Recipients of the 2024 Tyrone Guthrie Centre Bursary Awards Announced

February 2024
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The Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig
Credit: The Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig.

Children’s Books Ireland and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre are pleased to announce the following artists as recipients of the 2024 Children’s Books Ireland/Tyrone Guthrie Centre bursaries.

Each artist will enjoy in a week-long residency at the centre in Annaghmakerrig, giving creators the time and space to focus on their craft to the benefit of their burgeoning or established careers, complemented with a focus on creative exchange and collaboration.

  • Trish Forde

  • Éilis Neary

  • Karen Harte

  • Sheena Wilkinson

  • Lucy Kelly-Desmond

  • Alison Weatherby

  • Niamh Sharkey

  • Eve McDonnell

  • Grainne Quinlan

  • Laura Kirwan (Keohane)

  • Maeve Keane

These residencies are achievable thanks to partnerships with other bodies and supporters.

Writers Grainne Quinlan, Laura Kirwan (Keohane) and Maeve Keane are being supported by the Betty and Jenny Bursary, sponsored by author Rod Smith and named for his mother and mother-in-law who both sadly passed away in 2022. This bursary exists to give these upcoming, early career yet unpublished authors a chance to develop their skills and benefit from the creative surroundings of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre.

Roscommon County Council, are funding author and illustrator Lucy Kelly-Desmond’s bursary, Fingal County Council are supporting picturebook creator and former Laureate na nÓg Niamh Sharkey and Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council are funding novelist Alison Weatherby.

Laureate na nÓg Patricia Forde will be in attendance and the Laureate na nÓg project is funding two additional bursaries for Irish language author Éilis Neary and illustrator Karen Harte.

Laureate na nÓg is an initiative of the Arts Council, administered by Children’s Books Ireland with the support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Finally the Tyrone Guthrie Centre will fund Northern Irish author Sheena Wilkinson and Children’s Books Ireland is supporting author Eve McDonnell. Children’s Books Ireland and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre are thankful to each partner for their enthusiasm and support for this project.

Feedback from previous bursary recipients:

Author Ann Murtagh

'Thank you for awarding me the bursary to spend a week in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre. This was my first time in Annaghmakerrig. What a joy it was to be guaranteed a substantial block of time during which everyday concerns were taken care of. This truly freed me up to write and reflect. That freedom was enhanced by the venue itself, from beautiful spacious rooms – many with a magnificent view – to great writing set-ups, a wooded landscape by a lake, and other artists’ company…During my time in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, I completed a draft of a picture book and revised a novel for older children that had been languishing in the doldrums. Both benefitted hugely from the undivided attention I could afford to give them. It was also gratifying to come away from the retreat, having completed the volume of work I had set out to do.'

Picturebook artist Tatyana Feeney

'Having the chance to stay for a week at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre was very helpful to my practice. In my daily life working from home, there are often distractions and responsibilities that take my focus from my planned projects as well as from my work in progress. Its so valuable to have a large amount of time to spend working, planning and thinking…There was space for me to think about my own practice and to see how other creative makers are working and planning.

The overall experience was extremely positive. I was able to plan a few projects I have been thinking about for quite a long time, do preliminary art for work I have already committed to, and use the print studio for experimentation.

I think the length of time, one week, was perfect. And having no external domestic worries, meals, shopping for food etc, was such a gift.'