THE Clare Champion celebrated the 12th annual short story competition last Thursday as it was announced that it is to diversify its offering next year, giving a fresh opportunity for schools to engage with the county’s leading newspaper.
Announcing the competition winners, John Galvin, managing director of The Clare Champion, thanked all the schools for the support they have given the competition since it began in 2006.
“It is not easy to juggle extra curricular activities and without the guidance and support of teachers, the competition would never have become the success that it is now. Our idea was to instil a love of writing and to give a platform to young writers to have their first stories published.”
This year’s junior winner was Kate Harty of Coláiste Muire, Ennis with her story, A Canadian Summer, while the senior winner was Liam Lenihan of St Joseph’s Secondary School, Spanish Point with 18 holes with the in-laws.
Shauna O’Kane, Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna took second place in the junior section with Give Us A Home, while Precious Oguannaike of St Flannan’s College, Ennis was third with her story Mediocrity. Highly commended students in this category were Aisling Ní Ghealbháin of Gaelcholáiste an Chláir for To Catch A Cheater; Sean Conneally of CBS Ennistymon for his story Hell, in a ditch and Nathan Brody of Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna for his story The Man Who Lay On The Street.
Faye Curran of Coláiste Muire, Ennis took second in the senior category with Life, Love and the Pursuit of Points, with third place going to Conor Clancy of Mary Immaculate Secondary School for his story The Call. Highly commended entries went to Katie Coll of Coláiste Muire, Ennis for A Galaxy’s Guide to Teenagers; Susie Harty for her story Midsummer and Róisín McInerney of Gort Community School for her story Vibrancy.
“I’d like to sincerely thank all of you who have entered this year and indeed in past years. We have decided that next year, rather than doing the short story competition as it is now, we’ll either take it from another angle or maybe do something completely different. We always want to be involved in the schools but it’s time to do something new while we’re still ahead. We’d be delighted to hear any suggestions you may have for us in terms of a competition or project we could get involved in,” Mr Galvin said.
He also paid tribute to the judges for their hard work down the years, noting that the standard in the competition is always high and choosing winners is always difficult. “In many cases, it’s a very close call but we trust our dedicated judges to make the right call. Finally, I’d like to thank the library staff who have always made us welcome and supported us,” he concluded.
By Carol Byrne