herald

Friday 24 January 2020

Chick-lit authors fail to sign funding petition

POPULAR: Cecelia Ahern is away at the moment
POPULAR: Cecelia Ahern is away at the moment

Ireland's most successful chick-lit writers have not added their names to the Irish Writers' Centre petition of authors calling on the Arts Council to give it funding for 2009.

Marian Keyes, Cecelia Ahern and Sheila O'Flanagan, are some of Ireland's most popular and successful authors, but are conspicuously absent from the list of authors.

The Irish Writers' Centre received a massive shock just before Christmas when the Arts Council withdrew its annual grant of €200,000.



Devastated

The centres' director Cathal McCabe who says he is "devastated" by the news, has been frantically sending out emails asking writers for their support since the announcement.

"We're appealing the decision obviously and we're hoping that the Arts Council will see the devastation on the writing fraternity in Ireland.

"We've actually approached some chick-lit authors and we're still waiting on a response.

"We're hoping to do a benefit night with the involvement of these authors," he added.

Meanwhile, representatives for two of the authors say they are not in Ireland so that's why they're not on the list.

Marian Keyes' agent told the Herald: "Marian is out of the country at the moment. I expect that is why her name is not on it."

A spokesperson Ahern said: "Cecilia is out of the country. She went away to write."

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Sheila O' Flanagan says that "She wasn't asked and she just didn't know about it."

The likes of Maeve Binchy, Roddy Doyle, John Boyne, Anne Enright have all signed up to protest at the Arts Council's withdrawal of the funding.

ggittens@herald.ie

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