Local writers Catherine Gander and Siobhán Hoy have been selected by the Irish Writers Centre for the National Literary Mentoring programme over the next eight months from acclaimed Irish writers. Catherine and Siobhán are among a total of 37 writers who have been selected from a total of over three hundred applicants nationally.
Kildare County Council funded the literary mentorship along with the Arts Council of Ireland. The support of both will ensure that the chosen mentee receives this potentially life-changing support free of charge. It is also seen as an investment in the long-term literary reputation of the region.
Kildare County Council Arts Officer, Lucina Russell congratulated the award recipients and commented;
This collaboration with The Irish Writers Centre is part of our ongoing commitment to support the professional development of artists in the county. We look forward to hearing where the mentoring brings the writers’ practice
The mentoring process involves four meetings between the selected ‘mentee’ and their chosen professional writer. In advance of each meeting, the mentor reads up to 10,000 words / 180 lines of poetry of the awarded mentee’s writing, then shares their hard-earned critical feedback and advice.
Catherine Gander is Associate Professor in the Department of English, Maynooth University. Her poems have placed in several competitions and been published in journals and anthologies internationally. She is the co-author of Sea Between Us (Nine Pens Press, 2022), is completing another pamphlet, Matches, and working toward her first collection.
Siobhán Hoy is a physiotherapist & writer, living in Co. Kildare. She grew up in Co. Fermanagh, near the border, a place & time influential in her writing. Her fiction, poetry & prose have been shortlisted in Fish International Awards, published in The South Circular & Hammered Glass (an anthology) & aired on RTE’s Sunday Miscellany.
The Irish Writers Centre’s mission is to support a vibrant and diverse community of writers to develop their craft, capacity and confidence to thrive as a writer. The hope for the National Mentoring Programme is that the chosen mentees will go on to write great works of literature to match or best the quality of their mentors. It’s a form of peer-to-peer teaching that is increasingly popular in literature, formalizing the process whereby masters pass on their craft to students.
Running since 2017, the programme now has numerous published authors among its alumni, including Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe, Fiona Scarlett, and Victoria Kennefick to name just a few.