Following a national call out, writers from across the island of Ireland have been awarded places on the Irish Writers Centre’s National Mentoring Programme 2023. 37 writers, from a total of nearly 300 applicants, will receive literary mentoring over the next eight months from an acclaimed Irish writer of their choice.

The Irish Writers Centre supports a vibrant and diverse community of writer experiences to develop their craft, capacity, and confidence to thrive as a writer in the world. Each mentor reads up to 10,000 words / 180 lines of poetry of the awarded mentee’s writing in advance of all four meetings, sharing their kind and critical feedback with the mentee, face-to-face at each meeting. Mentors also provide broad professional advice, sharing the benefit of their years of experience.

The initiative is co-funded by a wide range of county arts offices, arts centres and other organisations who guarantee that one or more writers from their counties are supported through the programme. Supporting bodies include: Dublin City Libraries, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Arts Office, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Libraries, Fingal Arts Office, Galway Arts Office, Kildare Arts Service, Kilkenny Arts Office, Limerick Arts Office, Mayo Arts Office, Meath Arts Office, Sligo Arts Office,  Source Arts Centre, South Dublin Arts Office, Westmeath Arts Office, Wexford Arts Office and Wicklow Arts Office.  

The initiative’s main funder is the Arts Council of Ireland whose support for the National Mentoring Programme increased significantly in 2022 allowing for 8 mentorships for writers regardless of their county of origin. And for a fourth year in a row, the Embassy of Colombia in Ireland will support a Colombian writer to mentor an Irish writer selected from any county.

Find out more about the Irish Writers Centre’s National Mentoring Programme here.

Selected Writers

See below the selected writers for the 2023 National Mentoring Programme who are supported by the following funders:


Seán Mackel Arts Council Ireland
Claire McClure Arts Council Ireland
Aidan Furey Arts Council Ireland
Fija Callaghan Arts Council Ireland
Trudie Gorman Arts Council Ireland
Betsy Cornwell Arts Council Ireland
Kyle Mulholland Arts Council Ireland
Aoife Meagher Arts Council Ireland
Robin Steve Dublin City Libraries
Lianne O’Hara Dublin City Libraries
Emma McKeagney Dublin UNESCO City of Literature
Anne O’Brien Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Arts Office
Jean Sutton Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Libraries
Niamh Prior Embassy of Colombia in Ireland
Alicia Byrne Keane Fingal Arts Office
Thomas Brezing Fingal Arts Office
Lauren Lawler Fingal Arts Office
Jack Poole Fingal Arts Office
Hugo Kelly Galway City Arts Office
Roisín Ní Neachtain Kildare Arts Service
Tom Dredge Kildare Arts Service
Brendan Casey Kilkenny Arts Office
Orla Mackey Kilkenny Arts Office
Clara Laherty Limerick Arts Office
Finola Cahill Mayo Arts Office
John Davies Meath Arts Office
Selina Bracken Offaly
Maeve McKenna Sligo Arts Office
Aisling Ní Choibheanaigh Nic Eoin South Dublin Arts Office
Brian Kirk South Dublin Arts Office
Katrina Dybzynska Tipperary
Ursula Meehan Westmeath Arts Office
Caroline Lawless Wexford Arts Office
Joy Redmond Wexford Arts Office
Abbie White Wicklow Arts Office
Eleanor O’Reilly Wicklow Arts Office
Noline Foley Wicklow Arts Office

About the Irish Writers Centre:

As the leading support and development organisation for writers since 1991, the Irish Writers Centre carries out its work, online and in person, on an all island basis. The Centre works with writers of all types and talents, and actively encourages writers from all communities to engage in creative writing. The Centre provides many ways and means for writers to develop their skill, advance their ambitions and join a vibrant and diverse community of people who share their passion and purpose.

View more opportunities for writers here.