Words Ireland event Belfast.jpegJoseph Robert and I were at the Words Ireland writers’ event at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast this afternoon to hear Moyra DonaldsonSheena Wilkinson and Ian Sansom giving advice on their experience as professional authors. There was a turnout of at least 50-60 writers attending at various stages of their careers; a show of hands revealed that the majority (myself included) had published a book with an ISBN, many had been published in magazines with an ISSN (both Joseph Robert and I included), some had tutored creative writing in workshops (myself included), a few had received grants or funding for their work and only 3 were completely non-published and attending for advice on a starting point to their careers.

Since my writer-poet hubby and I have only been in Northern Ireland for 4 months, it was good for us to get involved and see what resources, funding and support is available to writers, particular for authors from a non academic background. The advice was both useful and insightful: of the professional authors on the panel, 2 explained that only 10% of their income comes from writing books. The rest comes from doing events in schools, at libraries, literary festivals and tutoring creative writing courses. One of the 2 was a completely self-taught poet. The other had a Masters in Creative Writing, but had actually written and edited her first book before doing the course. In addition, advice on professional development as a writer was given, including joining the Society of Authors and financial advice, such as getting an accountant.

Funding is not something I had thought about pursuing until the idea was discussed today; as my writing ranges from the absurd to the subversive and very rarely flirts with the mainstream, I’m not convinced it may be the best route for me. However, since my goal as a writer is to bring my work to an ever growing audience, this may be an avenue that I decide to pursue at a later date. For now, I have a lot of food for thought to digest.

Food for thought: literary bites to digest

Food for thought: literary bites to digest

About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is a novelist and poet. Her debut novel, Gods of Avalon Road was published by Blossom Spring Publishing in October 2019 and her second novel, The Buddha's Bone is forthcoming in October 2021. Leilanie has also published three poetry collections: The Redundancy of Tautology (Cyberwit, 2021); Chemotherapy for the Soul (Fowlpox Press, 2017); A Model Archaeologist (Eyewear Publishing, 2015) and two self-published pamphlets: Toebirds and Woodlice (Meandi Books, 2012); Metamorphosis of Woman (Meandi Books, 2012), satirical novella Zombie Reflux (Meandi Books, 2014) and surreal novelette, Til Death do us Boneapart (Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, 2017). Leilanie is also Editor in Chief of Bindweed Magazine, a poetry and fiction online magazine that also publishes a quarterly print anthology. She currently lives in Belfast with her writer and poet husband, Joseph Robert and their lively literary tot, a voracious reader of educational books. Literary blog: https://leilaniestewart.com/ Meandi Books: http://meandibooks.bigcartel.com/ Bindweed Magazine: https://bindweedmagazine.wordpress.com/

3 responses »

  1. subham says:

    Congratulations dear Leilanie ,wish you success all through years to come!

    • That’s very kind of you Subham! Thanks for visiting my blog.

      • subham says:

        Oh my dear poetess friend ! you are always great! by brilliant literary surge of most creative writings in realm of poetry and fiction as well, i simply love the way you carves the curve of crave in poetry especially, yet what i see all your poems are semantically stunning endowed with beauty of diction that thrust upon lover of poetry to go through with admiration, if you like i may submit my poems for your magazine for upcoming issues , yet anticipating your kind reply
        wish you all the best
        with warmest regards

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