June 14 – June 18, 2023

April 18, 2023 at 5:00pm

We invite ambitious young writers aged 18-26 to apply for this extraordinary opportunity to attend and contribute to Belfast Book Festival as Irish Writers Centre/Belfast Book Festival Delegates.

Programme Description

The Irish Writers Centre is delighted to announce the first Young Writer Delegates Programme in partnership with Belfast Book Festival!

The Irish Writers Centre (IWC) Young Writer Delegates Programme is intended to give young writers an opportunity to immerse themselves in a literature festival, soak up the atmosphere and to contribute to it as active participants. The selected four young writers will attend the festival events, and reflect on their experiences through social media.

During this period, they will be supported by an IWC facilitator and local writer-mentor, Mícheál McCann, to reflect on the festival, develop creative work and share their views via Belfast Book Festival and the IWC’s social media platforms. Delegates will also be provided with a small honorarium for participation in a creative showcase, along with free tickets to each of the events. Please note accommodation is provided for three participants from outside the Belfast area, with a fourth dedicated place for a YWD living in Belfast. In keeping with the Irish Writers Centre’s 2022-2026 Strategy, the Young Writer Delegates Programme seeks to create new opportunities, grant access and develop networks that connect writers to each other. This programme directly correlates with the objectives of Strategy Goal 2, which is to enhance opportunities for people across all communities to explore and participate in creative writing, as well as Goal 3, which is to cultivate an engaged community of writers and strategic alliances that support our ambitions.


This programme is open to writers aged 18-26 living anywhere on the island of Ireland with strong interest in writing, reading and an ambition to connect with and contribute to the Irish literary scene. We encourage young writers from backgrounds typically underrepresented in Irish literature to apply. We particularly invite applications from Black, POC (person of colour), Traveller, Roma, LGBT+, disabled and working class writers, and those who consider themselves to be within the target groups described in the EDI statement on our website.

How to Apply

You will need to send:

● A short cover letter including home postal address saying clearly and concisely why you would like to be selected as a Young Writer Delegate, how you think your writing would benefit and how you think you can contribute to the festival using social media or other platforms to draw attention to the festival.

● A Curriculum Vitae (max. two A4 pages) including any written work which may have been published online or in print.

● Two differing samples of work (max. 500 words each)

Compile ALL of the above into a single attachment in Word Doc or PDF and send to Incorrect formatting will disqualify.

Criteria for Selection

● Eligibility – Participants must be over the age of 18 and resident on the island of the Ireland for a period of not less than one year

● Intent – the cover letter expressing the applicant’s intent and reason for taking part is key in informing our decisions. Be sure to tell us your ideas on how your presence as a delegate will add value to the festival

● Geography – we are seeking applications from all over the island, with at least one local writer from the Belfast area to be selected

● Incomplete or late applications cannot be not considered

Application Deadline

18 April 2023 at 5pm (late applications cannot be accepted).

About the Irish Writers Centre

For over 30 years as the leading support and development organisation for writers, the Irish Writers Centre has acknowledged and uplifted those with the courage and compulsion to write by providing opportunities for them to develop their skill, advance their ambitions and join a vibrant and diverse community of people who share their passion and purpose. We carry out our work, online and in person, on an all island basis. Our just-launched strategy outlines a commitment to diversity and sustainability across our activities and its ambition is to connect writers of all types and talents across the island.

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