Staff Vacancies

Acting Director/CEO of the Irish Writers Centre (50 weeks from July 2019) 

A vacancy for the position of Acting Director of the Irish Writers Centre will arise in July 2019 for a fixed term period of 50 weeks. The Board of the IWC therefore wishes to appoint an Acting Director to lead, manage and develop the work of the organisation, building on the success and achievements of the last 28 years.

This full-time temporary position will be based at 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, IrelandIt is an important cultural leadership role, reporting to the Board, encompassing responsibility for the overall management of the IWC’s full range of operations and its resources and finances, its premises and management of the team in Parnell Square. The role will involve maintaining current sources of funding to service the regular programmes as well as finding new opportunities for both funding and new programming, within the existing framework.

The incoming Acting Director will represent the IWC publicly, maintain relationships with principal stakeholders in the literature community both national and internationally, and especially with key funding agencies including both Arts Councils in Ireland, Dublin City Council. Foras na Gaeilge and others.


Person Specification

We are looking for a creative, dynamic individual who has significant previous experience of working in a literature or other arts organisation at a senior level. Highly developed organisational, planning, financial and negotiation skills are required alongside excellent communication and interpersonal skills to build effective working relationships with colleagues, writers and partners locally, nationally and internationally.

Successful candidates will demonstrate:


  • A sound understanding of the purpose, role and work of the Irish Writers Centre
  • Evidence of a significant involvement in, or engagement with, literature or a related art form which can demonstrate a transfer of skills which are relevant to the role  
  • Familiarity with the cultural/arts infrastructure within which the IWC operates in Ireland
  • The ability to lead and manage a professional team
  • An understanding of the challenges and opportunities for Irish writers today
  • Significant experience of project management including budget management and team leadership


Desirable attributes in a candidate:

  • Self-starting, an initiative taker and problem solver
  • High degree of energy, enthusiasm and creativity
  • Adaptable and flexible
  • Strong negotiating skills and contracting experience
  • Creative and innovative thinker
  • Professionally credible to key organisational stakeholders
  • Ideally, a competence in spoken and written Irish


Shortlisting criteria:

Candidates will have a degree level qualification and at least 3 years’ recent experience of managing an organisation, or autonomous division within a large organisation (candidates without a degree will need at least 5 years’ recent experience), with a track record of demonstrable success and experience, plus substantial experience in at least four of the following eight areas:


Arts Programming and Audiences

  • Involvement in, and understanding of literature in particular, or of the arts in another field, AND
  • Programming experience of events, festivals or creative learning, AND
  • Experience in targeting and reaching new audiences through management of effective communications/marketing strategy, and having ability to identify and remove barriers to participation.


Human resources

  • Experience of successfully leading and managing an effective and engaged staff team to achieve organisational objectives. AND
  • Experience of dealing effectively with challenging HR issues.


Planning & Delivery

  • Successful implementation and delivery of programmes and the day to day operational/business management. AND
  • Ability to plan, manage and co-ordinate complex work in line with agreed objectives, with changing priorities, conflicting agendas and varying resources.


Governance and compliance regulations

  • Having a clear and practical understanding of the various requirements for compliance in liaison with the Board of Directors to ensure all statutory requirements are met.
  • Experience in ensuring that all statutory and Health and Safety, garda vetting and other requirements are implemented and enforced in the interest of the safety of all staff, clients and visitors to the Centre.
  • Identification, addressing and management of risks.



  • Successful budget development, management and monitoring of a mid/large scale organisation, or autonomous part of a larger organisation (turnover of circa £300,000 upwards p.a).

Income generation

  • A proven track record of successfully submitting, and reporting on, applications to government departments and agencies, and trusts/foundations.
  • Demonstrable experience of growing an organisation through commercial activity. 
  • Substantial experience of fundraising and/or sponsorship from individuals, groups and/or companies.

Facilities management

  • Experience of managing entertainment/hospitality venues/facilities and in customer relations.
  • Experience in preparing contracts or tenders for the provision of services, as a contractor.


 External influence & collaboration (at least 2 of the 3)

  • Ability to network, build relationships with, and influence senior decision-makers.
  • Establishing and managing strategic partnerships and collaborative relationships.
  • Professional and public credibility with the ability to express oneself confidently and engagingly both in oral and written communications, in the public and private arena.

 At interview stage, in addition to these competencies, the panel will also assess:

  • The ability to inspire and motivate
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication skills
  • Drive and passion
  • Congruence with the IWCs values


The Process


The Board of the IWC has authorised a Steering Committee to manage the selection/interview process on behalf of the Board. The application will comprise of:

  • A cover letter which concisely outlines the key skills and qualities which you will bring to the role of Acting Director, and also relating how your experience has prepared you for the key challenges of this role.
  • A Curriculum Vitae, including the names and contact details of two referees (email and mobile number. Referees will only be contacted in the case of final shortlisted candidates.)

Applications, by email only, should be submitted to the attention of Chairperson, Liz McManus at with Application for Acting Director in the subject line. It is essential that both of the above stated documents are collated into a single word or pdf attachment to be eligible.

Deadline for applications is on Tuesday May 14th at 5pm. (Late applications not accepted.)



Interview candidates will be selected on the basis of their suitability for the role, in line with the stated shortlisting criteria.



Interviews are likely to take place on Monday May 20th, 2019. Shortlisted candidates may be offered the opportunity to make a presentation of no more than 10 minutes duration to make their best case to the interview panel. At the steering committee’s discretion, a candidate may be called for a second or subsequent interview.


Summary Information

Job Title: Acting Director/CEO

Reporting to: the Board of Directors through the Chair

Term: A fixed term contract of 50 weeks beginning in July 1019

Salary: €42,000 - €45,000 (commensurate with experience)

Holiday entitlement: 25 days per annum (pro rata 50 weeks)

Location: 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, Ireland

Hours: Full-time (37.5 hours per week)

Application deadline:  Tuesday May 14th at 5pm. (Late applications not accepted.)


About the Irish Writers Centre

The Irish Writers Centre is the national resource organisation for Irish literature. Founded in 1991, our mission is to support, promote and inform writers at all stages of their development. Our vision is for an inclusive society where writers are valued and supported so that literature can thrive and enrich our lives.

The IWC offers a diverse programme of writing courses and workshops led by established writers across a range of genres including memoir, poetry, playwriting, short-stories and the novel. We run a series of professional development programmes which mentor and nurture young and emerging writers of all ages, supporting them in the development of their craft and career as a writer. Additionally, we provide residencies for professional writers and outreach engagement through our Community residencies. We also provide a variety of opportunities for writers to connect with international audiences.

The IWC has a strong and loyal community of members, partners and friends, and we welcome new people from all walks of life, nationality and ages to join.

Our main funders are the Arts Council of Ireland, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Dublin City Council and Foras na Gaeilge.