Young Travel Writers Competition Opens to Students Across Ireland

Young Travel Writers Competition Opens to Students Across Ireland

Blazing a trail to the Immrama Festival of Travel Writing in Lismore in County Waterford is Amelie Quann age 8; the festival takes place from June 14th to 18th. Festivalgoers will be taken on a literal journey across the globe and a young travel writer’s competition is now open for entry. See

A writing competition aimed at discovering Ireland’s best young travel writers has been announced by the organiser’s of the Immrama Festival of Travel Writing, which is set to take place in the heritage town of Lismore in county Waterford this June.


Young writers are now invited to write an 800-word short story about their favourite air journey and where it has taken them on their travels.


Speaking about the travel writing competition, Jan Rotte one of the festival organiser’s says, “We are delighted to announce the details of the second year of this competition and to also have Aer Lingus as the competition sponsors; last year, this competition took place for the first time and there we over 500 entrants, the standard of writing displayed by the transition year students from all across the country was incredible. We would like to wish all of the entrants the very best of luck and inspiration in writing their pieces for this year’s competition.”


The 2016 winner of the competition was Erin Carr a 5th year student from Dundalk Grammar School. Her teacher Orna O’Reilly attended the festival to accept the award on Erin’s behalf. Erin’s piece was called Escapism and it can be read online at The competition is now open for entries to students aged between 13 and 18, the closing date for entries is May 20th and submissions can be made


The judges this year will be Stephen Kavanagh CEO Aer Lingus, Vickie Stevenson Director CX Emea at AirBnb and Phil Cottier ceo ipsum marketing and the winner of the competition will be awarded with an iPad mini and a €100 Amazon voucher and the teacher of the winniner student will be awarded with a €500 Aer Lingus voucher plus tickets to the Immrama Festival.


The fifteenth annual Lismore Immrama Festival of Travel Writing has a stellar reputation for celebrating and sharing world-class travel writing and the 2017 festival line-up offers another stellar line up of internationally renowned writers and broadcasters. From June 14th to June 18th multi award winning author Colm Tóibín, humanitarian and author Terry Waite CBE, journalist and author Des Ekin, writer and documentary maker Tom Feiling and adventurer and author Andrew P. Sykes will all take to the festival stage to share their own writings and journeys under the 2017 festival theme of ‘Emigration, Exile and Slavery’.


On the final day of the festival ‘Family Fun Sunday’ will take place at the Millennium Park, the Lismore Farmers Market will be on the castle avenue plus a Sunday evening event with focus on sport and travel is set to take place.


Full details of the festival programme and for event tickets for the Immrama Lismore Festival of Travel Writing 2017 see or call (058) 53803.


2016 winner of the Immrama Young Travel Writers Competition




MAY 20, 2016


A break in the clouds that loom overhead, disperse rays of golden light across a dapple-colour of blue crests and waves that spans across the horizon. Swallowed into the scene just like the pebbles who are engulfed in spray warped and disfigured by the howling wind It plays beautiful harmonics that resonate through the cracks as open valves. The oceans symphony of wind , howling its haunting piece. It is perfectly composed, where each movement can alter by a change of focus. Shifting from the violent percussion of waves where a cymbal can crash from wave against the rocks. Then it effortlessly transforms into the haunting singing of the wind howling from within the rocks. The Orchestra collides with a chorus of a thousand leaves. Cracked from the heat and speckled with white, imperfect they a sing their perfect notes. As a gust sweeps through, it brings the chorus of a million into unison and song, swaying to and fro to reach each note. Spanning across the ceiling the green tangle, their Eucalypt brings the whole world together in one ever changing moment. With greedy arms that reach toward the sky twisting and turning, as indecisive at the chorus they’ve attached. Though silent trunks, straight and bold, are stippled with pealing bark, as if the stories they hold as if they are overflowing and ripping at it seams. Revealing the within the thin stripes, all that is kept hidden inside, now exposed through the trees true colours. A performance of colours ranging from red, orange and yellow, to bursts of a violent green. It’s almost as if they were offering a new story in each stripe. Beneath the choir of leaves a single stream underpins the otherwise incomplete symphony. Like a skilled musician she is, its round twists and turns effortlessly transforms with every gust and lull of the thousand strong choirs above. From its bends and, to the unexpected the stones she adapts. Each tiny wave distorts the roes- moles that stipple across the golden pebbled flooring beneath. Each fickle and freckled one is pulled and pushed by her gentle current. The voices above recede into the green sky above until only a trickle of a stream is left and that too quietens in anticipation. This time the music subsides for a solo of a modest rush of the wind. Her song haunts the sunburnt country that spans until the horizon. This still and desolate land of sweeping plains unanimously moulded into one shade at first. The individual grains of sand have a distinct pigment and dye which stains even the wind that sweeps across the wide brown land.  The thirsty ground kicks up a fuss, illuminating the path the dry storm who gives a brief respite to the earth that glows red from heat. As if searching for the something of significance, it trails off wondering into the distance.  Stopping abruptly, so as to admire the interrupted pitiless blue sky. Uninterrupted, unopposed, she spans the infinity, swallowing up any depth or contours into a sea of blue. She beams down upon the land before her watching its beauty in sheer simplicity, in the single colour glowing back. As the blue fades into glorious night, like as if she were unveiling a display of what is underneath. Each freckle becomes more prominent until their magnificence bursts out onto the black surroundings. The patterns of tiny solitary flames shine their flame alone with dramatic juxtaposition upon the black backdrop, they expand to fill the horizon with hues of blue and red. They construct rivers and valleys of stars from all spectrums as their colour floods the sky, filling it with wonder and light. They swallow up even the black that surrounds them, transforming  it into pink and red hues of light. Off.

Into the real world, you can’t escape it forever. It was only a invention, a dream. Where once stood the majesty of the world before reveals only the grey of the ceiling. It’s no   longer covered in the freckles of the sky. The walls, the same stark grey, aren’t flooded with the rich colours and life. Below feels lifeless nothing moves, not enriched with flowing dappled life. Even the silence is defining, the music of the world replace with the whirring of an engine.   The majesty and grace that once stood is just a file Images, hallucinations projected onto walls. All seems lost, this world, its beauty, reduced to this.

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