Video: Children's writing fellowship announced in Seamus Heaney's honour

Professor Fran Brearton and Dr Damian Smyth launch the new fellowship

A NEW `children's writing fellow' honouring Seamus Heaney and his contribution to literature, is to be appointed to inspire future generations of creative talent.

Developed by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Queen's University Belfast, the two year, part-time post will attract £15,000 a year.

Once in post, the children's writing fellow will perform a range of duties designed to promote an interest in reading and writing from an early age by encouraging creativity and engagement with books.

The fellow will be based in the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen's.

Dr Damian Smyth, head of literature at the Arts Council, said Seamus Heaney was one of the greatest literary voices of our time.

"He brought poetry back to the people, writing about real human issues in his own inimitable style," he said.

"This prestigious new position will be awarded in the spirit of his work, which illuminated so many lives. The children's writing fellow will be instrumental in promoting creativity and reading for pleasure. Working with primary and secondary schools, they will encourage children of all ages to take joy in books and literature in all its many forms."

Queen's professor Fran Brearton said the fellowship gave the university the the opportunity to make more connections with schools and arts groups working with children, to develop an appreciation and understanding of literature in younger readers - and future writers.

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