Words Ireland is carrying out the first major survey of writers and illustrators in Ireland in over a decade—and the first ever survey of people working in Ireland’s literature and publishing sector.
The anonymous information gathered will feed efforts to improve the pay and conditions of writers, illustrators and literature workers for years to come. It will also identify barriers to writing, being published or working in the literature sector that underrepresented groups* may face.
The surveys take about 15–20 minutes to complete and involve answering mostly tick-box questions. There has been good uptake on the surveys so far, but there needs to be a really high-response rate for the figures to be representative.
Charter for Inclusion
The surveys are part of a wider initiative by Words Ireland to develop a Charter for Inclusion that will outline Words Ireland’s collective values, principles, and commitments to underrepresented writers and illustrators, and to literature workers in Ireland.
Once drafted, the charter will be shared with the sector for discussion and comment at the first session of the Words Ireland webinar series starting autumn 2021, working towards a final draft endorsed by all.
The series will also try to identify practical ideas, projects and initiatives that can reduce barriers to access in future.
Throughout the process, this work is being informed by six writers who understand the difficulties facing people who wish to enter and progress in literature. Each individual organization within Words Ireland will also be adopting or improving their own diversity strategies over the course of the year as part of the overall journey.
These are only first steps—but important ones.
As any writer knows, becoming a writer takes years of hard work and dedication. Sustaining a life as a professional writer is difficult. However, Words Ireland is committed to finding ways that make a career as a writer, illustrator, or literature sector worker equally feasible for all.
For the Writers & Illustrators Survey – Click Here.
For the Literature & Publishing Workers Survey – Click Here.