Roaming Writer-in-Residence Programme 2018

Roaming Writer-in-Residence Programme 2018

Call for applications from Northern Irish Writers

Funded by ACNI and in partnership with Irish Rail and Translink, we are excited to announce our first ever mobile all-island residency working with a Roaming Writer-in-Residence (WIR).


Travelling from north to south on our railway lines, the Roaming WIR will listen to voices and conversations of people on the trains, accumulating stories and building a treasure chest of potential workshops or essay ideas. The writer will connect and work with student writers all over Ireland. We will be working with two prestigious universities in Northern Ireland and two in the South, working directly with their post-graduate students in Creative Writing.  


What will the residency involve? 

Using their own travel, and in particular train travel experiences to develop the residency, the Roaming WIR will aim to inspire student writers to explore different ways to use overheard conversations, or events witnessed on trains in various different literary contexts.  We anticipate the writer will also encourage students to connect with the journey of his or her own work through various online platforms.

Workshops:  The workshops will be designed by the Roaming WIR as a means to developing their own work while also bringing their talents to university students and linking these various communities together via online platforms.

Length of workshops:  Two hours.

No. of workshops: Four.

Online Blog & Social Media Platform: Through the use of blog posts and social media, the Roaming WIR will create vehicles for students to connect with him or her on their journey and also with other peers in similar university courses. There is also the opportunity for the Roaming WIR to connect with the travelling public.

Who is eligible to apply?

This is an open call to writers who are either of 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 or short stories published by a recognised publisher. Experience of leading creative writing workshops is essential.

Where is the programme taking place?  

In universities in Belfast, Coleraine, Limerick and Cork and on anywhere on the trains in between!


How long is the whole project? 

The project will start in February and will roll out over a 4 month-period, finishing by the end of May 2018.


Are travel expenses available? 

Yes, all rail travel will be covered and accommodation as necessary.


What is the outcome of this process?

A fiction or non-fiction essay (2,000 – 2,500 words) which will be published online by the IWC under a special project designation on our website, and with a view to publication in the Irish Rail and Translink websites and print magazines.


When is the deadline for application to the Call? 

Extended: Friday 5 January 2018 at 5pm.  Late applications will not be considered.


Application details

If you are interested in applying, please send the following to Valerie Bistany at with Roaming Writer-in-Residence in the subject line:

  1. A cover letter including your personal details concisely outlining in detail how you propose to:
    • Approach the delivery of the workshops with the students.
    • Inspire student writers to develop their writing skills.
    • Develop and produce a piece of writing and various online blog posts.
    • Engage and excite student writers and the general public to participate in your online platforms as you go on this writing journey.

We would also like to hear how you envisage this programme might develop in the future, bearing in mind that we would value building on the new connections created during the Roaming period on the trains and with the universities.

  1. An updated Curriculum Vitae (max. two A4 pages) including publications with ISBNs.
  2. Clearly labelled samples of recent work (three short samples from different works of up to 400 words or between 4-6 poems. Please do not send more as it will not be read.)
  3. Any relevant information (as necessary) on your proposed project such as written excerpts, photos, research information, etc. (max. two A4 pages)

Please collate all documents into one attachment, either Word or PDF.  

Writers Agreement brief

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. 

Fee:  £1700 (or Euro equivalent) inclusive of VAT.


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