Play It Forward is a professional development programme aimed at nurturing and amplifying the talents of writers whose voices and stories have traditionally been underrepresented in Irish literature and publishing. The programme seeks to advance new perspectives in contemporary cultural discourse, and broaden conversations around diversity, inclusion, access and opportunity across the literary landscape.

In 2021, Play It Forward launches its pilot Fellowships programme, designed to create pathways for writers to develop, showcase and publish their work. Fellows will receive structured support including mentoring, editorial feedback, career consulting, participation in workshops, training, festivals and literary events, as well as opportunities to meet and build relationships with editors, agents, publishers, writers and readers. Play It Forward is committed to a model of sustained support through continued engagement with its cohort of fellows into the future.

Play It Forward is a joint initiative between The Stinging Fly and Skein Press, spearheaded by poet and editor Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe. The Fellowships are funded through the generous support of the Arts Council of Ireland, and enhanced by the expertise of strategic partner organisations including Aosdána, Poetry Ireland, the Irish Writers Centre and Words Ireland.

Applications are open to eligible writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry from April 1st until April 30th 2021 via Submittable. Fellowships will commence in July 2021, and the programme will run through December 2022. Please see the list of frequently asked questions for further information on making an application.

The selection panel for the inaugural Play It Forward Fellowships is composed of writers Thomas Morris, Melatu Uche Okorie, and Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe.

We are accepting applications until midnight on April 30th.