2 Minutes with…Raising Voices Fellow: KATE MOOREPublished 05/07/2022
Meet Kate Moore from Tralee, Co. Kerry, another of our Raising Voices Fellows. We sat down with Kate to hear about what inspires her work, what a great community Irish Publishing is and of course what she hopes to achieve during her Fellowship.
- What do you think are the best things about children and young adult publishing at the moment? And the worst…
Oh man, this is a tough one! I think one of the best things about children’s/YA publishing in Ireland at the moment is the sense of community. I think in a lot of creative industries it’s easy to feel like it is, for want of a better word, a closed market or inaccessible. I’ve been lucky enough to receive some fantastic opportunities but I’ve also felt incredibly uplifted and supported by those in the industry on every step of my writing journey. I haven’t encountered one person in publishing who hasn’t been completely open to offering advice and support and encouragement.
I think the worst is possibly the lack of recognition Irish children’s publishing gets on the wider or international market. We have some absolutely fantastic children’s and YA writers hailing from our shores and I feel that our contribution to international children’s publishing is sometimes undermined or diminished, which is a shame.
2) What would you hope to learn from the Raising Voices Fellowship?
I really want to learn everything I can about writing, and publishing, and my craft. What’s really lovely about the Fellowship is the kind of access it’s provided to us – literally putting us in a room (real or virtual!) with fantastic writers and professionals and giving us the opportunity to have conversations and ask questions. This may sound simple but it’s absolutely invaluable to be granted that space. I really hope to have my current project, a YA novel, in a place to submit to agents by the end of the year, with the help of Sarah Maria Griffin, my fantastic mentor.
3) What would you like to see more of in Children’s publishing?
I think there can never be enough diversity in publishing. It’s been so beautiful to watch new and diverse stories emerge over the last few years, but I think it’s important to uplift writers of different minorities and different backgrounds. There are children’s books about LGBT+ issues now that I wish had been published when I was a child or teenager (the recent prominence of Heartstopper by Alice Oseman comes to mind, for example.)
4) Who or what inspires your own work?
Music is a massive inspiration for a lot of my work – one of the first things I’ll do when starting any new project is make a series of ridiculously long playlists – I also tend to associate a certain artist with a project and will listen to them ridiculous amounts while I’m writing (my Spotify Wrapped will not thank me!) I’m also really inspired by consuming art – when I’m feeling burnt out or uncreative I’ll take a break and try to read or watch something new, and it always gives me a spark.
In terms of what writing has directly inspired my own, I have to say that Neil Gaiman, Diana Wynne Jones, Derek Landy and Douglas Adams have all been massive influences.
You also can’t beat a good Pinterest board!
5). Recommend one piece of essential Children’s/YA literature.
The first book to spring to mind is Other Words For Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin, who I’m lucky enough to be mentored by as part of the Fellowship. An absolute spooky wonder of a book, Sarah is a master of creating worlds that tread the line between the ordinary and the extraordinary. If the words “owl made of wallpaper” compel you, Other Words For Smoke is for you. Even if they don’t compel you, it’s for you (it’s really, really good.)
I also read Holding Her Breath by Eimear Ryan right before Christmas, and it blew me away. A striking novel with a narrative that stuck in my brain long after I finished it. Eimear is a master storyteller.
Over the next six months, children’s artists Conor Bredin, Nene Lonergan, Carol McGill, Kate Moore, Aileen Swansen and Jennifer Wallace will be connected to a welcoming community of practice and supported in developing their careers. As part of the Raising Voices programme, the fellows will benefit from a host of creative and practical supports throughout the year. The fellowships are run by a group of literature organisations including Children’s Books Ireland, Illustrators Ireland, Publishing Ireland, the Dublin Book Festival and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig.
What is the Raising Voices fellowship?
Raising Voices aims to develop and support aspiring artists who make work for children and young adults and whose voices have been underrepresented in literature. The fellowship aims to break down barriers to publication, progression and inclusion and to increase diversity and representation in the Irish literature sector for those whose voices have been underrepresented due to background or identity.
The creative and practical supports all six fellows will benefit from include:
Mentorship with an experienced writer or illustrator
A detailed critique from an editor/art director suited to the fellow’s practice
A week-long residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig
Access to a bespoke speaker series, bursary information clinic with the Arts Council, and various events and courses.
Tools, information and guidance needed to finalise a manuscript or dummy, prepare work for submission, research the market, and apply for bursaries.
Kate is a writer from Tralee, Co. Kerry, now living in Cork. She has been writing and telling stories since she was five years old. Her writing tends to revolve a lot around queer themes and social issues, exploring inter-personal relationships, both good and bad. Kate applied for Raising Voices as an unmissable opportunity to learn and grow as a writer while receiving guidance and support. She hopes to get knowledge of the industry overall including funding streams and other opportunities and is especially looking forward to receiving mentorship from an experienced novelist.