Support for my next book…
Well, not only have Fingal County Council ordered The Red-Letter Day for their libraries, but a letter landed from them today granting me a bursary to work on my next book in the Suitcases series of magic history adventures for boys and girls aged eight to 12! I won’t receive the money for a while, but it’s brilliant to be validated in this way. Thank you for saying ‘yes’, Fingal, and most especially as this was my first time of asking…
I had applied to the Arts Council of Ireland for a literature bursary in January of this year, and in July of the previous two – and put days and days of research and work into my application, based on each year’s feedback. However no joy so far. You can only apply to the Arts Council once per calendar year, so I’m hoping January 2017 will be fourth time lucky and the glad tidings will drop on the doormat in early April!
Still, at least the judges have said some very promising things about my work:
Arts Council, 2014:
‘An appealing sense of adventure is evident in the sample and the tone is well established. A solid start, which shows the writer’s proficiency and skill.’
‘An appealing sense of adventure is evident in the sample.’
Arts Council, 2015:
In 2015, I was one of the 53 writers shortlisted for funding out of 117 applications… but sadly not one of the 18 successful candidates. Here’s what the panel said:
‘Sample is great fun, with a strong premise for the series and solid writing – good characterisation and excellent sense of what child readers love. Has strong grasp of what is needed to succeed – the writing as well as PR. The sample has a strong pace, and the action sequences are well handled. Overall the sample shows appeal.’
‘A writer who is likely on the cusp of making her name and deserves support to achieve that.’
‘A writer likely on the cusp of making her name and deserves support to achieve that.’
Arts Council, 2016:
This year the judges said my application to finish another three books by the end of 2017 was feasible given the ‘demonstrated commitment to her writing practice’ and described me as a ‘committed and serious writer’.
The Arts Council’s Young People, Children and Education (YPCE) assessor added: ‘The sample demonstrates strong appeal for the readership with convincing setting, plot and characters. The language is clear but shows originality and sophistication. Overall, the application merits support from a young people, children and education standpoint.’
‘Convincing setting, plot and characters. The language is clear but shows originality and sophistication.’