12 Aug 2022

Waterford festival to discover Ireland's youngest travel writers

Waterford festival to discover Ireland's youngest travel writers

Waterford festival to discover Ireland's youngest travel writers

A writing competition aimed at discovering Ireland’s best young travel writers has been announced by the organisers of the Immrama Festival of Travel Writing, which is set to take place in the heritage town of Lismore in Waterford this June 12 to 16, 2019.

Young writers are now invited to enter the fourth annual Immrama Young Travel Writers Competition. The competition is open to primary and secondary school students who are now invited to submit entries based on the theme of ‘Letters to Home’; Secondary school level students in the form of 500 word short stories and Primary school level students (5th & 6th class) a 250-word ‘Postcard to Home’.

Judges for the competition include Stephen Kavanagh, CEO of Aer Lingus, Debbie Byrne, MD of An Post, Pól O'Conghaile award-winning Travel Writer and Phil Cottier, CEO of The CX Collection. The winner's piece will be published in Aer Lingus Cara Magazine and the prizes include a Chromebook and an Amazon voucher worth €100 for students and a voucher one-night bed and breakfast in Cliff House Hotel for the winning student's teachers. The closing date for competition entries is May 17, 2019. Submissions can be made via

The 17th annual Lismore Immrama Festival of Travel Writing has a stellar reputation for celebrating and sharing world-class travel writing and the 2019 festival line-up offers another all-star line up of internationally renowned writers and broadcasters with a keynote address from Coast’s Neil Oliver and Adventurer Sarah Outen and the host of the annual literary breakfast is Author Rosita Boland.

Neil Oliver will speak at the festival on Saturday afternoon, June 15. The archaeologist, historian, author and broadcaster Neil has travelled and explored every corner of Great Britain, most famously through hosting eight series of the BBC Two programme Coast.

Hosting her keynote address at 8 pm on June 15th Sarah Outen, who is the first woman and the youngest person to row solo across the Indian Ocean and also the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Alaska British athlete and adventurer Sarah Dilys Outen MBE FRGS. Sarah has traversed oceans alone in tiny rowing boats, spending months in solitude; has biked continents in extreme seasons and kayaked remote island chains and she has written two books ‘A Dip in the Ocean' and 'Dare to Do' and her film 'Home' of her London2London: Via the World journey releases this year.

Earlier on Saturday one of the founding members of De Dannan Charlie Piggott will be discussing music and travel. The always ‘hot ticket’ event, the literary breakfast on Sunday morning June 16 will be hosted by the multi-award-winning journalist and author Rosita Boland. Rosita is widely travelled and her book of essays, Elsewhere; one woman, one rucksack, one lifetime of travel, will be published by Doubleday this May 2019.

To open the festival on Wednesday, a screening of the documentary ‘Congo – An Irish Affair’ will take place; a poignant study of the Irish-led 1961 UN peacekeeping mission to Katanga. On Thursday, June 13 author Dr Robyn Rowland will share personal stories, exploring war, change, family and friendship – in Ireland, Turkey, the Balkans and Australia. On Friday, June 14, journalist and author Lerato Mogoatlhe who has been writing about Africa for more than 10 years Lerato Mogoatlhe will share tales from her book ‘Vagabond’.

Workshops, free speaker events and fringe are also on offer; for full details and for festival tickets, see or call (058) 53803.

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