Write Here, Write Now Finalists Announced!

41 entries of Second and Third Level students from across the country were selected as the finalists for this year's Write Here, Write Now competition.

Run in conjunction with the Creative Ireland Programme,...

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Jamie Sewell (Write Here, Write Now/ 3rd level finalist)

A 21 year old avant-garde culchie, Jamie stopped growing recently. Now faced with the concept of dying, for the foreseeable future he will pour his existential angst into music and poetry. Patrick Kavanagh haunts his dreams, reminding him the stony grey soil of Monaghan will forever be stuck to the soles of his shoes. Often found busking in Temple Bar with his trad group Hup, or laying down bass for bands such as Dysania and Hales Lake, his favourite writers include Brian O'Nolan (agus Myles) and Hunter S. Thompson. His musical influences include My Bloody Valentine and Slint.

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Fiona Monks (Write Here, Write Now/ 3rd level finalist)

Cat enthusiast and cheese fanatic, as a 19-year-old student, Fiona’s time is split between the college bar and panicking about assignments – with both often occurring at the same time. She studies International Relations in DCU even though she still doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up. As a writer she is a self-described ‘optimistic pessimist’ and aims to produce observational-type pieces with political undertones, drawing inspiration from Ian Hislop and Olivia O’Leary.

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Dean Buckley (Write Here, Write Now/ 3rd level finalist)

A 24-year-old born-again My Chemical Romance fan and recent graduate from Cahir, Co. Tipperary, Dean is obsessed with film and filmmaking. He writes film and TV criticism for The Sundae, a blog he co-created with his best friend, Ciara Moloney, which they update weekly. He both loves and resents Samuel Beckett for already writing everything he wanted to write. His other interests, according to his ticket stubs, are drag queens, professional wrestling and the Pope.

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Daniel McBrearty (Write Here, Write Now/ 3rd level finalist)

From Carrick, in Co. Donegal, and in his Second Year studying Creative Writing at NUI Galway, 20-year-old Daniel McBrearty is (he says) thoroughly out of his depth. Although he started writing as a means of studying for his Leaving Certificate, things quickly got out of hand. He enjoys folk music, The Simpsons, snooker, and the odd pint of Guinness, all of which interfere with his writing. With literary influences from Kavanagh to Beckett to Biggie Smalls, McBrearty hopes that one day his work might be published ­– or worse still, respected.

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Aoife Kearins (Write Here, Write Now/ 3rd level finalist)

A 19 year old from Skreen, Co Sligo, with a penchant for overusing the word "tragic", Aoife recycles her Tinder bio when asked to write something about herself. Despite being a Maths student, she cannot solve any of her own problems, so she writes instead. A maker of good tea and bad puns, she can usually be found having an existential crisis, quoting Sylvia Plath or crying on the Luas. Tragic, as she would say herself.

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Aaron McGinnity (Write Here, Write Now/ 3rd level finalist)

Motivated by a belief in the power of literature, Aaron McGinnity has written for most of his 23 years. He is Dublin-born and a recent graduate of Trinity College Dublin, where he studied Philosophy, Political Science, Economics and Sociology. However life turns, he is determined to make a full-time writer of himself.

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Jason Reddan (Write Here, Write Now/ 3rd level finalist)

A student at Mary Immaculate College, Jason Reddan aka Jay Red is a multi-award winning writer/director, actor and “world champion short Filmmaker” from Limerick city, Ireland. Jay is working on his first feature film this summer and has recently completed a producing program at The New York Film Academy in Hollywood, Los Angeles. Jay was previously shortlisted in Write Here, Write Now.

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Grace O’Donnell (Write Here, Write Now/ 3rd level finalist)

A 22-year-old student of Creative Writing, English and French from Ballybofey, Co. Donegal, Grace enjoys losing herself in the imaginary worlds of literature, enabling her to pretend that she doesn’t need to make real decisions about her future. Does the odd bit of singing under the stage name Grace Day, who after a few beverages, becomes Grace Night and engages in the shady activities that inspire Grace’s writing. Dislikes long walks on the beach because she perceives the ocean to be a treacherous abyss, much like life itself.

