Photo credit: In 2024 we are spotlighting all the amazing independent bookshops and booksellers in Ireland simply because we love them and we think you should too! To mark International Children’s Book Day (Also Hans Christian Andersen’s Birthday) we are celebrating one of the only dedicated children’s bookshops in Ireland (And definitely one of the finest!) Halfway Up the Stairs. Scroll down to look around this dream of a bookshop and find out a little bit more about them. And, as always, if you’re ever in or around Greystones make sure and pay them a visit!

Each month we update our Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities webpage, along with our Bursaries & Funding, to ensure that we are connecting our writers with the best upcoming opportunities. Here are a few deadlines we want to highlight this April.


Ormond Art Studio’s Zine Fair for Palestinian Aid

Deadline: 9th April 2024

Ormond Art Studios is hosting a Zine fair for Palestinian aid on the 12th and 13th of April and they are looking for submissions! They are accepting all forms of artist books, publications and zines from zine makers and artists! All proceeds will be donated to E sims for Gaza, E-sims are a crucial way for Gazans to communicate with each other and the outside world.

Interior of Halfway Up the Stairs (Photo by Ger Holland)

Poetry with Pride (Belfast Pride)

Deadline: 1st July 2024

Submissions are open for the Poetry with Pride Magazine. This annual publication promotes emerging and established queer poetry from Belfast and beyond. Poems must be no longer than 30 lines. You can submit up to three poems. To submit email


The Bridport Prize

Deadline: 31st May 2024

With categories in Poetry, Short Story, Flash Fiction and the Novel as well as a list of previous winners that includes Kit de Waal and Kate Atkinson, the Bridport Prize is one of the most exciting creative writing competitions you could submit to right now. This year Wendy Erskine will judge the short story category, Liz Berry will judge Poetry, Jasmine Sawers judges Flash Fiction and Ross Raisin will judge the Novel. Applications close on the 31st of May so make sure to check out their website for rules and instructions on how to apply.

Halfway Up the Stairs do a really brilliant Book Subscription service (Photo by Ger Holland)


Mirror Lamp Press X The Complex Writing Residency

Deadline: 15th April 2024

This new writer-in-residence programme aimed at early-career visual arts writers based in Ireland. This programme is designed to help writers develop their practice by inviting them to produce up to five new critical responses to the Exhibitions and Events programme at The Complex in Dublin.

The residency will run from May – September 2024, during which time the selected writer will receive:

€1,500 fee (€300 per text). Half will be paid at the beginning and half on completion of the residency.

€500 production budget to disseminate thinking and research through means of either an event, DIY publication, video recording, podcast or other activity.

€300 budget for mentoring.

Ongoing editorial support from the Mirror Lamp Press Editors.

Publishing through the MLP website and dissemination through the MLP and The Complex channels.

This programme is aimed at early-career artists or writers who have not yet published widely and who are looking to develop their writing in response to an art space or exhibition programme.

2024 John Broderick Residency

Deadline: 17th April 2024

The Westmeath Arts Office and Arts Council invite writers across Ireland to apply for the 2024 John Broderick Residency.

This unique writer’s residency series is designed to honour Athlone writer John Broderick. The series provides support to a selected writer while increasing the awareness of John Broderick, his works, and his engagement and generosity to the people of Athlone.

€16,500 will be granted to a selected professional writer for a 10-week period beginning in September 2024. An additional accommodation stipend of up to €1,200 will be made available where accommodation in Athlone is necessary.

The John Broderick Residency is open to professional writers in all genres. Writers must be over 18 years of age and resident on the island of Ireland.

Writers must demonstrate an ability to mentor emerging writers, young people and those interested in developing their writing skills.

Another shot of that fun and welcoming interior (Photo by Ger Holland)


Arts Council of Ireland Agility Award

Deadline: 25th April 2025

The Agility Award aims to support individual professional freelance artists and arts workers at any stage in their careers. You can apply for up to €5000 worth of support. You must register with the Arts Council’s online services at least five days before you apply so even if you are planning on submitting close to the deadline make sure you register as early as possible! The Arts Council are running a series of online clinics to help answer any questions you might have about making your application. You can find out more info about these clinics on their website! There’s one coming up on Tuesday 9th of April as well as Wednesday 17th April before the last clinic on the 22nd of April.

Irish Writers Centre Opportunities:

Irish Writers Centre/Belfast Book Festival Young Writer Delegates 2024

Deadline: 3rd April 2024

The Irish Writers Centre are inviting ambitious young writers aged 18-26 to apply for this extraordinary opportunity to attend and contribute to the Belfast Book Festival 2024 as Irish Writers Centre/Belfast Book Festival Young Writer Delegates. The Young Writer Delegates will spend five days (four nights) at Belfast Book Festival 2024 from Thursday 06 June, 2024 to Monday 10 June, 2024. The programme will include mentoring from local writer-mentor Deirdre Cartmill, the opportunity to attend festival events, the chance to take charge of the Young Writer Delegates official Instagram page as well as a public performance at the Young Writer Delegate showcase.

What a lovely storefront! (Photo by Ger Holland)

About Halfway Up the Stairs:

Halfway up the Stairs Children’s Bookshop in Greystones, County Wicklow, south of Dublin is one of the only dedicated children’s bookshops in Ireland. They stock books for children of all ages – from babies up to Young Adults. Last year Halfway up the Stairs won Bookshop of the Year at the Irish Book Awards and was named winner for Independent Bookshop of the Year (Ireland) at the British Book Awards. With a team of five dedicated children’s booksellers, the shop strives to find the right book for each child, regardless of their need, circumstance or ability, something that is more important, now than ever.

Please get in touch with Administrative Assistant Tom Jordan at if your organisation has a  competition, submission, bursary or funding opportunity for writers that you would like us to include in our monthly round-up blog post.