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Bursaries and Awards

Francis Ledwidge Creative Writing Award 2017 - To commemorate the Francis Ledwidge Centenary 1917 – 2017 Meath County Council Cultural Services are pleased to announce the establishment of the Francis Ledwidge Creative Writing Award 2017.

Date Released: 11 May 2017


1. One week stay at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, Co. Monaghan

2. €1500 Bursary

3. Open to practitioners of all creative writing genres on the island of Ireland

4. Applicants must be over 18

5. Closing date 12pm Friday 26th May 2017

6. Applications should be sent to: The Arts Office, Meath County Council, Buvinda House, Dublin Road, Navan, Co. Meath






  1. Detailed biography or CV including current address, telephone number, contact details etc.
  2. A reasonable sample of writers' work.
  3. A signed letter of application
  4. Work proposal – applicants should state clearly what they wish to accomplish during their stay at Annaghmakerrig. This project outline is a deciding factor and should demonstrate that the writer is working towards a particular body of work which would be helped by a stay at the centre.


The dates of the residency will be decided in consultation between the successful applicant and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre.

Meath County Council reserves the right not to award a Bursary, if it believes teh interests of the Council, the Bursary and the applicants would be best served by this course of action.

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

HARD COPIES ONLY will be accepted. Electronically submitted or faxed entries are inadmissible.

The successful applicant agrees to co-operate with Meath county Council Cultural Services in all matters relation to the publicity regard the awards.

The Meath County Council Francis Ledwidge Creative Writing Award must be given full accreditation on proposal outcomes.

Closing date for receipt of applications: 12pm Friday 26th May, 2017.

Applications should be forwarded to: The Arts Office, Meath County Council, Buvinda House, Dublin Road, Navan, Co. Meath


FRANCIS LEDWIDGE (1887 – 1917)

Born on 19th August 1887 at Slane, County Meath, his family were in humble circumstances, a condition not improved by the death of the father when Francis was only four years old.

He left school shortly before his fourteenth birthday and his first employment was as a farm labourer. He subsequently worked as a shop assistant, house-boy, miner and also for two separate periods as a road worker and ganger with Meath County Council. From his schooldays he took an interest in books and literature and when he grew to manhood he became active in trade union and other public affairs.

By 1914 he had become a member of Navan Rural District Council and of Navan Board of Guardians. He was a founder member of the Irish Volunteers in Slane and despite his subsequent enlistment in the British Army his contributions to discussions of the two Public Bodies of which he was a member suggest that as late as 19th October, 1914 he was opposed to joining in the British war effort. However he enlisted in The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers at Richmond Barracks, Dublin on 24th October, 1914. This decision ultimately lead to his death in Belgium on 31st July, 1917.

His early poems were published in the Drogheda Independent and in 1912 he sent some verses to Lord Dunsany who later helped and encouraged him greatly. Songs of the Fields published in 1914, Songs of Peace published in 1916 and Last Songs published in 1917 all have introductions by Lord Dunsany.  The Complete Poems of Francis Ledwidge was published in one volume in 1919, the 3rd edition of which appeared in 1955. The house where he lived at Janeville, Slane has been preserved as a museum to his memory and is open to the public in the tourist season. 

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