Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Arts Council Grants

I start this post with the admission that I know nothing about the finances of running a magazine or a small press. But looking at the spreadsheet * of the Arts Council funding decisions, there seem to me to be some real inconsistencies. I'd be interested to see the accounts and applications.


Cyphers 12K down to 7K. How often is this published? The website doesn't work.

Feasta 8.5K down to 6K. Looks like a monthly Gaelic magazine.

Fish. 7K down to 5K. I'd like to see Fish accounts. They get hundreds of entries for the competitions (1,500 for the short story competition) and only publish once a year.

Irish Pages, 13K down to 10K. Editor: Chris Agee. Belfast magazine. Published biannually. Print run 2,800. Why such a big grant for a magazine that comes out every other year?

The Dublin Review 64.5K down to 57K. Quarterly magazine of essays, criticism, fiction and reportage.

The Stinging Fly 54.5K to 50K. Publishes poetry, reviews and short stories quarterly. It's a great mag. Also publishes occasional books. (compare with The Dublin Review 57K)

The Shop 13K unchanged. I think is published twice a year. It's a high quality poetry magazine. Seems like a small grant to me.


Mercier Press 32K down to 20K. How many books do they publish a year? Many are non-fiction which is a bit of a grey area as to the arts (ref: Bertie Ahearn's memoirs tax status)

Carysfort Press 85K to 60K publishes contemporary writing for and about the theatre, and about other performing arts.

Cork University Press Looks like they published 14 books last year including the Fish anthology.

Dedalus Press 95K down to 80K. Poetry. There's no money in poetry and they're a super press (IMHO) Looks like they only published 12 books 2009/2010 though.

Lilliput 95K down to 80K. Mix of genres. Don't seem to publish many a year.

Sliabh An Fhiolair 80K down to 70K. Something to do with the address for Brandon Books in Dingle. No website.

The O'Brien Press 65K to 60K. Publish all sorts of books, lots of them for children. Not really sure why they get a grant. At first glance, they're fairly commercial looking.

New Island Books 115K to 107K. Publish literary stuff and other less commercial titles. Again, can't tell how many titles a year.

Clo Iar Chonnachta 75K to 70K. Irish Music and Irish books in Connemara. Not many titles a year.

Cois Life 37K unchanged. Irish Language publisher. Looks like they have 8 books in 3 years. Too much money.

Salmon 40K unchanged. Publishes poetry. Probably the same or more titles than Dedalus? Yet a lower grant?

The Gallery Press 167K unchanged (I know who I'm sending my collection to...) Poetry and Drama. 400 books in 40 years. That's a lot.

Dalkey Archives Press. New 2K. publication and republication of high quality and out-of-print works, particularly modernist and postmodernist.

Futa Fata. New 10.5K. Another Gaelic publisher in Spiddal. Not sure how many titles they publish.

Liberties Press. New 10K Lots of non-fiction, tax, health, hobbies. Nothing in the literary category. Why the grant?


Dingle Writing Course
25K down to 22.5K. Not sure why they get a grant at all. Do other course organisations? Irish Writers Centre, for instance? Inkwell? Anam Cara? Long weekend cost 420 Euro with accommodation.

* Note spreadsheet from the fabulous Irish Publishing News blog.


Susan said...

Thanks for this! Now I know why Gallery Press have such fancy covers :)

John Holten said...

This is a very interesting post indeed. i'll leave it at that...

Pure Fiction said...

Great post - very interesting to see the way the grants are distributed, and heartening to discover that the poetry presses get such support.

Totalfeckineejit said...

The SHOP (the best mag of all publishes 3 times a year) So great value there. They nearly always reply (courteously) within 4 weeks.Cyphers ,on a personal level, gives me a pain in the hole.Have you seen it? They took a year to give me a rejection and they publish their own poetry in it!!!!! I'm starting my own magazine 'Poetry Bus' I'm looking for funding , I have the forms , a few hundred euro would do, wonder how I'll get on? By the way I want to ask for one of your PB poems, how do I get in touch?

Emerging Writer said...

Thanks for you reactions. Do remember there are presses and magazines that get no grants from the arts council. They may get grants from co councils.

TFE, you can email me. See top Right hand side of sidebar. Love to join in.

Any idea how often Cyphers publishes?

Totalfeckineejit said...

How often does Cyphers publish?

Too fuckin often in my opinion.

Susan at Stony River said...

Thanks for this post -- makes for some amazing reading. Seems the entire Irish publishing industry depends on the Arts Council; a bit distressing to see that's true even with the 'big' publishers.

Carolyn Jess-Cooke said...

Fascinating and a bit scary. Have never heard of some of these, and they're getting whopping big grants...

Fred said...

You might have mentioned the 35-year old Cyphers magazine, which has had its grant slashed from €10,000 to something like €7,000. I'm sorry, but why the Dublin Review and The Stinging Fly should get such enormous amounts of dosh (the Stinging Fly gets €10,000 MORE than the entire Listowel Writers' Week!)when the Arts council try to wipe out such an eminent and respected publication as Cyphers is quite beyond me. Maybe the Arts Council fancies literature as being only for the very young. It's not merely a question of fairness, but it's damned stupid in terms of arts' strategy.

Fred said...

Oh, by the way - don't forget 'The Forge at Gort' literature festival, all events free, at Gort, Co. Galway, March 26th and 27th, organised by the Western Writers' Centre. (087) 2178138

Emerging Writer said...

Hi Fred,

Thanks for commenting. I did mention Cyphers. It may be eminent and respected but it's website doesn't work, it takes FOREVER to get back to anyone and how often does it publish compared to, say, The SHop? Are you saying Cyphers is for the old? Or stinging fly is not for the old?

You could always ask for some of the minutes of the decision meetings as part of the Freedom of Information act. They are a government body.

RichardCarr said...

hey people you should check out www.studentszine.com its a new and extremely interesting irish online platform & publication for the contemporary arts - hope that receives funding in the future :)