Pay Scale Information for Writers

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. These tables set out what the organisations in Words Ireland pay writers for a variety of work opportunities, with statements further below on the organisations’ own policies or views in regard to payments for writers.

While we recognise that event organisers have their own constrictions, we believe writers should be paid reasonably for any work they are asked to do. Writers should feel empowered to negotiate with event programmers for higher fees, as well as travel and accommodation and other expenses, if they feel the amount being offered does not reflect the time and work required for any given job.

Pay Scales at a Glance:
(Updated November 2022)

Solo Readings 2—3 Performers/Panel 5—10 min slots Keynote Address
Writers Centre
 €250  €150  €100  €300
 €350  €150–200  €100–€150  €300
Munster Literature Centre  €300–$500  €300  €150  N/A
Children’s Books Ireland  €300  €200–250  N/A  €300
Literature Ireland  €500  €300  €150  €500
Stinging Fly
 €300  €200  €150  €500


Masterclass/Seminar Workshop/Facilitation Mentoring Writers in Schools
Irish Writers Centre  €200–€400 / €100 per hr  €70 per hr  €250– €350 per 90-min session   N/A
Poetry Ireland   €300–€400  8–10 week engagement / €150 euro per 90-min session  N/A  €200 per 2.5 hrs
Munster Literature Centre  N/A  €250  €250 per session  N/A
Children’s Books Ireland  N/A  €250 / half day (2.5 hrs
€400 / day (4hrs)
 N/A  €250 per 2.5 hrs
Literature Ireland  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A
The Stinging Fly  €350–€500  €350 per 2 hrs  €350 per session  N/A


Organisations’ Statements

Irish Writers Centre

Our full policy on rates of pay for professional writers is available here.
Paying writers a fair fee for work contracted is a key principle.  We would advocate this principle to anyone engaging a writer to work with them, and would advise new programmers to be respectful of writers as professionals.  It has happened that programmers have suggested to writers that they work for free, in exchange for the publicity and book sales that they may gain from an appearance.  This is not an acceptable proposition, and in Ireland, most programmers understand this, and pay fees according to their means.
Two additional principles are:
–  to be clear about the role for which the writer is contracted,  and,
–  to pay promptly.
The Irish Writers Centre aims to lead by example, and while our rates are not yet at the levels that we would like them to be, they are on the rise. We pay our writers fees in a range from €100—€400 depending on what we are asking them to do, and the funding available for any given event. 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 €250 the most usual fee for the equivalent of a solo interview appearance, or for chairing an event.
Fees for events vary according to the event, and the number of writers involved.  For instance, if a writer is part of a team event, with five or more writers presenting short readings of 5-10 mins, then we pay €100 as a fee. For MC-ing an event such as our regular Takin the Mic, we pay €200 to the MC and €160 to the featured guest writer for a short reading.
For teaching/facilitation, we have a standard rate of €70 per hour. Mentoring fees range from €250-350 per session depending on the mentoring programme in question. We now have a new fee strand of €250 for a curator/faciltator per session.
We cover expenses for travel and accommodation expenses for events, programmes or teaching arranged in advance and on a case by case basis.  Our process is to issue a letter of agreement (LOA) which serves as a contract, and which reflects previously documented email exchange where the role and fee are clearly outlined.  Payment is made electronically upon receipt of a legitimate invoice. While by law we have 30 days to pay, we generally we pay the writer within the week of the work being completed.
We review writers’ fees on a regular basis and since January 2021, we have increased all of our fee payment categories by a minimum of 8% and a maximum of 100%.

Poetry Ireland
Poetry Ireland has a range of fees across its programmes. For a solo reading, we try never to pay less than €350. For a reading with two or three poets on the bill, we usually offer €150 to €200.  For a five-minute slot similar to a Culture Night programme, we pay €100. Writers who are part of the writers in schools scheme receive a fee of €200 plus travel and accommodation for a schools workshop, which usually runs for up to 2.5 hours. This is currently under review, and we aim to increase WIS fees in the near future. 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.


Children’s Books Ireland
For our annual conference, we seek to share the costs of travel, accommodation and meals for speakers with publishers. We offer a fee of €300 for someone speaking alone, €250 each for a duo, €200 each for a panel and €200 for a chair. For our education work, we pay a €250 fee plus travel and accommodation for a schools workshop, which runs usually for up to 2.5 hours max. For a full day in a school (approx 4 hrs) we pay €400.


Munster Literature Centre
The Munster Literature Centre’s minimum fee for a writer presenting a full-length reading is €300. We’ll also pay transport, overnight accommodation and provide meals. We’ll pay €300 for a three-hour workshop, €300–400 for a masterclass, and €1000 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 €150 to multiple readers in an hour’s programme. If a writer needs to travel from another continent, we’ll pay $500. British poets receive £300 from us and European writers €300. Poets in the Versopolis project receive €500. 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).


The Stinging Fly
We published our Artist Payment Policy on our website in October 2022. We plan on reviewing it on an annual basis.


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.