The Irish Writers Centre is delighted to announce its tenth consecutive year of residencies with Cill Rialaig. This residency is an opportunity to escape your day-to-day life and spend 10 days writing in Cill Rialaig, locally known as “the edge of the world.”  Read below a testimonial from Roe McDermott, last year’s Cill Rialaig residency awardee. 

This year [2023] I was awarded the immense privilege of getting to stay in Cill Rialaig; itself a creation of imagination, resistance and commitment to art by the inimitable Dr. Noelle Campbell-Sharp whose lifelong commitment to supporting the arts is an inspiration. Saving the remains of a former famine village and rebuilding it as a protected artists retreat is an extraordinary example of community building and creation that we should all aspire to.

I went down to Cill Rialaig with the intention of returning to my creative nonfiction book, which explores my experience of post-traumatic stress disorder and the ways in which both research and cultural representations of this disorder have been gendered in their focus. I had stepped away from this work for a long time, finding it difficult to work on such a personal project in the small snatches of time I had between work.


Cill Rialaig, Co. Kerry


The landscape surrounding Cill Rialaig is wild and beautiful and it’s difficult not to feel inspired by the sea and mountain views. I managed to swim in the sea, hike and look out across the Irish landscape from the nearby Bolus Hill, before returning to my cottage to read and write. As a writer researching trauma and working on a creative non-fiction book that features personal elements, having the time to not only research but to reflect and move through difficult material slowly is a gift not often possible while trying to work and survive as a freelance writer. Being allowed the time to focus on my creative work and also move through emotional work and memories at a pace that felt not only generative but safe and sustainable was incredible. I feel that for all writers, but particularly those who write personallly, hustle culture and the demands to constantly produce don’t account for the time needed to emotionally process and artfully create at a speed that allows for self-care. Support for artists often focuses on output and results, when what artists actually need is simply time to slow down, to think, to process, to get inspiration and generate new original ideas. There is no art without stillness, and without reprieve from the constant demands of daily life.

Getting to slow down, inhale the beauty of the landscape, and spend the dark moonlit evenings reading and thinking felt like a generous gift. I was able to return to this work feeling centred, mindful and inspired, but the ultimate inspiration is the mission of Cill Rilaig itself what it offers to artists. Thank you to Noelle and the Irish Writers Centre for this wonderful experience.

Roe McDermott is a writer and journalist. In 2023, Roe was awarded a place on the Cill Rialaig residency. 

Cill Rialaig Residencies 2024: Apply now

The Cill Rialaig residencies are for seven writers of any genre or form (including poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, children’s/YA fiction), who are resident on the island of Ireland and are over the age of 18.

Places are specifically reserved for:

  • In the first instance, professional IWC members are prioritised for all seven places.
  • Two places are reserved for writers from or living in the North, thanks to the support of the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
  • Two places are reserved for writers writing in the Irish language, thanks to the support of Foras na Gaeilge.

Find out more and apply here.

Deadline for applications: Wednesday 10 July, 2024.