Monday, 13 December 2010

Clare Champion Schools Short Story Competition

Pupils, from first year to Leaving Cert, should get thinking and writing to enter the fifth annual Clare Champion second-level schools short story competition. Since the competition was launched in 2007, pupils from schools in Clare and South Galway have submitted over 800 stories.

The stories’ authors are anonymous when read by independent judges – Noel Crowley, former county librarian, novelist Niall Williams and folklorist Eddie Lenihan.

Prizes for the competition also whet the appetite. With €300, €200 and €100 on offer for the first three in both the junior and senior categories, in addition to prizes for highly commended, in this regard, it surpasses many national creative writing competitions.

An important aspect of the competition is that all the winning entries appear in a special Clare Champion feature, giving the pupils an opportunity to have their work published for the first time. The stories are also posted on the Clare County Library website.

A new dimension was added to the competition last year, the outcome of which will be experienced during Ennis Book Club Festival 2011 in early March. Winners in the 2010 competition will be invited to read their stories at a series of events over the festival weekend.

Teachers have encouraged their pupils to embrace the challenge of writing 1,000 to 1,500 words on any subject or theme and the stories that have emerged have been incredible. The standard of writing has been very high and the stories have run the spectrum from humorous to serious and mysterious to bizarre. Some writers have drawn from real life experiences and situations while others have delved into the world of fantasy.

Posters with full details of the competition will be sent to schools in the coming weeks. Entries, specifying junior or senior category, age, class and teacher, should reach The Clare Champion before Friday, February 4, 2011.

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