Community Writers-in-Residence

Community Writer-in-Residence Northern Ireland 2019

Call for applications from Northern Irish Writers

As part of our evolving community engagement programme, the Irish Writers Centre is pleased to announce a Community Writer-in-Residence (CWIR) for 2019 in Northern Ireland, funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Lottery Funding. 

We are seeking to appoint a Community Writer-In-Residence at Falls Women’s Centre and Shankill Women’s Centre.

Falls Women’s Centre
Falls Women’s Centre is a feminist organisation established in 1982 by a group of local women in West Belfast. They provide a safe, welcoming women-only environment, supporting women from all backgrounds and abilities to realise their full potential. Their main services are childcare, advice and counselling, and training and education. Their other programmes include their Young Women’s Project, and a Welcome Project for newcomers to the community.

Shankill Women’s Centre
Shankill Women’s Centre was originally founded in 1987 by a small group of women interested in running women only education classes. The main barrier for women is the lack of childcare provision, so the two began to run simultaneously. SWC now offers a diverse range of projects from Young People mentoring projects, Health and Wellbeing, Good Relations Project and of course Educational courses to help build confidence and offer the participants opportunities to enter in to the employment arena. To date they have over 400 women access services over a year. All individual all unique.


What will the residency involve? 

The selected writer will deliver creative writing and/or poetry workshops to groups at both Falls Women’s Centre and Shankill Women’s Centre.

Workshops:  The workshops will be designed by the CWIR as a means to developing their own work while also bringing their talents to the two women’s groups. 


Key objectives of residencies:

  • To deliver creative writing/poetry workshops to participants.
  • To help, encourage and provide support to participants in telling their story.
  • To write a piece of work (or report on) the experience of the residency and/or individual stories arising from the residency.

Who is eligible to apply?

This is an open call to writers who are either Northern Irish of origin living in the south, or writers who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland.  Applicants must have a proven track record and at least one book of fiction, short stories or poetry published by a recognised publisher. Experience of leading creative writing workshops is essential.

Where is the programme taking place?  

Falls/Shankill area, Belfast.


How long will the whole project last? 

The exact schedule will be negotiated with the selected CWIR in collaboration with both groups, however we anticipate that the engagement period will be 10 two hour workshops during February – April 2018


This could take the form of a showcase event or a visual or printed record of the engagement, pending budget considerations


Writer’s brief 
The CWIR is invited to lead a series of workshops, taking inspiration from varied sources; from their knowledge of the group, from participants’ stories, and from their own experience of previous facilitation. The goal is to create a process of engagement with the group in giving voice to their stories through language and words. 

Ideally, WIR applicants will:

  • be sensitive to the issues that may arise in regard to the target group
  • have an ability in drawing out stories from individuals in the group
  • have an awareness of the lives of the cohort group
  • be able to act as a role model and bring vision to the workshops

In advance of the residency, an agreed model of practice (to include evaluation), clear goals, roles and responsibilities will be agreed between the writer, the IWC and the hosting organisation. The structure of the workshops will be decided at this time, and will likely amount to 10 two hour workshops.


When is the deadline for application to the Call? 

Thursday January 10th, 2019 at 4pm.  Late applications will not be considered.


The fee offered is £1,440 inclusive of VAT. (Or euro equivalent)


How to apply:

If you are interested in applying, please send the following to Kiki Drost   at with Community Writer-in-Residence Falls/Shankill in the subject line.

Please include:

  • a proposal outlining ideas and approaches around engagement and interaction with the Women’s groups. Please outline why you wish to undertake the residency and how you might be best suited to the role (maximum 2 pages).
  • a typed curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages) including examples of previous work, publications, programmes or published articles, such as reviews.  (Please include links to work published online.)

Please collate all application material into one attachment to ensure that it is eligible for consideration.


Criteria for selection

  • Suitability of proposal in context of Falls Women’s Centre and Shankill Women’s Centre
  • Experience working with marginalised (or similar) groups as a writer
  • Facilitation experience

Applications will go before a selection committee comprising of a representative from each of the producing organisations.


Previous Participants:

  • Mel Bradley
  • Deirdre Cartmill


This is an Irish Writers Centre initiative supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.