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The Cecil Day Lewis Literary Awards 2014

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | Ink Stains


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I have just been polishing up some of my poetry and a short story for entry into the Cecil Day Lewis Literary Awards.

Entries are invited from all primary and secondary schools in County Kildare. The competition consists of students entering under the various sections: – Short Story, Poetry and (One Act Play for secondary schools only). Students can submit one entry under each section if they wish.

Short stories must not be more than 2,000 words. Poems must not be more than 30 lines.

The Stories/Poems/One Act Play can be on any subject.

The competition, organised by Athy Heritage Centre-Museum, celebrates the connection between the celebrated poet and the South Kildare area. Trophies, Book tokens and Certificates are given to 1st, 2nd & 3rd in each category.  Highly commended certificates will also be awarded.

The closing date for entry no later than Tuesday 25th March 2014 and late entries will not be accepted.

This year’s award ceremony will take place on the evening of Thursday 8 May 2014.

Click here to download the entry form and to read the full list of terms and conditions. Entries are by post only so get your envelope and stamps at the ready.


Cecil Day-Lewis, born in 1904 was the son of a Church of Ireland Minister, then living in Ballinturbbert House, Athy, Co. Kildare. He was educated in Sherborne  School and then Wadham College, Oxford.

He was a schoolmaster until 1935 and during that time his restless intellect led him into writing detective fiction. He wrote under the pen name Nicholas Blake, introducing the detective Nigel Strangeways in A Question of Proof, which was followed by twenty popular and successful stories.

Given the political and social turmoil between the wars years, like many intellectuals of his day, he leaned more and more towards Marxism, joining the Communist party in 1936. He edited the Socialist Symposium the Mind in Chains, which took place in 1937.

His frequent broadcasts were a joy to him and he enjoyed giving recitals and lectures in schools and colleges. He sat on committees, judged awards and his enthusiasm embraced children’s stories for radio and he wrote a number of children’s’ books including the popular Poetry for You.

His pride in accomplishment and his craft in the writing of poetry and prose make him an excellent example for aspiring writers. It is good to know that his talents survive in his sons Sean and Daniel and his daughter Tamasin, who spend considerable time in Ireland.

C.D Lewis was Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 1951-1956. A talented and humorous man, he wrote in An Italian Visit, parodies on poets ranging from Hardy to Dylan Thomas. His autobiography was published in 1960 and in 1966, he was awarded Poet Laureate.

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