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Tag Archives: Clare Champion short stories

Clare Champion gives students forum for stories

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 …

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By Sean Lyons, St Flannan’s College. Highly commended, junior Clare Champion Short Story RYAN ‘Ringo’ McGrath placed his camp chair carefully on the cobblestone pavement in front of Harry’s Café. The pavement had almost become indented from the legs of the chair as it had been placed there countless times. He opened his fibreglass guitar case, unbuckling the clips that kept it closed. From the case, he withdrew a quite ancient-looking guitar which had been adorned with scratches and scrapes picked up over the years. Any spectator would think that an instrument of this appearance would have a matching sound but once Ringo carefully gave the strings their first strum, magic filled the ears of listeners. When Ringo went busking, he was in a world of his own, taking no notice of his surroundings. Sometimes he’d smile or laugh to himself while playing if he did something with the guitar that came as a surprise to even him – a …

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A Teenager’s Guide to Life

By Muireann Duffy, Scoil Mhuire, Ennistymon. Highly commended, senior Clare Champion Short Story Competition EVERYONE  says that being a teenager is the best time in your life. That’s easy for them to say when you’re going on ancient and decide to look back on your teen years through rose-coloured glasses. Seriously, anyone who says it’s the best part of life has huge gaps in their memory, so if they complain about how easy you have it being 16, do the decent thing and ignore them. Don’t storm off in a huff and slam every door on the way to your room, that’s way too much effort. I suggest you simply tune out and when you think they’re done, say ‘I know’ as smugly as you possibly can, leaving them annoyed and you truly satisfied. One of the hardest parts of being a teenager is that it’s a constant juggling act. Organisation isn’t usually the main focus, unless you’re just a …

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A Noble Profession

By Róisín O’Sullivan St Joseph’s Secondary School, Spanish Point Highly commended, senior Clare Champion Short Story Competition EVERY year, a boisterous gaggle of grandchildren gather in one place in order to prove their dedication to their grandmother. Many are young, too young to understand that what they will be doing is something that will be forever engraved in their memories. They will learn skills only taught to those worthy of such high regard. Some will falter and give up, yet the majority, goaded on by their proud parents, will master their skills and become true and noble glass collectors. Each year in July, for the Willie Clancy Week festival, every bar, restaurant and street corner in Miltown Malbay transforms into a bustling atmospheric cauldron of instruments, musicians and nameless voices singing songs of old. The week brings thousands of people of every age to the normally quiet town. It is this week that my grandmother’s pub renews its youth and …

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Mistaken Identity

By Michael McNamara, Rice College, Ennis. Second place, junior Clare Champion Short Story Competition FIVE days a week, for eleven years. It is never duly crowded and it takes me from Maynooth right into Connolly Station, only an eleven and a half minute walk from the door of my office in Google buildings on Barrow Street. I have always liked the process of commuting; every phase of the journey is always a pleasure to me; the regularity of it. Nineteen or twenty of us gather on the small platform of our station to catch the 8.16 each morning. Most of them are colleagues, graduates who excelled in the modern world of finance or information technology, each one striving for that seven figure salary and casting furtive glances in my direction, a look of envy in their eyes. I had reached the summit and gave them something to aspire to. It was a group that rarely changed and when occasionally a …

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Brooke’s Magazine

By Sean Hanrahan St Joseph’s Secondary School, Spanish Point Third place, senior Clare Champion Short Story Competition A FIVE-storey building. On the inside it gleamed. Everything in the inside, from the outside it seemed. Efficient, busy and organised, it was something like a dream. And this is where Carla would work now, the famous Brooke’s Magazine. James Brooke was smart, handsome and young. Worked hard, kissed ass, always quick to number one. Eventually so successful, he made his own company and was done with taking orders from people; now he takes orders from no-one. But he is still kind and friendly to all, not some. He makes very sure that he knows everyone. Carla entered his office. “Welcome Carla, I’m James Brooke.” “I know Mr Brooke. It’s a pleasure.” Their hands shook. There was something about her, a sensuous look. She knew everything about him, she read his book. “Well good luck Carla.” he said with a smile. “Thanks for …

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Junior category winner Aoife Daly, St Annes Killaloe with John Galvin, Clare Champion Managing Director.

Telling tales for the ‘Champion

THIS year’s Clare Champion Short Story Competition not only attracted its largest ever number of entries but it also saw some previous entrants scooping top prizes. At the presentation of prizes in De Valera Library, Ennis last Thursday night, Clare Champion editor Austin Hobbs said the competition has been a huge success since its inception. “It has been an incredible experience over a number of years and we are delighted to see huge participation in it,” he commented. He said the competition gives young people a chance to let their imagination “run riot a bit, without having to worry about the parameters of the Leaving Cert or Junior Cert structure”. Clare Champion managing director, John Galvin, added that over 270 young people had submitted entries, the largest number ever to enter the competition. He complimented all who had taken the time to write a story. “After a hard day at school, not to mention homework, it’s not easy to put …

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