Recipients of the 2019 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 Oisín McGann, Jane Mitchell, Mary Murphy, E. R. Murray, Niamh Sharkey and Deirdre Sullivan as recipients of the 2019 Children’s Books Ireland/Tyrone Guthrie Centre bursary.

With each artist availing of a week-long residency each, 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 exist to support more experienced, published authors and illustrators who require time and space to focus on their craft to the benefit of their continuing careers.

Due to the exceptionally high calibre of applications Children’s Books Ireland and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre chose to offer the bursary to six mid-career artists rather than the three originally slated. This is achievable thanks to partnerships with other bodies. Support for Schull based E.R. Murray’s bursary is supported by Cork County Council, Fingal County Council are providing support for Skerries resident Niamh Sharkey’s bursary and the International Literature Festival Dublin are providing support for Dubliner Jane Mitchell, which includes an event at next year’s festival. Children’s Books Ireland and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre are thankful to each partner for their enthusiasm and support for this project. All six bursaries will take place between late 2019 and early 2020.

Oisín McGann is a best-selling and award-winning writer-illustrator. He has produced dozens of books and short stories for all ages of reader, including twelve novels, in a range of genres.

Jane Mitchell is the author of eight books for children and young people. Her novels tackle difficult issues around the lives of young people and children’s rights. Chalkline won the inaugural Children’s Books Ireland Children Choice award and her most recent novel A Dangerous Crossing was shortlisted for the Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year Award and for the Irish Book Awards.

Mary Murphy’s first book, I Like it When…, was published by Egmont Books in 1997. Since then, she has written and illustrated about 40 books, with six different publishers. Most of her books are for babies and toddlers.

E. R. Murray writes for children, young adults, and adults. Her books include Caramel Hearts andThe Nine Lives Trilogy; The Book of Learning (2016 Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Citywide Read for Children), The Book of Shadows (shortlisted 2016 Irish Book Awards & Irish Literacy Association Award) and The Book of Revenge.

Niamh Sharkey is an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s picturebooks and the creator and executive producer of Disney Junior’s animated preschool series Henry Hugglemonster, based on her book I’m a Happy Hugglewug. Niamh held the position of Laureate na nÓg between 2012 and 2014.

Deirdre Sullivan is an award winning writer from Galway. Her most recent book, Perfectly Preventable Deaths was released in June 2019.