Cill Rialaig Residencies 2020

Cill Rialaig Residencies 2020


This autumn marks the sixth consecutive year of Irish Writers Centre residencies with Cill Rialaig, Co. Kerry. These residencies are now open for applications to seven writers for a ten-day period from 2 – 12 October, 2020. Please note that for 2020, applications for this residency are open to all writers across the island of Ireland who meet the criteria.

In addition to their own work, the writers are requested to put aside approximately 2 hours at the start and the end of the residency to come together as a focus group to discuss professional development opportunities that the IWC might undertake in the future. Details will be finalised with the seven successful applicants in September.

To see the beautiful and inspiring landscape of Cill Rialaig click here 

Read Katherine Mezzacappa’s Reflections on Cill Rialaig for an idea of what you can expect.


The seven residencies, two of which will be filled by Northern Irish writers / writers from the north of Ireland, are offered all-inclusively free of charge (the IWC will cover the utility charge for each of the seven houses). Expenses incurred by the selected writers will be food and travel. 


This is an open call to writers who are living on the island of Ireland. The purpose of this residency is to give writers the time and space they need to create new work. This year, we are opening applications for our Cill Rialaig residencies to both professional and emerging writers. We encourage writers from backgrounds typically underrepresented in Irish literature to apply. We particularly invite applications from BIPOC, Traveller, and working class writers. We will place a strong focus on ethnicity, race, and socioeconomic status when evaluating the applications for these residencies. 

To assist with this process, we have included this monitoring access form, which may be completed along with your application. 

Professional and Emerging Writers

Four of the seven residencies will be awarded to professional writers. These applicants must have a proven track record and at least one book published by a recognised publisher.

The other three residencies will be awarded to emerging writers, namely, those who have had some measure of success with their writing but have not yet been published with a recognised publisher. You must be able to demonstrate that you have a track record as a writer. You do not need to have published a book but do need to demonstrate your seriousness of intent as a writer. 

If you are unsure how to demonstrate your track record as a writer, have a look at our Professional Membership criteria here as a guide. 

Please indicate on your application whether you are a professional or an emerging writer. 

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying please send the following to with Cill Rialaig Residency in the subject line:

  • A cover letter including your personal details concisely outlining the project you would like to focus on during the residency
  • An updated Curriculum Vitae (max. two A4 pages) including publications with ISBNs.
  • Clearly labelled samples of recent work (up to three short samples of up to 300 words or between 4- 6 poems).
  • Any relevant information on your proposed project such as written excerpts, photos, research information, etc.
  • Please collate all documents into one attachment, either Word or PDF.  

Application Deadline

Wednesday 5 August 2020, 5PM.

Past recipients of the residency include:

2019: Marie Breen-Smyth, Sheila Armstrong, June Caldwell, Charleen Hurtubise, Katherine Mezzacappa, Olivia Fitzsimons, Emily S Cooper.

2018: Brendan Mac Evilly, Dominique Cleary, Catherine Ann Cullen, Gerry Boland, Caelainn Hogan, Paula Cunningham and John Fox.

2017: Sue Leonard, Fiona O'Rourke, Breda Wall Ryan, Anna Heussaff, Moyra Donaldson, Aiden O'Reilly, Kelly Creighton.

2016: Louise C.Callaghan, Kate Kavanagh, Martin Malone, Dairena Ní Chinnéide, Nessa O’Mahony, Sydney Weinberg and Adam Wyeth. 

2015:  Andrea Carter, Anthony Glavin, Catherine Dunne, Lia Mills, Louise Phillips, Maria McManus, Seán Hardie.


The Irish Writers Centre is continually monitoring the developments around Covid-19. We ask all applicants to be aware that this residency opportunity is subject to government Covid-19 measures, and the Irish Writers Centre reserves the right to withdraw this opportunity should the coronavirus situation call for such measures.