Kildare Arts Service : Press Releases : Press Releases 2022

Local Writers selected for the Irish Writer's Centre National Mentoring programme

Local writers Catherine Gander and Siobhán Hoy have been selected by the Irish Writers Centre to receive professional literary mentoring over the next eight months from acclaimed Irish writers of their choice. After a national call out, 37 writers from across the country have been selected from a total of over three hundred applicants.  

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.

Kildare County Council Arts Service funded the literary mentorship along with the Arts Council of Ireland to guarantee that the best applicants from the county would be selected. The support of these two bodies will ensure that the chosen mentee receives this support free of charge. It is also an investment in the long-term literary reputation of the region and the professional development of writers from the area. Arts Officer for Kildare County Council, 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 writer 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 critical feedback and advice.

The Irish Writers Centre’s mission is to support a vibrant and diverse community of writers of all types and talents to develop their craft, capacity and confidence to thrive as a writer in the world. 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.


Further details, or direct contacts for the writer or their chosen mentor, can got from Brendan at

  • The selected mentee can also be contacted for interview through the Irish Writers Centre.
  • More details 

For further details about Kildare County Council support for artists, contact the Arts Service, Tel: 045 980872 / E:mail;

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