September 30 – March 31, 2025

July 17, 2024 at 11:59pm

Apply Here

Please apply via Submittable no later than Wednesday 17 July 2024 at midnight.

The Irish Writers Centre is delighted to announce the return of the Evolution Programme for 2024-2025. This free six-month programme will provide support for ten published (1 or 2 books) writers to advance their writing careers.

In keeping with Goal 1 of our 2022-2026 Strategy, this programme will provide support to professional writers to advance their craft and career with confidence and resilience.

About the Programme

The Evolution Programme 2024-2025 (EP4) is for writers who have successfully published at least one book. This programme aims to ease the difficult journey of published writers who have one or two books under their belt and need further support at a crucial stage of their careers.

This is a six-month, partially self-led programme where writers can pick from a suite of supports and collaborate with like-minded writers.

The suite of supports includes access to courses, one-to-one mentoring, IWC membership, monthly peer forums and an opportunity to be on a paid teaching residency with the School of English and Creative Arts at the University of Galway. This residency will be limited to three writers, with further selection through an interview process.*

*This unique opportunity was co-created with IWC Ambassador Mike McCormack and Dr. John Kenny, Director of the BA in English and Creative Writing at University of Galway.

Who is it for?

Evolution is a programme for ten writers who are over the age of 18 and resident on the island of Ireland:

This programme is for writers who have published at least one book* and who practice in the following genres and forms: fiction, creative non-fiction, children’s/Young Adult fiction and poetry.

*Writers who have secured a publishing deal with a recognised publisher and whose book is scheduled to be launched no later than spring/summer 2025 must provide a letter of confirmation from their publisher stating the publication date as evidence of their claim.

Dedicated places:

  • Writers from or living in the North of Ireland: Two places are reserved for writers from or living in the North of Ireland, thanks to the support of the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
  • Irish Language writers: We encourage writers who are writing in the Irish Language to apply. While we cannot guarantee that all of our supports are delivered as Gaeilge, some bespoke elements of the programme can be organised in Irish.
  • The Irish Writers Centre encourages applications from writers from backgrounds currently underrepresented in Irish literature. We particularly encourage applications from people who are D/deaf, neurodivergent & disabled, LGBTQIA+, Minority Ethnic, Black & Persons of Colour, Roma, a member of the Travelling Community, and from working class backgrounds.

Please note you will be asked to give an evaluation at the end of this programme so that we can continue to improve future iterations.

Timeline and Format

This programme will be delivered both online and in-person. In-person sessions will take place at the Irish Writers Centre, Dublin.

The timeline for this programme is six months from October 2024 to March 2025, with all Evolution writers completing their programme by the end of March. Please note that this programme is not full-time and is largely self-scheduled to fit around participants’ other commitments. The suite of supports will be tailored to fit around the EP writers’ personal schedule. We do, however, require EP writers to attend the monthly forums and Evolution Saturday (see key dates below).

Key Dates

Participants are required to attend monthly peer-to-peer forums and Evolution Saturday, and will be asked to confirm their attendance in their application. The dates of the monthly peer-to-peer meetings are as follows:

  • Monday 30 September 2024, 4-5pm, online: Forum 1 with the IWC Director & IWC Team
  • Monday 4 November 2024, 4-5pm, online: Forum 2
  • Saturday 16 November 2024, 10am-5pm, in-person: Evolution Saturday (a day of talks taking place in-person at the Irish Writers Centre on 19 Parnell Square)
  • Monday 25 November 2024, 4-5pm, online: Forum 3
  • Monday 13 January 2024, 4-5pm, online: Forum 4
  • Monday 10 February 2024, 4-5pm, online: Forum 5
  • Monday 10 March 2024, 4-5pm, online: Forum 6 (final forum)

Please note that additional in-between online meetings occur monthly along with the peer-to-peer forums and, while optional, may feature industry professionals who will give advice and share their expertise.

The ten teaching residency sessions take place in-person at the University of Galway between October 2024 and January 2025.

How Does it Work?

In the first instance, successful applicants will meet with their IWC designated team member to discuss and design their ideal suite of supports, as identified in their application, and within our financial budget for the scheme.

The suit of supports will cover all three elements of the programme which are:

1. Training: to give Evolution Programme (EP) writers opportunities to upskill professionally and creatively.

2. One-to-One Mentoring/Clinics: EP writers’ will receive creative feedback on their work from an acclaimed Irish writer, or a one-to-one clinic with an industry expert.

3. Collaboration/Knowledge Sharing: to support EP writers to create a supportive peer group over the lifetime of the programme by way of a collaborative monthly peer-to-peer forum. As a first measure, this forum is supported by the IWC team but we encourage independent collaboration as the forums progress.

If you are awarded a place, you will have access to all supports in LIST A:

LIST A – Collaborative Practical Support

  • A dedicated IWC team member who will communicate with you about your supports for the duration of this programme
  • Professional IWC membership for one year
  • Collaborative monthly peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing via Zoom

In addition, you will select 2 options from LIST B and 2 options from LIST C, a maximum of 4 options combined.

