Minister Ciarán Cannon launches Africa Day writing competition

Irish Aid and The Irish Times partner to nurture emerging and established writers

Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Ciarán Cannon with Florence Olufemi-Ojo, joint winner of last year’s competiton, and Martin Doyle, Books Editor of The Irish Times, at the launch of The Irish Times Africa Day writing competition in partnership with Irish Aid. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Ciarán Cannon with Florence Olufemi-Ojo, joint winner of last year’s competiton, and Martin Doyle, Books Editor of The Irish Times, at the launch of The Irish Times Africa Day writing competition in partnership with Irish Aid. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Ciarán Cannon announced today that Irish Aid has again partnered with The Irish Times on an African-themed short story and poetry competition.

Now in its fourth year, the competition marks Africa Day 2018 celebrations and offers a platform for emerging talent, as well as established writers of all ages.

Entries are invited across 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 while the word limit for secondary school students is 1,000 words. The word count for entries from adults is 2,000 words.

Launching the competition, the Minister said: “Irish Aid is thrilled to continue its partnership with The Irish Times on the Africa Day writing competition. The competition is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the wealth of talent among Irish and African writers whose stories highlight the diversity of African culture and its place in Ireland, while deepening understanding between the African and Irish communities. I encourage aspiring and established writers of all ages to enter.”

Martin Doyle, Books Editor of The Irish Times, said: “The Irish Times is delighted to work with Irish Aid again to provide a space in which to nurture the next generation of writers. The competition continues to receive a great response and I am always encouraged by the calibre of entries received, and the insight they offer into the African-Irish experience. This year, we are especially delighted to welcome writer and spoken word artist Dagogo Hart as a guest judge. His work reflects his own experience of growing up in Lagos, Nigeria and moving to Ireland as a teenager.”

Submissions for all categories can be made via email to africaday@dhr.ie, with “Writing Competition” in the subject line, or by post to “Africa Day Writing Competition, DHR Communications, 80 Francis Street, Dublin 8. Submissions for the adult and secondary school category must be typed. Entries for the primary school category may be handwritten.

The closing date for submissions is Thursday, June 12th, and the winners will be chosen by Irish Aid and The Irish Times. June 25th . Winners will receive a selection of books to the value of €50 each at a special prizegiving and photographic presentation at The Irish Times.

Irish Aid will host its flagship Africa Day event, on Sunday, May 27th in Farmleigh Estate, Phoenix Park, Dublin 15. Free and family-friendly, the event will feature three stages of live music with performances by well-known African and Irish musicians, traditional African drumming and dance workshops and cultural performances, an Africa bazaar and much more. Africa Day champion and guest judge for Africa Day writing competition, Dagogo Hart will perform a spoken word set at the event and will encourage attendees to enter.
africaday.ie

Terms and conditions for The Irish Times Africa Day Writing Competition in partnership with Irish Aid

One entry per person.

Entrants must be resident in the Republic of Ireland.

Employees of Irish Aid and The Irish Times and their immediate families (defined as parents, siblings, children & spouse regardless of where they live) are not eligible to apply)

Entries must be submitted by 5pm on Thursday, June 12th via email to africaday@dhr.ie, with “Writing Competition” in the subject line, or by post to Africa Day Writing Competition, DHR Communications, 80 Francis Street, Dublin 8.

Submissions for the adult and secondary school category must be typed. Entries for the primary school category may be handwritten.

Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas assistance programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For further information see www.irishaid.ie.

Africa Day, which falls on 25th May annually, is the official day of the African Union and marks African unity. In Ireland, Africa Day events highlight the scope and benefits of Ireland’s engagement with Africa by:

Raising awareness of the official overseas aid programme managed by Irish Aid and its central focus on sub-Saharan Africa;

Raising awareness of the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development;

Increasing public understanding of Africa by highlighting the diversity and potential of the continent; and

Raising awareness of the potential for bilateral trade and investment linkages between Ireland and African countries.

Free family-friendly events highlighting relationship between Ireland and Africa will take place in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, Meath, Waterford and Wexford. Details on AfricaDay.ie

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