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Emer O'Hara (Write Here, Write Now/ 3rd level finalist)

Originally from Carrowmore Lacken, in the wilds of north Co. Mayo, Emer O'Hara is a recent graduate of English and History in UCD. She is a feminist, an actress and a poet. She is rarely found without an opinion, a cup of tea or a book. Emer's hopes for the future include the following: to write her first novel; to see Mayo lift the Sam Maguire; and to own a St. Bernard.

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Daniel Ryan (Write Here, Write Now/ 3rd level finalist)

A 23 year-old from Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, now in his final months as a student, Daniel hopes to pursue a career that allows him to take advantage of his two passions, music and writing. When he is supposed to be studying for his Public Relations degree he likes to procrastinate by listening to The National, Beach House and Sufjan Stevens, and reading authors like Philip K. Dick and Cormac McCarthy. He hopes someday to emulate his favourite artists in his own work.

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Caitríona O’Malley (Write Here, Write Now/ 3rd level finalist)

Caitríona O’Malley is a writer and blogger from the legendary badlands of Maynooth, Co. Kildare. She graduated with a Masters in Creative Writing from UCD, in December, 2017. Her favourite genre, as a writer, is humorous realism, which she has practiced to highly amusing effect on her often self-deprecating blog. She tells us that she bears her cross of being an undiscovered intellectual with good grace. We have no reason whatsoever to doubt her.

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Anna Stockdale (Write Here, Write Now/ 3rd level finalist)

From Newcastle in Co. Down, Anna is a 21 year-old student of English with Creative Writing, and an expert nap-taker. She has an unhealthy addiction to all things poetry. Her favourite poets include Mary Jean Chan, Paula Meehan and Bashō. She’s a big fan of body positivity, Thin Lizzy and fun facts. Her least favourite question: “So what are your future career plans?” Her favourite question: “Wanna spend the day watching Louis Theroux documentaries, eating ice-cream and having deep chats about life and poetry?”

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Amy Glover (Write Here, Write Now/ 3rd level finalist)

From Mountshannon in Clare, Amy is a 22 year-old student of English, who dreams of writing and/or becoming Richard Ayoade's second wife. Amy has been scribbling stories since she realised Biff and Chip books contained major plot holes. Interests include baking, knitting, and prematurely ageing. Amy has written nonfiction and fiction before, and has also run several embarrassing blogs with (she says) ‘the consistency of terrible porridge’. She is still waiting to become Jane Austen.

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Alanna MacNamee (Write Here, Write Now/ 3rd level finalist)

A professional daydreamer and mojito enthusiast from Limerick, Alanna is a firm believer in the motto 'Always have a siesta before the fiesta'. Her hobbies include dancing, reading, fighting the patriarchy and trying to convince her friends that reggaetón is the best music genre. She hates the cold and rain and is often to be found planning a great escape to the sun. In her spare time, Alanna studies English Literature at university.

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Niamh Lusson (Write Here, Write Now/ 2nd level finalist)

18-year-old Niamh Lusson firmly believes that with great Sonic-The-Hedgehog-blue hair comes an equally great responsibility to make your mark on the world. So, in order to leave said mark, she acts, writes, paints, sings, and reads young adult fantasy novels at every opportunity. As regards future plans, she hopes to study the Performing Arts in college. But more importantly, she wants to continue creative writing – and hopefully to learn that saving documents under the name ‘thingy’ is not clever.

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Vicky Burke (Write Here, Write Now/ 2nd level finalist)

Vicky Burke is seventeen years-old. “Although I often behave as if I were seven,” she adds. Her hobbies include drinking tea, continually blasting the entire soundtrack of Hamilton and caring for my two guinea pigs as if they were her children. She'd probably read anything handed to her but her favourite novelists include George Orwell and Vladimir Nabokov. Her dream is to be an author, but she’d also love to run her own animal sanctuary some day.

