Hallelujah! The first bit of good news is that Write Here, Write Now 2018 received an incredible response, with students all over the island entering in huge numbers.
That made the job of the judges a very difficult one – but, in truth, we wouldn’t have it any other way!
The second bit of good news is that, as the voluminous entries were sifted, read, re-read and sorted, we were made aware once again of the fantastic wealth of extraordinary young writing talent that exists throughout the land – and especially among Hot Press readers!
And so the time has come to announce the names, across both second and third level, of those 40 (41 actually – there was a tie!) writers who have come through the most rigorous scrutiny, and are still in the running for the top prizes.
The panel of judges in 2018 includes some of the most eminent writers living in Ireland, incuding the Booker Prize winner DBC Pierre, award-winning poet Rita Anne Higgins, crime writer extraordinaire Tana French and recent winner of the Goldsmiths Prize, Mike McCormack, as well as Hot Press’ own senior editorial figures, Niall Stokes, Stuart Clark and Máirín Sheehy.
• Run in conjunction with the Creative Ireland Programme, and supported by Canon and PayPal, Write Here, Write Now 2018 has as its theme Social Media: A Writer’s Tale. Entrants were invited to explore the many ways in which social media can make us laugh, cry, shudder or throw our hands in the air – whether that be via an unexpected “like” on Facebook, a tweet that cuts deep, an Instagram that reduces us to tears or a WhatsApp message gone wrong.
One of the key objectives of the Creative Ireland Programme is to nurture new creative talent, making the organisation a perfect partner in this project for Hot Press, which has been doing just that for many years!
After a lot of soul searching, much debate and plenty of agonising, 41 entries were eventually shortlisted between the 2nd Level and 3rd Level strands of Write Here, Write Now. Below, you can read all of the entries from the talented young writers and simply share your favourite article to have your say in who will be presented with the special Write Here Write Now Readers' Award.