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Hot Press/One City One Book Writing Competition

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The Barrytown Trilogy by Roddy Doyle is the Dublin: One City, One Book choice for 2015. Published by Vintage, the trilogy focuses on the Rabbitte family and is made up of The Commitments (1987), The Snapper (1990) and Man Booker Prize nominee, The Van (1991).

Over the years, Hot Press has nurtured some of Ireland’s finest creative talent in music, literature, writing and journalism. Now, as part of the capital city’s celebration of one of the great modern Dublin sagas, Hot Press, in association with Dublin City Libraries and Dublin: One City, One Book, has launched a major national writing competition, the aim of which is to uncover the very best new, student writing talent in the country. The competition is also supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and by Eason.

What’s Required

For his three novels, Roddy Doyle invented a suburb on the north side of Dublin and called it Barrytown.

The challenge in this unique writing competition is to create, in a similar way, an imaginary new place, as the location for a piece of creative writing. We want you, in not more than 500 words, to set the scene; describe the surroundings; create a sense of the environment and its people; to capture the language they use; or otherwise – in whatever way you like – to tell enough of a story to draw readers in and to evoke the special qualities, or atmosphere, of your own imaginatively constructed local area.

SnapperThere are no limits as to where, when, in what era – or indeed galaxy! – your entry should be set. Nor indeed about what form your written entry can take. Set your vision out, in whatever way you think works best – as prose, poetry, rap, cartoon, autobiography or an extract from a film script!

To decide the winners, our esteemed panel of judges will adjudicate as to which of these imaginary worlds is best, and most effectively, described or evoked!

The Judges

Our special panel of writing experts will include Booker Prize winning author Roddy Doyle, IMPAC Award winner, Kevin Barry, Rooney Prize winner Claire Kilroy, composer and songwriter Julie Feeney and Hot Press Edtor Niall Stokes (as pictured left to right below). The full list of judges will be announced next issue. Entries will be judged on the quality of the writing, as well as their originality, interest and entertainment value.

Category 1:

The-VanSecond Level –
Two Overall Winners

This is open to Leaving Certificate students (5th & 6th Year) or equivalent.
• There will be one Male Winner and one Female Winner
• Both winners will be invited for a two-week internship in HP central.

Category 2:

Third Level –
Two Overall Winners

This is open to students at 3rd Level colleges.
• There will be one Male Winner and one Female Winner
• Both winners will be invited for a four-week internship in HP central.

(Category 2 is also open to those who have completed their third level education in the last 12 months.)


These FOUR WINNERS will win an internship in Hot Press, during the spring or summer of 2015. Plus, they’ll receive a €250 cash prize, a Certificate of Achievement from WRITE HERE, WRITE NOW and other great prizes. They’ll also have their winning entry published in a special issue of Hot Press, a significant achievement that will greatly enhance the CV of any young writer.

There Will Be Even More Winners Too…

But wait! There’s more good news! Even if you don’t make the top four, there’s a still a chance to come away with some marvellous booty – and to set yourself on the road to writing full-time! Four runners-up, one from each province, will be selected in both Second Level and Third Level categories, to receive special prizes. And there will also be prizes for ten additional runners-up – amounting to 22 lucky winners in all. Please note that there is no entry fee – this brilliant opportunity is open to everyone!

So, what are you waiting for? The closing date for completed entries is February 14, 2015.

Click here to find out more and to enter

  • www.designforwriters.com
  • allianceindependentauthors.org

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