Event to be held May 21 in Dublin
By Ada Anioji
With the close of the deadline for the receipt of submissions for the Africa Day story and poetry writing contest in Dublin, Ireland, there is presently an anxious wait for the release of the names of winners of the 2017 edition of the annual competition.
Like in previous years, Irish Aid and The Irish Times have joined up again to promote aspiring, emerging and established writers, to celebrate the day. The short story and poetry competition, which is in its third year, seeks to discover new writing talent, as well as showcase established writers.
Writers were invited to submit a short story or poem with an African theme, set in either Ireland or Africa and entries in three categories:
Primary school (maximum word count 250 words)
Secondary school (maximum word count 1,000 words)
Adult (maximum word count 2,000 words)
Submissions for all categories were made via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, putting “Writing Competition” in the subject line, or by post to “Africa Day Writing Competition, DHR Communications, 80 Francis Street, Dublin 8”. And while submissions for the adult and secondary school category had to typed, entries for the primary school category could be handwritten.
The closing date for submissions was Wednesday, 3rd May 2017 and winners are being chosen by a panel made up of representatives from Irish Aid and The Irish Times. The winning entries will be published on www.irishtimes.com on Sunday, 21st May, the same day as the flagship Africa Day event in Dublin and winners will receive a selection of books to the value of €50 each. There will also be a photographic presentation at The Irish Times.
Welcoming the announcement of the 2017 competition, Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh TD said: “Irish Aid is delighted to partner with The Irish Times once again for the Africa Day 2017 short story and poetry competition, and to showcase the creative writing of Irish and African writers who are telling stories about the diverse culture and traditions of Africa and their links with Ireland. Celebrating Africa’s culture in this way helps to shine a light on the growing connections between Ireland and Africa.’’
On his part, the Books Editor of The Irish Times, Martin Doyle said: “The Irish Times is delighted to team up with Irish Aid again to provide a platform for a new generation of storytellers and poets. The competition has proved to be extremely popular in previous years and I look forward to seeing the entries this year. The Africa Day short story and poetry competition presents an ideal opportunity to showcase African culture and to explore being African in Ireland or Africa itself.”
Africa Day, which is commemorated annually all across Africa, and notably by the black diaspora, is marked to commemorate the founding of the first modern supranational organisation in the continent, the Organisation of African Unity, OAU at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on May 25, 1963. At least six African states currently also celebrate ‘the day of reflection’ as a national holiday. Thety include Ghana, The Gambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
On that day also in Lagos, Nigeria, The Difference Newspaper is hosting a Colloquium on the theme, ‘One Continent, One People: Making the All-Africa Passport work’