Survey underway of those who took part in Writers Residencies

The Arts Council and Westmeath County Council are urging anyone who took part or attended any of the events or workshops during the John Broderick Writers Residences in Athlone to complete a public survey.

The residencies followed the late John Broderick’s decision to bequeath his estate to the Arts Council for “the benefit and enhancement of the Arts in Athlone”.

In partnership with Westmeath County Council, it was agreed to pilot the first three years of investing this bequest through a series of writers’ residences. To date the Arts Council and Westmeath County Council have supported three John Broderick Writers in Residence; Annemarie Ni Churreáin (2018/2019), Martin Dyar (2019/2020) and Keith Payne (2021).

An independent evaluation of the residencies, commissioned by the Arts Council and Westmeath County Council is now underway.

A company called Promenade has been commissioned to carry out the review and is asking people in this area to relate their experiences of participating in the Writers Residencies.

They are reaching out to anyone who participated in any of the John Broderick Writers in Residencies, maybe as an audience member at an event or workshop participant between 2018 and 2021, either in-person or online.

To take part in the survey go through to the News section at

Survey closing date: 30 November, midnight.

John Broderick was born in Connaught Street, Athlone in 1924. He had 12 novels published, his best known being The Pilgrimage (1961). His bestseller was An Apology for Roses (1973), which sold 30,000 copies in the first week of its publication in 1973. Both these novels, along with The Fugitives and The Flood are all set with Athlone as a backdrop.