Children’s Books Ireland and Poetry Ireland to release guiding principles for artists and programmers delivering virtual events

Children’s Books Ireland and Poetry Ireland will release guiding principles for artists and programmers when delivering virtual events in the coming months. Both organisations are committed to ensuring that artists are supported to maintain their standard of excellence when working virtually and that full transparency can be achieved when it comes to rates of pay and expectations for online events, whether live or recorded.

Issues to be considered will include:

  • Safety and protection of children and young people online. Our colleagues at the National Youth Council of Ireland have some useful guidelines around Digital Youth Work with a good deal of transferable information.
  • Appropriate remuneration of artists for the work to be undertaken: virtual events are just as much, if not more, work for artists as those events delivered in person, and programmers should be conscious that pre-recorded content particularly can take time and skill to do well. Worksheets and other written content to be disseminated to audiences before and after the session also takes work to generate. Our colleagues at Scottish Book Trust have done some excellent work in this area with their Live Literature Remote Event Guidelines. The best-practice principles of The Arts Council’s Paying the Artist policy should still be adhered to. Poetry Ireland’s recommended rate for a Writers in Schools (in-person) visit is €200 for a 2-hour visit, and Poetry Ireland advises that €100 per hour be used as a guideline (to include reasonable preparation time) when artists are costing virtual events. Children’s Books Ireland pays artists the same fee for virtual events as we would for in-person events, approximately €240 for a live engagement or a short recorded video.
  • Audience size: many artists who make work for children and young people rely on events, teaching, residencies etc for a significant proportion of their income, and there is now a risk of those earnings being undercut by consolidating audiences where they might otherwise have delivered multiple events within a county, community or school.
  • Copyright: how long will any recorded content be available for, and to whom will it be accessible? If artists’ content is widely available free of charge to an extended audience, how can they expect to charge a fee for similar virtual events for different audiences?
  • Structure and format of online events, duration, most appropriate platforms for dissemination.

Children’s Books Ireland, through its various school book-gifting programmes and its KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards, and Poetry Ireland, through its Writers in Schools scheme, will lead through our own policies and practices and will strive to provide relevant and useful information so that young audiences can continue to experience literature even when face to face access to events is not possible.

If you have any specific queries, issues to raise or valuable experience to share as we plan these supports, please contact Jane O’Hanlon at Poetry Ireland or Aoife Murray at Children’s Books Ireland.