An Táin Arts Centre announces publishing mentorship writers as part of its residency programme

-Three local writers will work with author Nicola Cassidy in a bid to get their novels into print

An Táin Arts Centre has announced the three selected writers of the recent publishing mentorship announced as part of Nicola Cassidy’s 2022 writer-in-residence. A call was put out at Christmas for applicants to put forward their fiction and non-fiction projects for the mentorship with Nicola which includes in person and online meetings, feedback, correspondence and guidance towards seeking literary representation or getting published. 

Speaking about the mentorship, Nicola said: “We had lots of applications, all very varied and it was really quite hard to pick three. Many of the applications were to a very high standard, both in their literary writing and themes and storylines. In the end, we chose three mentees that showed a particular talent and flair and who I felt I could really support with practical advice or guidance.”

The three mentees are Joanne Ryan from Drogheda, who is working on a novel about a magical set of cards, Wendy Gilsenan from Dundalk, a foster carer who has written about her real-life experiences and Betty Clarke from Drogheda, who is working  on an uplifting romance novel set in Montana, USA.  

Speaking about their writing:

 Joanne Ryan, Drogheda | Genre: Fiction 

“From a young age, I’ve had a vivid imagination fuelled by my love of reading Enid Blyton books. Since then, I’ve been dreaming up stories full of magic and mystery. During Covid, I completed some writing courses and wrote my first novel about a pack of magical cards. Any spare time I have is spent reading or writing.”

Wendy Gilsenan from Dundalk | Genre: Non-Fiction

“As a foster parent for over twenty years I wanted to capture my experience of being a foster parent and offer practical information for parents, foster and adoptive parents, early years practitioners and social workers. My book is written for parents, foster and adoptive parents, early years practitioners and anyone with an interest in foster care and early childhood trauma.”

Betty Clarke from Drogheda | Genre: Romance

“When I escaped the insurance and property management world after 25 years, I finally pursued my passion for writing and acting. Training in the Gaiety School of Acting I produced and starred in the one-woman production of Wille Russell’s Shirley Valentine, both in Dublin and New York. I’m also a BAI funded radio play writer. I have self-published one novel, but I would like to seek a traditional publisher for my latest novel – a romance set in Montana.”

Nicola has published four historical fiction novels to date and as well as being a screenwriter, she works as a ghostwriter and as a freelance development editor.

She said she is looking forward to supporting these three up and coming local writers.

“I’ve already started work with these three brilliant writers and it’s exciting to see what might happen with their books,” said Nicola. “We’re looking forward to sending their work out into the world, so readers (and publishers!) watch this space!” 

To learn more about Nicola’s work visit or follow her on Instagram and Twitter at nicola_cassidy_.