It takes time to report and write great articles, and time costs money.

So a group of 18 donors has pooled their money to give a €1,000 grant to give a freelancer the time to write a really great article. From now until 15 November, we’ll be accepting applications.

Tell us what public-interest news or current-affairs article about Ireland, and of interest to people who live in Ireland, you would write if you got the grant.

The article must be substantial enough to warrant the investment, and should not repeat work already done by other journalists.

Any freelance journalist is eligible to apply for this grant. By freelance, we mean that they do not have a job as a journalist with a media organisation.

Working-class journalists, ethnic-minority journalists and women journalists are particularly encouraged to apply – but everyone is very welcome!

To apply, use the form below to send us 1) your pitch; 2) a short bio; and 3) links to three examples of your best work. We will only consider one application per person.

Tips on Writing Your Pitch

1. Make sure your idea is focused enough to fit into a long article, and not just a broad topic that could fill books, or serve as a the subject of a PhD thesis.

2. Make sure no one else has written the article that you are proposing to write.

3. Make sure you know what other people have written in the same area, and that your article joins the public conversation about your topic, engages with it, and builds on it.

4. Make sure that what you’re proposing is possible: the people you’d need to talk to would talk to you, the documents you’d rely on can be obtained, etc.

4. Write 3 to 4 sentences explaining what your idea is, why it is timely, what research you’d do, and who you’d interview.

Bio and Clips

Please also send us a short bio (3 to 4 sentences) explaining why you are the right person to write this article. And send us links to three things you’ve written that have been published, which show you can do good research, and write well.

After You Apply

After you apply, the editors at Dublin Inquirer will shortlist eight applications, which they’ll forward to the 18 Spark Grants donors, who will vote on which four should get €50 “priming” grants to further develop their pitches, by doing a bit more reporting, and research and thinking. (Dublin Inquirer is one of the 18 donors, so we’ll get one of those votes on who gets the grants.)

Then the donors will review these four refined pitches and vote to decide which one will win this year’s €1,000 Spark Grant. Whoever wins it will be paid €500 up front, and €500 on publication of their completed article. The article must be published in 2018, or the money must be returned in full. It can be published anywhere you’d like (if it’s Dublin-related, we hope you’ll consider Dublin Inquirer), but wherever it is published, it must be accompanied by the Spark Grants logo.


If you have any questions, email Sam Tranum at

Apply Here



Article Pitch(required)


Links to Clips(required)

Sam Tranum is a reporter and deputy editor at Dublin Inquirer. He covers climate, transport and environment. You can reach him at

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