LIST B – Training & Performance Support

  • Access to programmed IWC Courses
  • Performance opportunity at a live IWC event
  • Shadowing a selection panel
  • Access to IWC team for specified purpose (e.g. advice with grant writing; social media skills support; putting an event together)

LIST C – Creative or Teaching Support

  • A one-to-one clinic with a professional of your choice for specified purpose. e.g. an editor/publisher or marketing professional
  • Mentorship for creative or professional development purposes
  • Paid teaching residency to teach in-person on the BA in English and Creative Writing programme with University of Galway in autumn 2024 (this option will be limited to three writers, with selection by interview)

How to Apply

Please apply via Submittable no later than Wednesday 17 July 2024 at midnight:

  • A letter of intent that includes:
  1. Why you would like to be on the programme, having given thought to which supports you need and how you could benefit.
  2. How you can contribute to skill-sharing forums with your peers on the scheme.
  3. Statement that you are available for the monthly forums and Evolution Saturday (dates above).
  • A writer’s CV (max. 2 A4 pages) that includes your birth year, postal address, Eircode and email and mobile number. Please also include publisher names and ISBNs for existing publications or evidence of future publication with ISBN(s) and a letter from publisher with future publication date as required.
  • Two short samples of no more than 600 words each: one published work and one work-in-progress, ensuring that your name is not on them (these will be sent for blind readings).

What is Submittable?

Submittable is an online platform that the Irish Writers Centre uses to collect and review submissions and applications. To submit your application via Submittable, applicants will need to create a Submittable account. It’s free and easy to use but if you have any issues with Submittable, please email Applications will be acknowledged via an automatic email. If you don’t receive a confirmation of receipt within a day, please contact us to check if your application has gone through.

Selection Process

We will award ten places to eligible writers who will be known as EP4 writers. Selection will be made by a panel of IWC team members and professional writers on the basis of their letter of intent, CV and creative writing samples.

Writers will be selected according to these criteria in equal measure:

  • Stated need and case made for the anticipated supports (see ‘How Does it Work’ section above).
  • Eligibility and track record.
  • Creative samples of work.
  • If applicable, letter from publisher (in PDF form) with future publication date.

Due to the volume of applicants we are not in a position to give individual feedback to applicants, unless they have been interviewed, depending on the scheme. This policy extends across all of our calls in the interests of equity and transparency, and because, as a small team, we don’t have the capacity to give individual responses.

Application Deadline

Wednesday 17 July 2023 at midnight. 

No late applications will be considered.

Applications will be acknowledged by an automatic email on receipt. If you have not received an email acknowledgement from Submittable within 24 hours, please write to

Past Evolution Writers

IWC Evolution Programme 2023

Aoife Barry, Paul Carroll, Mia Döring, Ana Kinsella, Marianne McShane, Juliette Saumande, Molly Twomey, Aimée Walsh, Tríona Walsh and Gwen Wilkinson.

IWC Evolution Programme 2022

Stephanie Conn, Rachel Coventry, Aingeala Flannery, Amanda Geard, Alice Kinsella, Christopher Linforth, Hilary McCollum, Debbie McCune, Fiona Sherlock and Megan Wynne.

IWC Evolution Programme 2021

Sheila Armstrong, Helen Blackhurst, Deirdre Cartmill, Kevin Curran, Sue Divin, Arnold Thomas Fanning, Olivia Fitzsimons, Michelle Gallen, Maeve Galvin, Máire T. Robinson, Melatu-Uche Okorie and Liz Quirke.


“Through the evolution programme, I was able to have two wonderful experiences – teach at the University of Galway and make professional writer friends with whom great collaborations have happened.” – Melatu-Uche Okorie, EP1 Writer

“Evolution was a wonderful opportunity to connect with other writers I would never have otherwise met. I loved my time teaching undergrads at the University of Galway as an Evolution Creative Writing Intern. Such a welcoming and vibrant community! What’s great about Evolution is that you can choose specific supports to meet your individual needs as writer.” – Aingeala Flannery, EP2 Writer

“The Evolution Programme was transformative for my career. Not least due to the wonderful support of my writer mentors Lucy Caldwell and Colin Barrett, who offered brilliant feedback on my second novel. Working with the Creative Writing team and students at University of Galway was fantastic too! I can’t recommend the Evolution Programme enough!” – Aimée Walsh, EP3 writer

“The Evolution Programme helped me realise several things; I am not alone, we all come across the same obstacles, internal and external, and mostly, it has grown my confidence and allowed me to take myself more seriously than I ever have.” – Mia Döring, EP3 writer

“The Evolution Programme provided a rare and unique banquet of support to my creative and professional development. There’s nothing else like it in Ireland that caters to the growth of writers in this country, and I count myself incredibly fortunate to have been able to take part.” – Paul Carroll, EP3 writer

About the Irish Writes Centre

As the leading support and development organisation for writers since 1991, the Irish Writers Centre (IWC) carries out its work, online and in-person, on an all-island basis. Through actively encouraging writers from all communities to engage in creative writing, the centre provides many ways and means for them to develop their skill, advance their ambitions and join a vibrant and diverse community of people who share their passion and purpose. IWC supports writers in the following ways: through development programmes, residencies, mentoring opportunities, resources, creative writing courses and hosting regular literary events.


We are hugely grateful to IWC Ambassador Marian Keyes for continuing to provide financial support for the Evolution Programme. 


Other Opportunities