Pay Scale Information for Writers

Joanne Harris at WordCon 2016

Joanne Harris at WordCon 2016

Words Ireland supports and endorses the fair payment of writers at events, festivals, panel discussions, readings, interviews and any other sort of public, audience-based activity. The below describes what the organisations in Words Ireland pay writers for a variety of work opportunities.

While we recognise that event organisers have their own constrictions, we do think writers should be paid reasonably for working at an event. Programmers should consider €300 per writer per event as a ballpark figure where the writer is the key to the event. Writers should feel able to negotiate with the programmer on fees, travel and accommodation and other elements if a commensurate fee amount is in question.

Below are each of the Words Ireland organisations’ own policies or views in regard to the payment of writers at events.


Irish Writers Centre
We pay our writers fees in a range from €150—€400 depending on what we are asking them to do. Generally, to sit as part of a wider panel is at the lower end and to give a bespoke lecture, seminar or masterclass at the higher, with €200 the most usual fee. We aspire to pay nearer the €300 mark but aren’t in a position financially to do so at present.

If a writer is part of a team event, with five or more writers presenting short four- to five-minute readings, then we pay €80 as a fee. For teaching/facilitation, we have a standard rate of €65 per hour. Mentoring fees range from €65—€100 per hour depending on the number of partners and resources available to the mentoring programme in question.

Where we can reasonably do so, we cover or contribute towards travel and accommodation expenses for events or teaching (on a case by case basis).


Poetry Ireland
Poetry Ireland has a wide range of fees. For a solo reading, we try never to pay less than €300. For two or three poets, we’d pay €150 to €200 and would usually roll expenses into that. For a five-minute slot like Culture Night, we pay €75. For our education work, we are much more regulated. We pay a €200 fee plus travel and accommodation for a schools workshop, which usually runs for up to 2.5 hours. For a longer residency, running over 8 to 10 weeks, we pay a fee of €150 per 90 minute session, plus travel expenses. For a poet delivering a one-off masterclass for adults, we pay €300—€400.


Munster Literature Centre
The Munster Literature Centre’s minimum fee for a writer presenting a full-length reading is €250. We’ll also pay transport, overnight accommodation and provide meals. We’ll pay €200—€250 for a three-hour workshop and €800 for a series of four such workshops during a festival. For a series of six two-hour evening, weekly workshops, we’ll charge a class of up to ten or twelve €120 (€100 concession) and pass all fees on to the writer. We pay €75—€100 to multiple readers in an hour’s programme. If a writer needs to travel from another continent, we’ll pay $500. British poets receive £250 from us and European writers €300. Big, international names can require larger fees.


Literature Ireland
Literature Ireland typically pays writers a fee of €250—€300 for solo readings and a fee of €150—€200 for their participation in a group event or panel discussion. The final fee depends on the nature and location of the event (for instance, if a writer is performing abroad, a fee at the higher end of the scale may be offered) and is agreed with the writer in advance of the event. Transport/travel expenses will also be covered for events in Ireland (local transport is usually provided by the organisers of events and festivals abroad).


Publishing Ireland
Publishing Ireland rarely invites writers to speak unless they are invited to deliver a training course. Our Code of Practice outlines what a good relationship between a publisher and an author looks like. We have also developed an Authors’ Contracts fact sheet for authors with Words Ireland, outlining the basic elements of a contract. Writers do promotional events to publicise a book and don’t receive a fee.


The Stinging Fly
In addition to launch events, we run a small number of other events throughout the year. Panellists at our ‘Fly on the Wall’ sessions are paid €150—€200 each. Guest speakers at our fiction workshops are paid €250—€300 for a two-hour session. Mentors receive this same amount per mentoring session.


Children’s Books Ireland
For our annual conference, we cover travel, accommodation and meals for speakers and offer a fee of €250 for someone speaking alone, €200 each for a duo, €150 each for a panel unless the author/illustrator in question is including the event in a promotional tour.* For our education work, we pay a €200 fee plus travel and accommodation for a schools workshop, which runs usually for up to 2.5 hours.

* It is standard practice that writers do promotional events to publicise a book and don’t receive a fee, though they are earning their usual royalty on sales generated by such events. This should occur in the weeks or months ahead of, and just after, publication of that book.


Pay Scales at a Glance:

Solo Readings 2—3 Performers/Panel 5—10 min slots Keynote Address
Writers Centre
200—300 150—200 80 300
300 150—200 75 300
Munster Literature Centre 250 200—250 75—100 250
Children’s Books Ireland 250 150—200 N/A 250
Literature Ireland 250—300 150—200 N/A 250—300
Stinging Fly
N/A 150—200 N/A N/A


Masterclass/Seminar Workshop/Facilitation Mentoring Writers in Schools
Irish Writers Centre  200-400 65 per hr  65—100 per hr N/A
Poetry Ireland 300-400 1,400 per 8—10 week workshop  N/A 200 per 2.5 hrs
Munster Literature Centre 300-400 200—250 per 3 hrs N/A N/A
Children’s Books Ireland N/A N/A N/A 200 per 2.5 hrs
Literature Ireland N/A N/A N/A N/A
The Stinging Fly N/A 250—300 per 2 hrs 250—300 per session N/A


Updated December 2016.