Introduction to the Irish Writers’ Centre


Founded in 1991, the Irish Writers’ Centre is the national resource centre for Irish literature.  Our mission is to support and promote writers at all stages of their development, however we welcome all those interested in Irish literature. We run a diverse programme of writing courses and workshops led by established writers across a range of forms and genres, including memoir, poetry, playwriting, short-stories and the novel. In addition, we run a variety of seminars, lectures and readings all related to the art of writi.


Our beautiful building at 19 Parnell Square in the heart of northside Georgian Dublin boasts a range of fine rooms that are used as workshop spaces but that are also available for rentals. Our finest space the Kiely room, (capacity 80), is a favourite venue for book launches, panel discussions, plays and spoken word. We also host a monthly Takin’ the Mic night, where members of the public are encouraged to share their creative endeavours, be it prose, comedy or song. We are especially keen on collaborations with partners across the arts in delivering vibrant literary events; one such example is our Songbook series in partnership with Homebeat and singer/songwriter which explores the craft of song writing through song and chat.  


Open to all literary enquiries, our building is a creative space for writers’ groups and performers such as poets, comedians, actors and musicians. We are open to the public 6 days a week and welcome writers, readers and international visitors keen to engage with us in their needs, whether it is to broaden their interest in literature, hone their writing skills or develop their career as a writer.


The Irish Writers’ Centre has several international projects that involve linking Irish writers with those in Norway, Sweden, Australia and Italy. The latter involves the Italo-Irish Literature Exchange (IILE) which was initiated to provide a forum for Italian and Irish writers to meet and to connect with each other by sharing and promoting their literatures in one another’s countries. Organised by the Irish Writers’ Centre and its Italian counterpart, ònoma, the IILE enables Irish and Italian writers to take part in readings, workshops, discussions, educational visits and other cultural events in both countries. There have been 4 visits to date under the IILE banner, two by Italian authors to Dublin (in 2011 and 2012) and one return visit by Irish authors to Verona (in 2012) and to Sant’Agata dei Goti in Benevento (2014) with the support of Culture Ireland and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura – Dublino.


Editors of Inkroci Anna Anzani and Michele Curatolo have both taken part in the IILE as participant writers and the Irish Writers’ Centre is delighted to have been invited to be a regular contributor in presenting Words from Ireland.


August 2014

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Valerie Bistany
Valerie Bistany is a professional arts manager, producer & events coordinator with over 20 years of international experience in Ireland, England and the USA working with organisations such as Dance Ireland, Dublin Youth Theatre, the Abbey and Pavilion Theatres. She has worked in a freelance capacity as a facilitator in strategic vision planning, as an independent evaluator and as a creative mentor in the professional arts and voluntary sectors. She is also a certified mediator and began mediating as part of a political dialogue facilitation team working with Northern and Southern politicians in Ireland. Valerie was appointed director of the Irish Writers’ Centre in July 2013. Originally from Lebanon, she has lived and worked in England, Spain and the USA, but has made Dublin her home these last 23 years. She spent a delightful year living in Pavia in 2011 with her son Sacha.