The John Hewitt Society offers opportunities for people from Northern Ireland and beyond to experience literature, art and political debate and to explore issues of difference and identity in partnership with many community, voluntary and non-profit organisations.

The aim of the Summer School is to explore political and cultural issues through literature and the arts, and to encourage residents of Northern Ireland/the North of Ireland and beyond to think critically about the world around them.

Through lectures, discussions and debate, the Summer School raises issues of relevance to the divided society in Northern Ireland, providing a platform for audiences to engage with speakers from different backgrounds, experiences, and points of view.

The Society encourages the use of the arts as a means to explore sensitive issues, and offers opportunities for engagement with high-profile, high-quality artists and writers; our creative writing classes develop the confidence of individuals and help aid their contributions within their own communities.

A key element of the Summer School is the Bursary Scheme. The Bursary Scheme creates opportunities for those who would not otherwise be able to attend the Summer School to participate in discussions and debates around building a stronger shared community in post-conflict NI. It is a core belief of the Society that engagement in discussions and debate on a civic society should be made available to all. Successful applicants will receive accommodation in Armagh for five nights, breakfast and refreshments and ticket entry to all Summer School events.

The bursary scheme is open to residents of Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain. Applicants must be 18 and over. The Society is unable to contribute towards travel costs.



Community Bursary Scheme

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors a limited number of community bursaries are available which cover the full cost of attendance at the Summer School. The community bursary scheme is an important aspect to our outreach programme. Feedback from attendees tells us that without it many would be unable to attend the Summer School.

Previous bursary students have gone on to become published writers, lead workshops, host live author events, invited to read at poetry and writing festivals, and work in the literary sector.

What is a bursary?

A bursary offers financial support to those who otherwise would not be able to attend the Summer School.

Full bursaries include accommodation for five nights, breakfast and refreshments and ticket entry to all events.

The bursary scheme provides residential accommodation for participants to engage in a six-day opportunity for learning and sharing in a creative environment. Places are allocated following advertisement and awarded to those who demonstrate how they will use the experience of the event to benefit their local community as well as personal development.

Preference is given to those who have not previously secured a bursary. 

All residential bursary recipients take part in a creative writing workshop, with seven workshops available to choose from. 

The Society also makes available non-residential bursaries, to give flexible options for those whose lifestyles do not allow them to reside away from home for five nights, such as those with caring responsibilities or medical conditions.

The Society welcomes applications from all, irrespective of race, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or family/community background.

Applications must be received no later than: 12 noon on Wednesday 27th June 2018



Last year's highlights!



The 31st International Summer School takes place Monday 23rd - Saturday 28th July 2018 in the Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre, Armagh.