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Winner of AIS Alumni Creative Writing Competition Announced

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | Wordspark


Romana Semler has been unanimously selected as the winner of the 2022 All Ireland Scholarships Alumni (AISA) Creative Writing Competition by a star-studded judging panel for her short story ‘Stringing The Bow’.

The competition, sponsored by JP McManus, was open to all 1,500 All Ireland Scholarship winners, where eight candidates were selected as the finalists.

Romana, a 2011 All Ireland Scholarship recipient from Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim will be presented €1,000 prize money with runners-up James John O’Connor from Longford, Katie Lockhart from Antrim and Claire O’Brien from Cork each set to receive €500.

The Competition judging panel, chaired by Professor Sarah Moore Fitzgerald of UL included Ireland’s first Prix Jean Monnet winner, Donal Ryan, acclaimed writer Kerri ní Dochartaigh and poet Alice Kinsella, the 2021 winner of the writing award.

Entrants could submit up to three stories of 2,000 words or less each in fiction and non-fiction categories based on any theme or subject matter.

On the winning entry, the judges said: Stringing The Bow is a subtly abstracted story, with an arresting opening and an attention to detail that makes it shine.” 

“It’s so difficult to capture a child’s voice authentically and consistently, but the voice in this piece is utterly true, and never slips. This is a story composed by a writer of clear talent, replete with startling images and language that’s full of music and flow.  

“From its first line right up to its unforgettable closing passage, it is a searing, virtuosic work.” 

All Ireland Scholarships sponsor, JP McManus, said: “We’re delighted to announce this year’s winner of the creative writing award and to congratulate Romana on her extraordinary short story and to commend the runners up on their achievement. 

“Now in its second year, the competition has attracted incredible writing talent and we’d like to sincerely thank Prof Sarah Moore Fitzgerald and the judges for giving their time and expertise to ensuring its success.”    

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