Who Are We?
The Northern Ireland Festival of Writing was created by the team behind, The Merlin Project (Merlin Arts CIC). Comprised of Tina Calder (Journalist, Content Creator and Commentator), James Murphy, (Former School Principal, Educationalist and Author) and Janine Cobain (Editor, Screenwriter and Author).
What Do We Do?
At The Merlin Project, we seek to educate, empower and encourage people to use to use the power of their words to help them develop their confidence, enhance and improve their communication skills and overcome personal and societal issues in order to improve the quality of their lives, their relationships, their mental and physical health, as well as their employability. We also aim to provide opportunities for aspiring and emerging writers and content creators, to develop and hone their craft as well as providing them with a platform to showcase and celebrate their works.
The Northern Ireland Festival of Writing:
The inaugural Northern Ireland Festival of Writing took place in April & May of 2019. In launching the festival it was our aim to bring together a range of local writers and content creators from across the wide spectrum of talents that we have in Northern Ireland, to run a series of events and workshops wherein those aspiring and emerging in their chosen creative field would have the opportunity to learn from those who had successfully carved a path for them to follow, as well as providing a platform for local writers at all points in their writing journey, to showcase their achievements.
The Festival was a huge success, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt to us, that not only was there a wealth of writing talent in Northern Ireland, keen to be tapped, developed, promoted and celebrated, but also, that the work of The Merlin Project was much needed and appreciated in our current climate.
We had a level of support that went well beyond our expectations, with established artists and organisations willing to give up their time and expertise to help others develop their craft, as well as our database of people wishing to take part in and develop from the festival, reaching numbers of mind-blowing proportions.
Some of the outcomes can be seen from the photographs below.
With feedback from festival events and workshops being so strong, we have engaged with the writing community to look at how we can move forward. The overarching message was to bring back the festival. Who were we to argue?
The result- We weren't going to let Covid-19 get in the way of what we've achieved.This year the Northern Ireland Festival of Writing is going online. We will be having a wide range of events, workshops and content available online throughout the month of October. We won't be stopping there either, with further online and socially distanced events planned throughout the remainder of the year.
To find out more check in on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/festivalofwriting
Register for updates and submission opportunities or donate to the festival fund to help us create opportunities for writers across all mediums at all levels.
Our ultimate aim is to become the most seminal and eagerly anticipated event in the festival calendar of Northern Ireland, but to reach that aim, we need your help. Please consider supporting us via donation.