We never look at just one thing; we are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves.
XBorders is an exciting new cross-border project bringing emerging writers together to explore and write about borders through fiction or non-fiction. As part of the Irish Writers Centre’s Northern Irish programme, one of the goals of this project is to bring together writers from North and South Ireland to workshop on the theme of borders in both a national and international context.
This process will be facilitated through seminars and workshops with artists, academics and professionals in the field. Ways of seeing and thinking of borders and their potential for art, and in this instance writing, will be explored. On completion of this research period the writers will attend a workshop on the editing process with a view to preparing their work for online publication on the IWC website. We will also work to connect the writers with literary journals and magazines as sources of publication once the process is at an end.
Who is it for?
We will be selecting up to 20 emerging writers from all genres, namely, those who have had some measure of success with their writing but have not yet been published with a recognised publisher, or who may have had one book published. The participants will be selected on the basis of a call for writers resident on the island of Ireland. Candidates will sign up to participating in all aspects of the programme as part of the application process. You must be able to demonstrate that you have a track record as a writer – please see our Professional Membership criteria as a guide. You do not need to have published a book but do need to demonstrate your seriousness of intent as a writer. IWC Professional members are encouraged to apply.
What does the programme look like?
Using the theme of borders as a starting point these presentations will focus on the potential of borders for art and different ways of seeing and thinking about borders and spaces. The process is about bringing the writers through an information, research and editing process to refine their ideas and writing respectively, with the support of experts in their field.
Seminars: The participants will attend 3 presentations led by artists/academics/professionals in the field with experience and/or expertise in borders and border relations. The aim will be to address borders in both national and international contexts, looking to the Irish Troubles and current global politics.
These seminars, lasting approximately an hour and a quarter (including a generous Q & A session) will be chaired by the facilitator, who will then lead a workshop with the selected project participants.
Workshops: The events will be followed the workshops with the selected facilitator who will give guidance on how some of the material discussed may be dissected or drawn together to form the bones of an essay or short story.
Length of sessions: half day sessions in each location
One-Off Event: At the end of the process there will be a separate event curated by the facilitator or editor where up to 6 selected participants will get the opportunity to read extracts from their essays/short stories to a public audience.
Where is the programme taking place?
Belfast, Derry, and Dublin in partner venues. Attendance at all three sessions is essential.
How long is the whole project?
We aim to start it once the participants have been selected and anticipate it will roll out of the next 5 months, aiming to be finished by the end of July 2017.
Is there a subsidy for travel expenses available for participation in the project?
At present, there is not, however we are working on making one available.
What will come out of this process?
Up to 20 fiction or non-fiction essays and/or short stories of feature length (2,000 – 2,500 words) which will be published online by the IWC under a special project designation on our website. We will also facilitate a process for participants to pitch to online and print magazine, to extend the possibilities of publication across different platforms.
When is the deadline for application to the Call?
Friday March 17th at 5pm.
How do I apply?
Send in a CV and cover letter saying why you would like to participate in XBorders to Valerie Bistany firstname.lastname@example.org, ensuring to put XBorders in the subject line and placing all your documents into one attachment. You must also confirm that you are available to attend all sessions of the programme and that you are willing to travel to the designated locations. If you cannot commit fully to this project at the application stage, then we will not be able to consider you as a participant.
XBorders is an Irish Writers Centre initiative supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland