Hello fellow scribblers. I hope some writing is happening for you, now that there is a slow return to normality and routine. I’ve been quiet because I’ve been busy. I have been working on a new book, outlining and planning and generally being far more ordered than usual. It’s a challenge, but I’m determined to try the plotter rather than pantser route with this new WIP.
During the week, I had the very encouraging news that I’ve been awarded funding by the Irish Arts Council in the shape of one of their new Agility Awards. It’s a grant that is available across all art forms so funding was given to writers, musicians, film makers – you name it. Despite encouragement from friends to apply, I didn’t feel I’d warrant this kind of support so it is a fantastic endorsement of my work (I submitted excerpts from the above-mentioned project) and really gives me a boost of confidence.
For anyone interested, the next round of Agility Award applications is open until July 8 (you’ll find all the details here), with funding available of between €1,500 and €5,000. As always with the Arts Council, the forms are tricky to fill in, though I did find it a more straightforward process than the fiendishly difficult Literary Bursary Award (current round open until June 24 if you welcome the opportunity to tear your hair out, details here). And there is a really helpful explainer webinar by Sarah Bannan, Arts Council Head of Literature, who breaks down the kind of information that will help your application:
It’s a good idea to have a knowledgeable friend look over your application before sending. I was lucky enough to have advice from the incredibly generous writer Olivia Fitzsimons, who helped me see the wood from the trees.
However, I still didn’t expect to actually receive it, so I am over the moon and more encouraged than ever to press on!