The Raising Voices Fellowship

The Raising Voices Fellowship aims to develop and support aspiring artists who make work for children and young adults and whose voices have been underrepresented in literature. Our aims are to break down barriers to publication, progression and inclusion and to increase diversity and representation in the Irish literature sector.

The Raising Voices Fellowship will commence in February 2022 and run until November 2022. Six writers and/or illustrators (fellows) will be selected for a programme of creative and practical supports.

This will include: 

  • Mentorship with an experienced writer or illustrator to provide creative and practical professional development support 
  • A week-long residency for the group at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig in early October 2022
  • Bespoke speaker series – six one-hour online events to be co-programmed with fellows based on their needs  
  • A detailed critique from an editor or art director suited to the fellow's practice 
  • Bursary information clinic with the Arts Council 
  • Attendance at events including Children's Book Ireland's Annual Conference and ProperBook publishing information event, selected relevant PubIishing Ireland training courses, children's/family events at Dublin Book Festival and Illustrators Ireland Open and Social meetings 
  • Opportunities to connect with the community at Children's Books Irelands artist coffee mornings and other social events 
  • Ongoing connections with the partner organisations 

 

The programme is designed to give fellows a robust understanding of key stakeholders in the sector as well as connecting them to a welcoming community of practice. It will give fellows all the tools, support and information they need to help them successfully navigate finalising a manuscript or dummy, preparing work for submission, researching the market, making professional connections, applying for bursaries etc.  

We are conscious that fellows may face financial barriers. The fellowships are fully funded and included a stipend for the residential week to cover childcare/travel/loss of income as well as costs for meeting, travel and accommodation expenses where needed. 

The fellowships are run 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. 

The Raising Voices fellowship is for writers and illustrators who: 

  • make work for children and young people including fiction, non-fiction (including creative non-fiction) and poetry 
  • have a complete manuscript or picturebook/illustrated book outline 
  • come from backgrounds or communities that are underrepresented in children's and young adult literature or whose identity is traditionally underrepresented 
  • have not yet been published or secured a contract with a publisher or agent 
  • live permanently in Ireland or Northern Ireland 

We are happy to answer questions in relation to eligibility. The fellowships are designed to be as inclusive as possible, so rather than list strict and exhaustive criteria, we are asking writers and illustrators who apply to self-identify as 'underrepresented'. We are aware that the Equal Status Acts give legal protection against discrimination on various grounds, including race, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, religion, age, disability and membership of the Traveller Community. We also welcome applications from people who are underrepresented due to ethnicity, socio-economic background, neurodiversity and other grounds. 

If you are not from an underrepresented or marginalised background, you are not eligible for Raising Voices. You may find our Artists Support section of our website (available here) helpful for information about getting published; or subscribe to our newsletter via our website.

The aim of the Raising Voices fellowship is ultimately to encourage diversity in the literature sector and to ensure that authors and illustrators from a variety of backgrounds get the support they need to get published. Our hope is that audiences will get to read excellent books written from a broad variety of perspectives. Recent Words Ireland research showed that there are various barriers that stand in the way of getting published which are particularly felt by artists from certain backgrounds or experiencing certain disadvantages. The Equal Status Acts were our starting point; we want no artist to be excluded on account of race, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, religion, age, disability or membership of the Traveller Community. We also welcome applications from people who are underrepresented due to ethnicity, socio-economic background, neurodiversity and other grounds.

No, the fellowships are fully funded by the Arts Council. All mentoring and other support received will be free of charge to fellows. A stipend for the residential week to cover childcare/travel/loss of income will also be provided. 

We can accept applications from artists working in English and as Gaeilge. 

The window for applications closed on Thursday 13th January at 3pm. Fellows will be selected by representatives from the five partner organisations and three external readers. Successful applicants will be contacted in late January 2022.


MORE INFORMATION & LINKS

Comhaltachtaí Raising Voices – Ceisteanna Coitianta

If you have any additional questions please email Aoife Murray, Programme & Events Manager at Children's Books Ireland aoife@childrensbooksireland.ie.