Africa Day writing competition seeks to showcase African experience

The Irish Times and Irish Aid join forces for writing contest

Last year’s winners: Mary O’Connor, winner adult category; Barbara Wilson, Irish Aid; Anne Wambua, winnner secondary school category; Martin Doyle, assistant literary editor, The Irish Times; and Shane Healy, winner primary school category, at the presentation of prizes in The Irish Times / Irish Aid Africa Day Writing Competition 2015. Photograph: Eric Luke

Last year’s winners: Mary O’Connor, winner adult category; Barbara Wilson, Irish Aid; Anne Wambua, winnner secondary school category; Martin Doyle, assistant literary editor, The Irish Times; and Shane Healy, winner primary school category, at the presentation of prizes in The Irish Times / Irish Aid Africa Day Writing Competition 2015. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

The Irish Times has teamed up with Irish Aid on an African-themed writing competition, marking Africa Day 2016. The competition is designed to showcase emerging talent, as well as established writers. This is the second year the competition has run.

Entries are invited in three categories: Primary School, Secondary School and Adult. Writers are invited to submit a short story or poem relating to the relationships and interactions between Ireland and Africa. Primary-school children can submit a piece of up to 250 words and secondary school students of up to 1,000 words. The maximum word count for adult entries is 2,000 words.

Entries for the adult and second level categories must be typed and submitted via email to africaday@dhr.ie, putting “Writing Competition” in the subject line, or by post to Africa Day Writing Competition, DHR Communications, 80 Francis Street, Dublin 8.

Entries for the primary school category can be submitted by email to africaday@dhr.ie, putting “Writing Competition” in the subject line, or by post to Africa Day Writing Competition, DHR Communications, 80 Francis Street, Dublin 8. Entries for the primary school category may be handwritten.

The closing date for submissions is Tuesday, May 17th, 2016 and the winners will be chosen by Irish Aid and The Irish Times. The winning stories will be published on irishtimes.com on May 29th, the same day as the flagship Africa Day event in Dublin, and winners will receive a selection of books to the value of €50 each. There will also be a photographic presentation at The Irish Times.

Welcoming the announcement of the writing competition, Sean Sherlock, Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation, said: “Irish Aid is delighted to partner with The Irish Times on the occasion of Africa Day once again in 2016, and to showcase the talented Irish and African writers who are telling the stories of the diverse culture and traditions of Africa and Ireland. I have seen firsthand the potential for collaboration in enterprise and the unique bond that our two cultures share. I look forward to seeing the entries for this competition.”

Martin Doyle, assistant literary editor of The Irish Times, said: “Following on from last year’s success, The Irish Times is delighted to link up again with Irish Aid to provide a platform for a new generation of storytellers. The Irish Times is committed to the promotion of understanding of other nations and peoples, and the Africa Day writing competition presents an ideal opportunity for this.”

Irish Aid will host Africa Day Dublin, its flagship family event, on Sunday, May 29th, in the grounds of Farmleigh Estate in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. This free, family-focused event will feature the sights and sounds of Africa, through performances by well-known African and Irish musicians; children’s entertainment; traditional African drumming and dance workshops; and much more.

In conjunction with local authorities, Irish Aid will also host Africa Day celebrations in, Cork, Waterford and Galway.

Further information is available on africaday.ie

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