Skip to main content

Mayo County Council Writer in Residence 2021 comes to a close

Date: 22-12-2021

Elizabeth Reapy was Mayo County Council Writer in Residence 2021. Reapy met with representation from management of Mayo County Council, Mayo Arts and Library Service and the Heinrich Böll Cottage Achill to mark her residency coming to a close.

Reapy is originally from Claremorris.  She received an MA in Creative Writing from Queen’s University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from UCC.  Her debut novel Red Dirt won Newcomer of the Year at the 2016 Irish Book Awards.  In 2017, she was awarded The Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.  She was one of the Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Writers-in-Residence in 2018.  Her second novel Skin was released in 2019 and at present, she's completing her first feature length screenplay. 

Mayo County Council Writer in Residence is a partnership between Mayo County Council’s Arts Service, Mayo County Council’s Library Service and the Heinrich Böll Cottage Achill, with funding from Creative Ireland.  The aim of the Residency was two-fold, it provided the opportunity for a writer to concentrate on their own work and included a two-week residency at the Heinrich Böll Cottage Achill.  As well as this, the residency also had a strong emphasis on community engagement and enabling creativity in the community.

Some of the highlights of the residency included a mentoring opportunity with Elizabeth Reapy for local writer Jean Tuomey, and a series of online and in person workshops and engagements with Mayo writing groups.  Elizabeth ran a series of workshops with local writers in the Artist’s Way, supporting people to re-engage with their creativity, teaching techniques and exercises to assist in gaining self-confidence in artistic creative recovery. (‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron is a 12-week self-initiated creative study in discovering and recovering your creative self).  She produced a podcast with 16 writers with Mayo connections (Alice Kinsella, Anne Walsh Donnelly, Frances Macken, Mari Maxwell, Sean Lysaght, Sheila Mc Hugh, Terry Mc Donagh, Ger Reidy, Edel Burke, Mike Mc Cormack, Sean Butler, Geraldine Mitchell, Jean Tuomey, Aisling Keogh, Mike Heneghan and Colin Barrett).  Each episode explores a topic that is at the heart of the creative process.  Writers discuss and explore Ebb, Self-Care, Resistance, Process and Flow.  The Podcasts are available to listen to on

Mayo County Council and the residency partner organisations extend a warm thanks to Elizabeth for all the work carried out under the residency and appreciate Elizabeth’s dedication, creativity and interaction with the public during her time as Writer in Residence.

Pictured: Kevin Kelly, Chief Executive, Mayo County Council, Ann Marie McGing, A/Arts Officer, Mayo County Council, Joanne Grehan, Director of Services, Mayo County Council, Elizabeth Reapy, Deirdre Finnerty, Head of Community & Integrated Development, Mayo County Council.  John Mc Hugh, Heinrich Böll Cottage Achill, Orlagh Heverin, Assistant Arts Officer, Mayo County Council.

Back to top