Writers’ Resources (NI)

There are some great places to find information about writing and getting published. I’m using this page to share some really useful signposts to resources, publishing opportunities etc – with an eye to what’s applicable to those writing poetry in NI.

This isn’t a comprehensive list – more a sharing of my go-to places.  I’ll be adding links as they come to me!

Where to make connections (networks, communities, events listings etc)

  • Poetry NI is a multimedia, multi-platform showcase and resource provider for poets, showcasing great writing through readings, open mics, poetry slams, online and print publishing, outreach, competitions, workshops and more. They also have a FB page & FB community where you can get ongoing updates.
  • Women Aloud NI is a new platform for women writers of all genres begun around International Women’s Day in 2016 and with the aim of making women writers and their writing more visible.  There is a FB community for ongoing information sharing.
  • The Poetry School (UK/Intl) – I had the opportunity to do one of their online courses last year and have kept in touch – most recently following their prompts for National Poetry Month (April 2016).
  • Irish Writers Centre (RoI & NI) – they have just extended their courses and services to include Northern Ireland. Some very interesting classes happening in the coming season with a plan to extend to further counties (hopefully Down is on the schedule).

Where to find opportunities to submit and share your work

  • The wonderful Kate Dempsey’s Emerging Writer Blog is a fierce and ongong listing of opportunities – keep in touch HERE.
  • Thanks to Afric McGlinchey for putting together a comprehensive listing of poetry journals across Ireland.  Find her Directory of Poetry Journals on her blog HERE.
  • Poetry Ireland run a continually updated ‘Opportunities for Writers’ section on their website – including submission calls, competitions, open mics and writer’s retreat information.

Looking further afield…

  • Find an international listing of upcoming opportunities on the Aerogramme Writers’ Studio website – HERE


  • The Arts Council NI offer funding through their Support for Individual Artists programme (general awards, larger general awards for the more established, travel awards and their ACES programme). There have been, to date, two application periods in the year – although arts funding has been precarious this last while. Keep an eye on the funding section of their website to keep updated with what’s available and when. You can also find lists of previous recipients and amounts. See Arts Council NI funding HERE.
  • Community Arts Partnership provide support through enabling groups to have access to experienced facilitators. These are programme based and generally have open applications periods. Keep in touch with their writing projects and programme HERE.

Insurance for Workshop Facilitators

  • I am a member of NAWE (National Association of Writers’ in Education). Membership includes insurance for teachers of creative writing in a range of settings, a journal dedicated to creative writing teacher, directory listing, and a frequent e-bulletin of opportunities etc.

Groups, classes & initiatives etc in East Down

  • Down Arts Centre runs a seasonal creative writing class with Dr Catherine Kelly. They also co-host the ‘Poems on a Sunday Afternoon’ sessions with me (under the auspices of Castle Ward Arts and Crafts). From time-to-time they host other writing initiatives (currently scriptwriting) – so keep an eye on their website or make contact through the FB page to be kept updated on all that’s going on with them.
  • Words for Castle Ward – which meets the second Saturday of each month at Castle Ward to discuss ongoing work, and occassionally to produce new writing. The group is open to those of all genres and all levels of experience. Make contact with me (!) at wordsforcastlewardATgmail.com  (insert @ for AT).
  • Dundrum Writers – meet on the 1st Saturday of each month. Find out more about them and make contact through their FB page.
  • Poems on a Sunday Afternoon – happens about 4/5 times a year at Down Arts Centre, generally the final Sunday of a given month, 2.30-4.30pm. Everyone is invited to come and share their work, and listen to some featured readings. A relaxed, open atmosphere. Keep an eye on the Down Arts Centre’s website for details.  Make contact with me at wordsforcastlewardATgmail.com (insert @ for AT) for further information.
  • Deep Down is a new collective of people who want to shine a light on local creativity because it is good for everyone’s wellbeing. From artists to social workers, children to octogenarians, musicians, poets, diversional therapists, community festivals and more; we all want to come together to celebrate the work that creatives do to improve our mental health. If you want to share something to celebrate, or even to suggest an event or networking meeting in Co Down, they want to hear from you. Find out more about them on their website HERE.
  • The River Mill – Opened in May 2018, East Down has now got a Writer’s Retreat, very near, Downpatrick. Run by recognised poet (among other things) Paul Maddern, this creative space caters is a residential facility catering for all writing genres, for writing projects (both actual writing and also reading/research time). Mentored retreats are also offered. Check out the website of the River Mill.