Raising Voices Fellows 2022 Announced
The Raising Voices fellowship is delighted to announce the six fellows selected for its fully–funded, career–altering programme in 2022.
Over the next nine months, children’s artists Conor Bredin, Nene Lonergan, Carol McGill, Kate Moore, Aileen Swansen and Jennifer Wallace will be connected to a welcoming community of practice and supported in developing their careers. As part of the Raising Voices programme, the fellows will benefit from a host of creative and practical supports throughout the year.
What is the Raising Voices fellowship?
Raising Voices aims to develop and support aspiring artists who make work for children and young adults and whose voices have been underrepresented in literature. The fellowship aims to break down barriers to publication, progression and inclusion and to increase diversity and representation in the Irish literature sector for those whose voices have been underrepresented due to background or identity.
The creative and practical supports all six fellows will benefit from include:
- Mentorship with an experienced writer or illustrator
- A detailed critique from an editor/art director suited to the fellow’s practice
- A week-long residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig
- Access to a bespoke speaker series, bursary information clinic with the Arts Council, and various events and courses.
- Tools, information and guidance needed to finalise a manuscript or dummy, prepare work for submission, research the market, and apply for bursaries.
The Raising Voices fellows 2022
Conor is a primary school teacher at Rush and Lusk Educate Together National School and has been writing stories ever since he was in Junior Infants himself. Conor is currently writing a children's fantasy novel, but also enjoys working on picturebook manuscripts. Conor applied for the Raising Voices fellowship because he believes that every book needs to have LGBTQIA+ characters, and those characters need to have their own stories that have nothing to do with their identity. He hopes that his time with the Raising Voices fellowship will make him the best author he can be, and help him spread the message that diversity of all types is to be celebrated.
Nene Lonergan is a Thai-Chinese artist living in Ireland, currently studying animation at the Limerick school of Art and Design. The best part of her childhood was the nights spent on the staircase with a tower of borrowed comic books. Her intention with her comic style art is to create works that inspire such feelings in other people. Nene applied to Raising Voices in the hope of finding some guidance in improving her craft and honing her skills. She’s looking forward to meeting other creatives, immersing herself in the children’s books community and creating some collaborative projects in the future.
Carol McGill lives in Dublin, working fulltime in the charity sector and writing whenever she can find the time. Passionate about the power and value of storytelling, she has been writing seriously since she was fifteen but has seldom been able to put her creative work first. She has been published in Sonder Magazine, Crannóg, Ropes and The Ogham Stone, among others. In 2020 she founded the Morning Coffee Writing Competition in association with Sonder Magazine, as a fundraiser for the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. She hopes Raising Voices will give her support with her Young Adult novel manuscript and help her discover a new sense of community.
Kate is a writer from Tralee, Co. Kerry, now living in Cork. She has been writing and telling stories since she was five years old. Her writing tends to revolve a lot around queer themes and social issues, exploring inter-personal relationships, both good and bad. Kate applied for Raising Voices as an unmissable opportunity to learn and grow as a writer while receiving guidance and support. She hopes to get knowledge of the industry overall including funding streams and other opportunities and is especially looking forward to receiving mentorship from an experienced novelist.
Aileen Swansen is an illustrator from Kerry, living in Cork. Aileen enjoys colourful and naive styles of illustration and is inspired by themes of curiosity and humour. Aileen applied for the Raising Voices fellowship for the opportunity to connect with other creatives like herself, she says that freelance work can be isolating and nearly impossible to thrive in without a community of peers and mentors. Aileen also wishes to learn more about children’s publishing in Ireland. Her intention from the fellowship, is to work on her own book and create a portfolio to find a literary agent.
Jennifer Wallace is an author and mother from Cork who loves stories. She works in both verse and prose and likes to weave stories from a child's perspective, full of wonder, deep wisdom and questions about the world. Her perspective is an autistic one and is informed by her years of working with children. Jennifer applied for the Raising Voices fellowship in the hope of securing support and guidance in moving towards publication and learning to navigate the children's literature world. She looks forward to co-creating, and learning with, the fellowship of writers, artists, mentors, contributors and facilitators.
The Raising Voices fellowship is led by a group of literature organisations including Children’s Books Ireland, Illustrators Ireland, Publishing Ireland, the Dublin Book Festival and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig. Thanks to generous funding from the Arts Council, all mentoring and supports received by fellows will be provided free of charge.