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.
Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon has announced that Irish Aid has again partnered with The Irish Times on an African-themed short story and poetry competition.
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 2018 competition, Minister Cannon said: “Irish Aid is pleased 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 amongst 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 [email protected], 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, 12th June 2018 and the winners will be chosen by Irish Aid and The Irish Times. The winning entries will be published on www.IrishTimes.com on Monday, 25th June. Winners will receive a selection of books to the value of €50 each at a special prize-giving and photographic presentation at The Irish Times.
Irish Aid will host its flagship Africa Day event, on Sunday, 27th of May 2018 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.
Further information is available on www.africaday.ie.