Literature Audience Development

Words Ireland is currently working with arts venues and arts services to increase literature programming and put on more quality and ambitious events across Ireland.

Participating venues have included:

  • The Backstage, Longford
  • The Linenhall, Mayo
  • The Dock, Leitrim
  • Droichead Arts Centre, Louth
  • Riverbank Arts Centre, Kildare
  • Fingal Arts Service
  • The Source Arts Centre, Tipperary
  • Roscommon Arts Centre, Roscommon

After a successful pilot scheme in 2017–2018, our Literature Audience Development Officer, Dani Gill, is advising six venues nationally on literature programming, and developing new audiences for literature. This is done through outreach to libraries, bookshops, schools, writing groups, and book clubs in regions surrounding each venue.

From initial feedback, it’s clear that Arts Offices, venue managers, literature and arts festival directors are keen to engage with writers and producers who can provide feasible, audience-focused literature events and initiatives. In 2020 the venues on the scheme came together to form the LIVE Network , a Network who are committed to touring literature events and supporting literary producers in the showcasing of new work. The Network is also open to hosting writing residencies and creative writing workshops for writers.

Therefore, our aim is to:

  • Bring more literature events and programming to regional arts centres and theatres.
  • Grow regional audiences for literature and literary offerings.
  • Increase venue managers’ and directors’ interest in and understanding of literature event productions and initiatives
  • See more literature producers/writers apply for Arts Council Touring and Project grants
  • Share our learning and knowledge with the wider literature community through professional development documents and events, and to support the ambitions of anyone with quality ideas for producing or touring word-based events.

In achieving these aims, we hope to create relevant, paying career opportunities for writers and develop new audiences for their work.

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