Jack Harte Bursary 2020

The Irish Writers Centre and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig have come together again to offer a two-week fully resourced Writer-in-Residence Bursary to take place in spring 2020. The award is named in honour of Jack Harte, founder of the Irish Writers Centre, in celebration and acknowledgement of his contribution to Irish literature. 

Past recipients of the residency include:

2019: Jan Carson
2018: Neil Hegarty 
2017: Henrietta McKervey
2016: Sarah Moore Fitzgerald 
2015: Liz Nugent 


Who Can Apply:

This is an open call to writers resident on the island of Ireland with a proven track record and at least one book of fiction or short stories published by a recognised publisher. Priority will be given to works of fiction. Writers of both the English and Irish language are welcome to apply.

How to Apply:

Applications are accepted by email only to

Please include:

  1. A cover letter including your personal details and statement of artistic intent, clearly and concisely outlining the project you would like to focus on during your time at Annaghmakerrig.
  2. An updated Curriculum Vitae (max. two A4 pages) including publications with ISBNs.
  3. Clearly labelled samples of recent work. We are looking for three short samples from different works(up to 400 words each), plus a sample from the work-in-progress that you proposed to focus on during the residency (Max 3 pages).
  4. Any relevant information on your proposed project such as written excerpts, photos, research information, etc.

Note: Please compile all relevant documentation into a single Word doc or PDF attachment. 

Application Deadline:  Thursday 26 September 2019, at 5pm.

No late applications will be considered. Applications will be acknowledged by email on receipt.

Selection Process: 

Applications go before a selection committee of the Board of the Irish Writers Centre and a nominee of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre. The panel will select from eligible applications only, so please ensure to read the criteria carefully and to observe the sample word counts requested.

The successful applicant will be notified by November 2019. The recipient of the bursary will be publicly announced at a celebration event in December 2019 at the Irish Writers Centre.


Henrietta McKervey was the recipient of the 2017 Jack Harte Bursary. Here's what she had to say in receipt of the bursary: 

The Jack Harte Bursary will have a huge impact for me as an individual – the time and space to work on a book without the demands of what passes for ordinary life getting in the way is a wonderful opportunity. But what I think makes this award particularly special is that it’s not created as an acknowledgment of previous work; a book already written. Instead, every year the IWC makes an investment in a new project, something as yet unwritten (or at the very least, unfinished). It seems to me that the world generally has come to lack faith in the power of ideas. That the IWC continues to show its faith in the future of writing in Ireland, in the importance of continuing creativity and ideas, is what makes this award special.


About past recipients:

Jan Carson
‘This is a sensuous read where sentences tumble unexpectedly from the page. More importantly, this is a book that is rooted in a very particular geographical and social space but which reaches out to the whole of Europe in its engagement with myth and paternal crisis.’ – Conor Kostick

Neil Hegarty
‘Hegarty takes a significant step beyond the conventional wisdom […] Hegarty … clearly knows his history well and has done admirable research.’ – Washington Post (US)

Henrietta McKervey
‘She has wit, imagination, and an understanding of human beings, which are the hallmark of the true novelist. In addition she has the drive and perseverance every serious writer needs.’  Éilís Ní Dhuibhne

Sarah Moore Fitzgerald
‘This beautiful novel is deceptively easy to read; the story rattles along while dealing sensitively with issues of love, loss, illness and memory. It’s a moving and poignant story, but there are funny moments, too. Back to Blackbrick is an impressive debut novel that already feels like a classic.’ –

Liz Nugent
‘Taut, crisp, clear, a storm-warning of a book. It has the eeriness of 'The Turn of the Screw'; but as these screws turn, a mighty tension takes hold. Masterly.’ – Sebastian Barry