Margaret of New Orleans – Children’s Book Commission Call for Writer/Illustrator Teams

Jobs and opportunities

To celebrate the life of Margaret of New Orleans and the strong connections between Leitrim and New Orleans and to support the develop of new literary works for children, Leitrim County Council invites applications from writer/illustrator partnerships to develop a new work that tells the story of ‘Margaret of New Orleans’. This will be an illustrated book aimed at children aged 5-7 in the style of historical fiction or historical biography. The commissioned work will be published by Leitrim County Council.


Margaret Haughery was born in 1813 in Leitrim before emigrating to America with her family when she was 5 years old. Personal tragedies experienced both as a child and later as a parent shaped her life-long devotion to serving New Orleans’ poor. By the age of 40, she owned 50 cows and with the Sisters of Charity she ran two orphanages, caring for children of every race and religion. In 1860 she opened a bakery and later during the American Civil War she opened a soup kitchen to feed the swelling ranks of the city’s poor. When she died in 1882 the New Orleans Stock Exchange was suspended, and she was given a state funeral. Shortly afterwards the citizens of New Orleans commissioned a statue in her likeness, making her one of the first women in the United States to have a statue erected in her honour.


Each of three shortlisted writer/illustrator teams will receive a Stage 1 fee of €500 to develop a project proposal as outlined in Project Brief below.

The writer/illustrator team selected to proceed to Stage 2 will receive a fee of €6,000 to complete the project. This fee is inclusive of any direct personal costs incurred by the writer and illustrator including materials and other expenses such as VAT, insurance, travel and accommodation.

This writer/illustrator team fee is for writing and illustration only. Editing, printing, publishing, launch and distribution are provided for separately.

Closing date for Expressions of InterestMidnight, Sunday 1st October 2023