Writers in Schools Northern Ireland (WIS NI)

We are delighted to now offer primary and post-primary schools in Northern Ireland the opportunity to apply for support for a visit or residency by a writer or storyteller. This has been made possible through the support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Single Visits

The duration of an A type single visit is 120 - 150 minutes (on the same date) and the cost to the school is £85.00, half the writer fee. Visits can be divided into separate group sessions for example, three 45 minute sessions with different class groups/ age levels. For budgetary reasons we may not be able to accede to all requests for visits. A limit has been set therefore of one A type visit per school per academic year.

The B type visit consists of a writer or storyteller spending 300 minutes in a school/ library and the cost to the school is £170.00. The B visit can, if schools wish, take place over a maximum period of two weeks, divided into no more than five dates, and with a local writer.


Applying for a Visit

The school selects a writer or storyteller they would like to invite from the WIS Web-Directory of Writers, contacts them to see if they are available and then arranges a date. Once a date has been agreed between the school and the writer, the school completes the application form (which can be downloaded from this site) and sends it by post/email or fax to the Writers in Schools office at least 3 weeks in advance of the visit.
To be valid for consideration, all applications for visits must be received by the WIS Office at least three weeks in advance of the proposed date / starting date of the visit. However, we recommend that forms are sent as early as possible.

If an application has been approved for funding, the school will receive a confirmation letter and evaluation form in the post. Should we be unable to meet a request due to funding limitations, we will contact the school to this effect.

Rules of application

  • In line with the Writers in Schools: Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children and Young People in the Arts Sector, a teacher must be present at all times during the visit. Should an instance arise where a pupil spontaneously discloses an incident, the teacher can act immediately and appropriately, in line with school policy.
  • If a date is to be changed, each party must notify the other, and both should inform the Writers in Schools Office. Insurance will also only cover those concerned on the official date.
  • Visits cannot be funded retrospectively.
  • Visits to adult groups cannot be funded under this Scheme.

Financial Arrangements

  • No visit will be funded unless it has been applied for and approved. The school and writer will receive written confirmation and evaluation forms as notification of approval of funding.
  • Visits cannot be funded retrospectively.
  • The school does not pay the writer directly.
  • The cheque for the school portion of the writer’s fee should be sent to the WIS Office, with the school evaluation form, within one week of the date / finishing date of the visit.
  • Cheques should be made payable to Writers in Schools NI. The writer will then be paid their full fee and travel expenses by Writers in Schools.
  • Should the school wish the writer to stay longer than the sanctioned visit duration, it is up to the school to cover the extra costs.

Fees for a Single visit



Cost to school


Cost to WIS

€100.00 / £85.00

Fee to writer

€200.00 / £170.00

Travel Expenses

Distance Travelled (Return)

Expenses payable by Writers in Schools

0-20 miles
21-40 miles
41-60 miles
61-80 miles
81-100 miles
101-120 miles
121-140 miles
141-160 miles
161-180 miles
181-200 miles
201-250 miles
251-300 miles
300 miles +



WIS NI Residencies

The residencies involve a short residency by a writer to a school, working closely with one teacher and with the same class or group of not more than 30 students at primary and 15-20 at post-primary level.
These residencies take a more developmental approach towards the teaching of literature and enable the participants to explore the world of the imagination over a longer period of time, in the company of an experienced writer. The participation of a key teacher, and the development of a working alliance between the teacher and writer, is fundamental to their success.





  • 10 hours: typically 7 x 1.5 hour sessions
  • Visits to be of at least one and a half hours duration. 
  • Residency to take place within a school term, e.g. Spring / Summer / Autumn.  
  • Writer to work closely in association with a key teacher. 
  • Maximum of 30 primary students and 15-20 post primary students will be allowed.  
  • Cost to the school: £350.
  • Writer fee: €150 per session.
  • Funding for these residencies must come from three sources, including the school, Poetry Ireland and another local funding agency. The school must source a matching £350 from the third-party funder. Possible funders might include for example district council arts offices, Extended Schools Programme, Education and Library Boards etc.
  • Third party funding must be in place prior to the commencement of the residency. 
  • Only writers listed on the Writers in Schools Web Directory are eligible to take part in these residencies.
  • Content to be decided by teacher, writer and Poetry Ireland.
  • Applications will be judged on the merit of the focus of the proposed project and on the date of application.




  • WIS Single Visit Application Form
  • Writers in Libraries Application Form
  • Writers in Residence Application Form
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