Roscommon writer, Amy Barry, has been selected by Words Ireland to receive professional literary mentoring over the next eight months from an acclaimed Irish writer of their choice.
For the second year, Roscommon Arts Centre funded the literary mentorship along with the Arts Council of Ireland. Their support will ensure that the chosen mentee receives this potentially life-changing support for free. It is also an investment in the long-term literary reputation of the region.
Amy Barry is a poet and she also writes short stories. Her work has been published in anthologies, journals, and press and e-zines globally. Her poems have been translated into many languages including Irish and Italian. Her awards include both 1st and 2nd prize in the English Poetry at PAU World Poetry Day in 2017 and 2018. She was the recipient of Neruda Award 2017 (Poetry ) Crispiano, Italy and was Highly Commended in the Francis Ledwidge Award 2019. She has also featured in the RTE Radio One Extra in Reverberations Series 2, Nov.2019.
After a national call out, a total of 24 writers were selected from 250 applicants. The mentoring process involves four two-hour meetings between the selected ‘mentee’ and their chosen professional writer. The mentor reads up to 10,000 words of the awarded mentee’s writing in advance of each, then shares their hard earned critical feedback and advice. The hope is that the chosen mentees will go on to write great works of literature to match or beat the quality of their mentors. It’s a form of peer to peer teaching that is increasingly popular across all sectors of Irish life – in industry as well as the arts.
The National Mentoring Programme is run by Words Ireland and consists of a grouping of seven national literature resource organisations aimed at supporting writers and developing new audiences for literature. These seven organisations that make up the collective include: Literature Ireland, Children’s Books Ireland, Irish Writers Centre, The Stinging Fly, Poetry Ireland, Munster Literature Centre, and Publishing Ireland. Its programme is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland, but the board work on a voluntary basis. It is chaired by Michael McLoughlin, Chair of Penguin Random House, Ireland. www.wordsireland.ie