CBI), Illustrators Ireland, Publishing Ireland, the Dublin Book Festival, and the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Annaghmakerrig. Raising Voices aims to remove barriers to publication and progression, and to increase diversity and representation in the Irish literature sector for those whose voices have been under-represented due to their origin or identity.

Discussing the program, Elaina Ryan, CEO of CBI, said: “The recent Diversity and Inclusion Survey published by Words Ireland indicates that there is still a long way to go to ensure equal access and progression for groups under-represented in the Irish literature sector. Children’s literature is unfortunately no exception. We know there are writers and illustrators in Ireland whose work has yet to reach audiences and who have the talent, skill and tenacity to carve out incredible careers in children’s books. Raising Voices is our chance to identify and support some of these artists, learn more about the barriers that need to be lifted, and connect them to networks that will help them thrive.

Materials included in the scholarship program include mentoring with an experienced writer or illustrator, detailed review from an editor / art director tailored to the scholar’s practice, a week-long residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Annaghmakerrig, access to a bespoke lecture series, scholarship information clinic with the Arts Council and various events and courses.

The program is designed for writers and illustrators who work for children and young people, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry, who work in English or Gaeilge, have a full manuscript, picture book or illustrated book plan, have not yet been published or contracted with a publisher or agent and are permanently resident in Ireland or Northern Ireland.

Six fellows will be selected, by representatives of the five partner organizations and three external readers. The Raising Voices Fellowship begins in February 2022 and will run until November 2022. The application deadline is Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 3pm. The Raising Voices scholarship application form is available here in English and French:

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