Recipients of the 2023 Tyrone Guthrie Centre Bursary Awards Announced

February 2023
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The Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig
The Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig

Recipients of the 2023 Children’s Books Ireland and Tyrone Guthrie Centre Bursary Awards for Mid-Career Children’s Books Artists Announced

Children’s Books Ireland and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre are pleased to announce Kathi (Fatti) Burke, Tatyana Feeney, Brian Fitzgerald, Sarah Moore Fitzgerald, Chris Judge, Tarsila Krüse, Marianne McShane, Ann Murtagh, Caitriona Sweeney  and Úna Woods as recipients of the 2023 Children’s Books Ireland/Tyrone Guthrie Centre bursaries.

With each artist taking part in a week-long residency at the centre in Annaghmakerrig, these bursaries are designed specifically for mid-career children’s books authors or illustrators. While several schemes exist to support emerging and debut artists, these bursaries support more experienced, published authors and illustrators who require time and space to focus on their craft to the benefit of their continuing careers, complemented with a focus on creative exchange and collaboration.

These residencies are achievable thanks to partnerships with other bodies. Support for illustrator Kathi (Fatti) Burke is provided by Waterford City and County Arts Office; Fingal Arts Office is providing support for writer and illustrator Caitriona Sweeney’s bursary. Dublin City Arts Office is supporting picturebook artists Chris Judge and Úna Woods. Authors Ann Murtagh and Sarah Moore Fitzgerald are supported by Kilkenny Arts Office and Clare Arts Office respectively.

The Tyrone Guthrie Centre is supporting author and Bangor resident Marianne McShane as a Northern Irish artist and Meath Arts Office is supporting illustrator Tatyana Feeney. The Laureate na nÓg project is an additional partner, funding illustrator Tarsila Krüse as an artist working in the Irish language as well as illustrator Brian Fitzgerald. Laureate na nÓg Aine Ní Ghlinn will also join these artists. 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. 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 E.R. Murray

The bursary enabled me to bring 1.5 years’ worth of work to a close, ready for submission. During the week, I redrafted an entire 40K word manuscript that is the proposed Book 1 of a series aimed at middle grade readers... Without the residency, I’d have been lucky to have completed this submission before June, so the impact is huge. I definitely recommend bursaries being awarded for the same week, to strengthen the network of children’s author/illustrators, to foster support within the children’s books community, and to share truly useful information and ideas. Niamh (Sharkey) and I were already friends, but we now more readily ring each other, and bounce ideas off each other.


Author and illustrator Oisín McGann

The group who stay over the same period as I do include another children’s writer, an Irish Times editor, a radio documentary maker, various other breeds of writers and poets, a songwriter, a retired composer working on a novel, painters, printmakers and a film and theatre director.

I keep the work to just two projects; a children’s non-fiction book that is demanding a lot of research, which means a real stop-and-start process of reading and writing. The long periods of focus make a huge difference. Sometimes I’m up, pacing back and forth trying to find the few specific words that will lead into the next stage in the book. The other piece is a novel that I’ve finished, but had to put aside and which I now want to go back over.