COVID-19: Information and Resources for Writers

As precautionary social distancing measures continue in the face of COVID-19, writers, artists, arts practitioners, and the majority of self-employed workers are being placed in difficult positions with little income protection. As the national resource centre for Irish writers and Irish writing, we are taking steps to ensure that we can continue offering our services to writers during this period.

There are also a number of initiatives across the community which offer support for self-employed writers and artists. Have a look at some of the resources we’ve compiled below:

Official government websites

COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

This new payment will be available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost employment due to a downturn in economic activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The payment has a simple one–page application form and will be paid for a period of 6 weeks at a flat rate payment of €203 per week for jobseekers. It is designed to quickly deliver a social welfare payment to the unemployed and provide income security during this 6-week period.

The Arts Council has announced that they will honour funding commitments made to those funded under Strategic Funding, Arts Centre Funding, Arts Grant Funding & Festival Investment Scheme Round 1.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland: 

“We are currently considering revising our current grant administration requirements to alleviate some of the burden facing you; please refer to our website” 

Resource websites with practical advice for arts organisations and those working in the arts

Theatre Forum (Covid-19 Panel: March 13th, 2020)

Relief funds for Artists

Artist Emergency Relief Fund: The Civic has established a fund to provide financial relief to Irish artists experiencing lost income related to COVID-19. Small grants of up to €500 will be paid rapidly on a first-come, first-served basis to affected artists and groups

Bread and Butter Fund Coronavirus NI Artists Fund 

This is a fund for Northern Ireland Arts practitioners affected by the Corona Virus Pandemic. 

The fund hopes to offer a ‘gig’ fee of £200 on a first-come, first-served basis.

Professional writers and the Irish Writers Centre

Self-employed professional artists in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance may be eligible for the Social Welfare Scheme for Professional Writers and Artists

Artists who may not qualify for this particular scheme may still apply to under a wide range of Social Welfare Schemes and Services

One-to-One Mentoring can be offered remotely via Zoom or other online platforms.

The Irish Writers Centre will issue payment swiftly for any work already completed. 

The IWC is exploring online teaching opportunities. We are promptly moving forward with our plans for online delivery and have decided that Zoom is the best platform for facilitating online courses at this time. Facilitators will need to download Zoom Pro, which involves a cost to the facilitator of €13.99 per month. The Irish Writers Centre will reimburse you for this cost.

If facilitators are willing to continue delivering their course in an online format, we will also support pre-payment of part of their total agreed fee in advance, in anticipation of work completed. We will pay the balance at the end of the course. 

If you are interested in additional online teaching opportunities, please contact Betty Stenson at with your course proposal. Please note that due to the capacity of replies we expect to receive, we will not be able to accept all proposals but we will reply to each one in due course.

Wed 18 March 2020