We are delighted to announce the six writers selected to participate in the 2024 Irish Writers Centre Foundation Programme, in association with the Dublin Book Festival. The programme, now in its third year, aims to support Dublin-based emerging writers who are from backgrounds typically underrepresented in literature in Ireland. The six writers awardees are Aoife Horan, Declan Jones, Clíona Malin, Catriona Murphy, Ifunanya Ogochukwu and Khaled Sultan. 

As part of the Foundation Programme, the six awardees will receive a series of training and development supports, including one-on-one mentoring with award winning writer and poet Colm Keegan, writing workshops, an IWC creative writing course and more. Alongside these supports, the writers will also perform their new writing at Dublin Book festival.

Read about the six awardees below:

  • Aoife Horan
  • Declan Jones
  • Clíona Malin
  • Catriona Murphy
  • Ifunanya Ogochukwu
  • Khaled Sultan

Aoife Horan is an MA journalism student who hails from East Wall, a transient area which belongs to either Dublin 3 or the inner city, depending on who’s speaking to whom. She likes winding streets, city birds, dimly lit bars and Irish waterways. She lives by Margaret Mead’s maxim, “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”







Declan Jones is an emerging Irish writer experienced in theatrical and literary writing, looking to contribute to LGBTI+ promotion and positive change within the literary, theatre and film industry. Graduating from the University of Galway in 2016 with a degree in French, Italian and Film Studies as well as a Masters in Theatre Practice and Production. His literary works include Beneath the Coloured Lines (Unpublished), 2022, Adult LGBT+ Science Fiction, Azzurro in the Sky (Unpublished), 2018, Young Adult LGBT+ Fiction, Quadrangle (Unpublished), 2014, Young Adult LGBT+ Fiction.







Clíona Malin is a queer Irish poet and performer based in Dublin. Her work has been published in Abyss, the Irish Creative Collective Literary Magazine and CHOPPED zine in aid of gender-affirming care. She has performed poetry sets at the Irish Cultural Centre, Rosemary Branch Theatre, Canal Café Theatre and Zodiac LGBTQ+ Bar in London. Clíona was recently selected for the Irish Writers Centre Associate Membership Support Scheme 2024 and The Stinging Fly 2024 Summer School. Her poetry is rooted in nature and place, often touching on human connections with landscape and ecological resilience.







Catriona Murphy was awarded third place by the Dublin Sports and Cultural Council for her short story in 2008. She’s been published in the online literary magazine, Bombfire, and has self-published her own fantasy trilogy online, The Divine Inheritance series. A member of the Inkslingers writing group based in the Irish Writers Centre, she lives in Dublin and works full-time in the tech industry.





I’m Ifunanya Ogochukwu, an 18-year-old law student. I enjoy writing young adult and children’s fiction, especially historical fiction and fantasy. In 2020, I published my first novel. Writing has always been my passion, providing a creative outlet alongside my studies. I’m excited about the opportunity to enhance my skills and connect with fellow passionate writers.






Khaled Sultan is an emerging playwright based in Dublin. His work explores the world through comedic and fantastical lenses. Khaled has written several full-length and one-act plays, with his full-length ‘Along Came the Foreigner’ reaching the Top 14 Finalists at the 2024 S&Co Festival. Honing his craft, Khaled completed the Fishamble playwriting course in 2023.







The Irish Writers Centre Foundation Programe 2024 is supported by Dublin City Council.

Dublin City Council


The Dublin Book Festival is one of Ireland’s most successful and dynamic book festivals, running since June 2006 in the heart of Ireland’s capital with its rich literary history. The annual public festival showcases, supports and develops Irish publishing by programming, publicising and selling Irish published books, their authors, editors and contributors – all in an entertaining, festive, friendly and accessible environment that reflects the creativity and personality of the Irish publishing sector and its authors. Both established and emerging writers from a variety of genres come together to explore their books, share their insights, engage in stimulating conversation with each other and their audiences, and celebrate the art of writing. This year’s dates are November 6th – 10th.


Each year, the Irish Writers Centre runs up to 20 free and exciting programmes to support writers’ development. Carrying our it’s work on an all-island basis, the Irish Writers Centre offers a range of support schemes, residency opportunities, mentoring, and other development programmes. View more opportunities for writers here.

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