Derry based writer awarded Arts Council funding for new historical novel

Susannah DickeySusannah Dickey
Susannah Dickey
Derry based writer Susannah Dickey has been awarded £4,075 from the Arts Council, which she will use to write her new historical novel.

Susannah has been writing professionally for four years and in that time has published two novels and a collection of poetry, as well several poetry pamphlets and individual pieces of fiction and non-fiction that have been published in journals, and broadcast on the BBC. Her first novel, Tennis Lessons, was published in July 2020 to critical acclaim, and her second book, Common Decency was Waterstones’ Irish Book of the Month for August 2023.

She is one of 292 artists to receive investment from the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The funding will provide vital support to individual artists working across all disciplines including theatre, visual arts, dance, traditional arts, music and community arts.

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Artists awarded grants through the Arts Council’s Support for Individual Artists Programme General Art Awards will receive up to a maximum of £6,000 each. This funding investment will be used to develop new creative projects and purchase equipment, as well as grants to support international performance opportunities and residencies.

Gilly Campbell, joint Director of Arts Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: “Individual artists are at the very heart of the creative sector in Northern Ireland, enriching our communities and bringing our theatres, music venues and galleries to life. Thanks to National Lottery players and money raised for good causes, funding from the Arts Council’s Support for Individual Artists Programme will provide artists, working across all areas of the arts, with the vital investment they need to embark on new projects, develop their ideas and find new and engaging ways to present their art.”

General Arts Awards are one element of the Arts Council’s Support for Individual Artists Programme (SIAP). Its aim is to support artists living and working across Northern Ireland to create work and develop their practice. Broadly, awards can be for specific projects, specialised research or personal artistic development.

Funding from the Arts Council will support the development of Susannah’s new historical fiction novel. The novel will be centred on Grace Gifford, an Irish artist who was born in Dublin and raised as a Protestant, who converting to Catholicism after meeting Joseph Plunkett.