About

Sonya Gildea is an English language writer of fiction, creative non-fiction/ interdisciplinary prose, and poetry based in Dublin, Ireland.

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Selected Awards & Achievements: 

  • Sonya has been appointed a DLR Emerging Writer-In-Residence (2023-2024) by Dun Laoghaire Arts Office.
  • She is recipient of an Irish Arts Council Artist Literature Bursary Award (2023).
  • She is a Poetry Ireland Introductions poet (2021/2022), selected by poet, Seán Hewitt.
  • She is winner of the John McGahern Literature Award (2021).
  • She is winner of a post-grad Ireland Chair of Poetry Student Award (2020-2021).
  • She is winner of The Cúirt International New Writer’s Award in Fiction (2015).
  • She is recipient of an Emerging Artist Literature Bursary Award (2023), awarded by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Arts Office. 
  • She was awarded a JHISS Bursary Award to attend the John Hewitt International Summer School & Festival of Literature, Politics & Art (2023).
  • She was awarded a National Mentorship Award (2022–2023) awarded by the Irish Writer’s Centre NMP, DLR Arts Office & the Irish Arts Council.
  • She was included in a top ten long listing & publication by the UK Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize (2023), judges Meena Kandasamy, Jon McGregor & Jarred McGinnis and GBP Editors, Eloise Millar & Sam Jordison.
  • She was poetry winner of June 2022 New Irish Writing, The Irish Independent.
  • She was awarded a Cill Rialaig Writer’s Residency (2022) by the Irish Writer’s Centre & the Irish Arts Council.
  • She was recipient of a Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Arts Office & Creative Ireland Artist Literature Bursary Award (2021).
  • She was recipient of a Writer’s Residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre (2021).
  • She was selected for the Seamus Heaney Centre’s annual residential Summer Poetry School (2022), Queens University Belfast.
  • She was shortlisted for the Mairtín Crawford Award in Poetry (2022).

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Studying & Learning

  • Sonya graduated with an MA (1st) in Creative Writing from University College Dublin (2020).
  • Sonya has completed Poetry Ireland Introductions programme under the mentorship of poets, Seán Hewitt, Annemarie Ní Churreáin and Jessica Traynor (2021).
  • Sonya completed the Seamus Heaney Centre’s residential Annual Summer Poetry School, Queens University Belfast (2022).
  • Sonya was awarded an IWC NMP mentorship award 2022 – 2023 to work on the full length manuscript The Switching Yard.
  • Sonya completed the John Hewitt International Summer School of Literature, Politics & Art (2023).
  • Sonya was awarded a place by Maynooth University Department of English and Kildare Arts Office, on the programme of creative workshops Experimental Publishing & Place by Writer-in-Residence, Nathan O’Donnell, producing the collective, co-authored experimental work Unfinished Topographies (2021).
  • Sonya completed the Irish Writer’s Centre courses:
    • Autofiction with author, Joanna Walsh (2021)
    • This Modern Life with poet, Rachel Long (2022)
    • New Work Now, with poet, Rachel Long (2023)
  • Sonya has completed a University College Dublin foundation course in Human Rights.

Currently:

Sonya has written, and is out to query with, The Switching Yard, a collection of short stories. Sonya is researching and developing a first novel. She is writing a 1st poetry collection, 500 Seconds; and has written the chapbook The Nine River Beats of Owenea in collaboration with Irish visual artist, Sorca O’Farrell, and set in Glenties, Co. Donegal.  

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  • Sonya holds professional membership with the Irish Writer’s Centre.
  • She is a member of the professional writer’s cooperative forum WORD

what a day for a daydream….

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Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Arts Office