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Rachel O'Dwyer (Write Here, Write Now/ 2nd level finalist)

Rachel O'Dwyer is in fifth year in Borrisokane Community College. She’s a complete bookworm and will read anything from Dan Brown to Leigh Bardugo. She has always adored writing. She plays the violin with a School group and recently learned the Games Of Thrones tune on it. She sometimes go kayaking in the summer. Her favourite subjects are Irish and French. She lives for chocolate.

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Maolíosa Ní Léannacháin (Write Here, Write Now/ 2nd level finalist)

Maolíosa Ní Léannacháin describes herself as “your average, run of the mill teenager who spends far too much of her time scribbling down fragments of her imagination whilst drinking tea and listening to music.” She loves all things Irish: her curly hair, interest in playing the harp, love for “An Ghaeilge” and large family of eight all add to her very Celtic identity! She hopes to globe-trot, indulging in new cultures and learning many lingos along the way!..

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Rosa Thomas (Write Here, Write Now/ 2nd level finalist)

Rosa Thomas was born in South Africa, has parents from England and grew up in Ireland, making her ‘confused’. She likes the name Floyd and often thinks of starting a band called Blue Floyd or Red Floyd or something, but it probably wouldn't take off. She is passionate about writing and acting, and was recently selected for the Lir Junior Academy. Her other hobbies include masquerading as her twin sister – and tennis.

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Niamh Browne (Write Here, Write Now/ 2nd level finalist)

19 year-old Niamh Browne is the purveyor of terrible puns. Her dislikes include: things that don’t involve dogs or Horrible Histories. Special skills: can clap with one hand. Achievements include: debating stuff. Won best school’s speaker in Munster Philosoph competition 2017, and represented Munster in Cambridge Schools 2017. Once had a piece in The Guardian. Writing inspiration: James Blunt’s Twitter, books and other things with writing on them.

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Mairéad Melia (Write Here, Write Now/ 3rd level finalist)

From Loughrea, Co. Galway, Mairéad is a 19 year old who has wanted to be a famous writer since she was nine. She studies Creative Writing with English and French, enjoys karaoke, and binge watching videos of drag queens when she is meant to be working. Her guilty pleasure is country music: don't judge! Her favourite author growing up was Jacqueline Wilson. Mairead proudly has a signed copy of one of Jacqueline's books on her shelves.

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Laura Quinn (Write Here, Write Now/ 2nd level finalist)

A self-confessed ‘typical 16 year old’, Laura’s hobbies are watching Netflix and procrastinating over doing her homework. At 12, she had a story published in Bliss: she sincerely hopes that it never again sees the light of day. She plans to study journalism, sociology and politics. Her interests include dogs, painting, Billie Eilish and The 1975. At the weekend, she can usually be found with her friends, or re-reading Louise O'Neill's novels for the umpteenth time.

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Eleanor Curran (Write Here, Write Now/ 2nd level finalist)

As the only girl in the family, with three brothers ahead of her, Eleanor has always rebelled against the conventional ‘feminine’ culture. She has spent her life, thus far, using her poetry to express herself emotionally and socially. Her dream is to be able to help people with no more than ink on paper. She has always wanted to be a writer ­– especially since realising that being a sugar plum fairy princess is too much like hard work.

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Alva White (Write Here, Write Now/ 2nd level finalist)

Sixteen year old fact aficionado Alva White has a love of inky pens, hot chocolate and writing. She constantly invents new story ideas, not quite finishing them (she admits) before the next character appears. A fan of Shakespeare, Steinbeck and contemporary writers like Ali Shaw and Roddy Doyle, she devotes her spare time to eating, breathing and sleeping books. Otherwise, Alva confesses that she’s your typical teenage sloven!

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Katie Farrell (Write Here, Write Now/ 2nd level finalist)

16 year-old Katie is destined to spend her life with coffee-stained fingerprints and a sea of crumpled paper covering her room. She routinely “drives everyone mad” by blasting The Last Shadow Puppets, while her parents scream their lungs raw, trying to get her attention. But at the end of it all, she believes that her dedication will amount to something. Her favourite writers are Tania Unsworth and Roald Dahl.

