The Blank Page
The Seamus Heaney Children’s Writing Fellowship
Kelly follows inaugural Children’s Writing Fellow Myra Zepf, who held the post for the last two years. Kelly will be based at the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s for two years, working with students and engaged in outreach activities.
Speaking about the appointment Kelly, who graduated with a BSc in Psychology (2000) and a BA in Creative Writing (2016), said: “I feel so honoured to have been invited to be the next Children’s Writing Fellow for Northern Ireland. It’s a wonderful role and I applaud The Seamus Heaney Centre and the Arts Council for creating it.
“Reading offers so many benefits to children’s development, and therefore to our whole society. Children’s literature is something that should be valued and promoted, and I’m thrilled to see that happening in Northern Ireland.
“We have some truly inspiring organisations, teachers, librarians and writers already working hard to promote children’s literacy and reading for pleasure and I’m really looking forward to working with them and learning from them and I hope that I can use my fellowship to support them.
“This is an opportunity to do something really special and I think it’s going to be an adventure!”
Professor Glenn Patterson, Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s, said: “We look forward to welcoming local writer, Kelly McCaughrain, to the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s and working with her over the next two years as the next Children’s Writing Fellow for Northern Ireland.
“Kelly is a wonderful writer and I know she will inspire many children and young people to take an interest in creative writing and reading more books.”
Damian Smyth, Head of Literature and Drama at the Arts Council for Northern Ireland, commented: “We are delighted to announce Kelly’s appointment today as the new Children’s Writing Fellow for Northern Ireland.
“Working with primary and secondary schools, she will promote reading for pleasure, encouraging children of all ages to discover the joy of books, as well as embarking on their own story-telling adventures.“