Support for Writers: Waterford Council Arts Office
For the past six years, Waterford has been making a significant investment in its writers. Initially through the Artlinks* partnership, writers were identified who wished to avail of literary mentoring opportunities. Since then writers who are concentrating on their professional development are afforded one to one sessions with a writer on a regular basis.
These sessions focus primarily on developing writing and self-editing skills, providing analytical feedback and advice which aim toward manuscript development. Participants gain a better understanding of the publishing industry. Some writers have received assistance with journal, editor and agent submissions, grant applications and other opportunities, which help raise the mentee’s professional profile.
Since 2012, the Arts Office has developed and delivered, with the assistance of two established writers, a series of two day workshops using inspiration and creativity as the basis. This affords writers the safety and the tools to explore and expand their own sources of inspiration.
The Arts Office has for the last 18 years run the national Molly Keane Creative Writing Award to encourage new Irish short story writing. The Arts Office has also assisted with the development of the Molly Keane Writers Retreat, Ardmore, Co. Waterford which runs and devises a series of writing workshops, residencies and opportunities for writers.
In addition, the Arts Office supports various writers groups and projects around the county. Writers have been successful in attaining bursaries under Artlinks, the Tyrone Guthrie Bursary Awards, the Molly Keane Writers Retreat Bursaries and most recently a pilot project ‘The Story House’ Waterford which is a residential retreat for writers. With the amalgamation of the City & County in June 2014, the Arts Office now looks forward to working with the Library Service on the Waterford Writers Weekend in May 2015 and the national Seán Dunne Young Poets Award.
* ArtLinks is a partnership of the four Local Authority Arts Offices in Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford. It is supported by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon. ArtLinks provides professional development opportunities and supports for established and emerging artists who are resident in the four partner local authority areas in the South East region.