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Fields Chung (Write Here, Write Now/ 2nd level finalist)

Fields is an 18-year-old, in his final year of secondary school. When not spending hours stuck to a computer screen, he can be found sleeping or listening to relaxed R&B. His favourite things are good conversation ­– and good friends. His next favourite thing is ice cream. Writers he admires include JK Rowling, Joy Williams, and George Saunders.

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Robert Gibbons (Write Here, Write Now/ 2nd level finalist)

An 18-year-old fuelled entirely by coffee and comedy podcasts, Robert Gibbons is currently on a stressful journey through the strange terrain of the Leaving Cert. Living in Meath provides space and silence to write, while boarding in The King’s Hospital provides a prime location for procrastination. He hopes to study English at third level. His hobbies include playing piano, reading and laughing on the bus alone, after remembering a joke.

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Patrick McCarron (Write Here, Write Now/ 2nd level finalist)

Patrick McCarron lives in the metropolis that is Co. Monaghan... He is currently trying to survive studying for the Leaving Cert. His interests vary from dog walking to writing poetry. His goal in life is to experience as much as possible – and to meet as many people as he can along the way. “I don’t have all of the answers,” he says, “but as Seamus Heaney said ‘If you have the words, there's always a chance that you'll find the way’.”

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Orán McCormack-Grant (Write Here, Write Now/ 2nd level finalist)

Orán has been child presenter, RTE Television roving reporter and also for a home-made science experiment with Science Phil. A sports nut, he enjoys Football, Soccer, Golf, Rugby, Basketball, Cycling, Running, Wake-Boarding, Water-Skiing, Swimming. He also enjoys reading, writing, music, movies and gaming. The authors who inspire him are David Walliams, Roald Dahl, Derek Landy, Eoin Colfer, E.R Murray and PJ. Lynch.

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Matthew Price (Write Here, Write Now/ 2nd level finalist)

A 17 year old whose hobbies outside of writing include acting, debating, and memorizing the lyrics of Bob Dylan and Kendrick Lamar, Matthew Price's love of music is matched only by his ineptitude with musical instruments. If the whole writing malarkey doesn't work out, a career in Human Rights advocacy is his ambitious Plan B. He uses fiction to satirise modern life, taking inspiration from his favourite authors: Orwell, Vonnegut, and Kafka.

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Dualtagh McDonnell (Write Here, Write Now/ 2nd level finalist)

A 17 year old who tries to paint all the world's different faces, no matter how dark or bright, through words, Dualtagh McDonnell's favourite colour is pink. He says he "would rather be punched in the face than follow the crowd". Favourite writers include Gabriel García Márquez, William Faulkner, Plath and Eliot. You'll usually find him drifting through space towards some violent fire, and he'll still be smiling.

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Luke Power (Write Here, Write Now/ 2nd level finalist)

An 18 year old from the West of Ireland with a love of music and writing, Luke enjoys the work of authors from Robin Hobb to Hillary Mantel and everything in between. The songwriting skills of Rory Gallagher and Nick Cave are a huge influence.Plays a bit of guitar and does a bit of writing, from songs to stories that try to articulate his experience of life.

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David Landers (Write Here, Write Now/ 2nd level finalist)

David Landers is a sixteen year-old, who admits that he spends most of his time procrastinating over school work – and listening to music or drawing. He enjoys writing stories, but he is also a visual artist. “My dream job would definitely be working as a tattoo artist,” he tells us. "I love letting my imagination flow while listening to bands like Neffex or Manafest.” We’ll have to try it out sometime!

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Conor Ryan (Write Here, Write Now/ 2nd level finalist)

An 18 year old ‘dude’, Conor is currently studying for the dreaded ‘leaving’. He is a member of both Complex Youth Theatre and YIFM. He writes for his school newspaper. Last year he was given the chance to report on Martin “stop staring at my eyebrows” Scorsese’s visit to Trinity College. His inspirations are Bob Dylan and Buster Keaton. His taste in music has been described as “jurrassic”. He is hoping to study Film in college next year.

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