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Concern creative writing competition launched

To mark the 40th  anniversary of Concern, an annual creative writing competition for students aged 13 to 18 in Ireland, the UK and US is being launched.  Michael Doorly, head of development education explains here:

We chose to name the competition after the highly acclaimed Anglo-Irish author Cecil Woodham-Smith (1896-1977) author of ‘”The Great Hunger”.  The Irish Times said of her in its obituary notice on 17 March 1977 that; “Cecil Woodham-Smith was one of the most gifted biographers and narrative historians of her generation. She displayed an attention to detail, a flair for story-telling, and an historical and human intelligence that set her work apart. In life as in scholarship and literature Cecil Woodham-Smith was a perfectionist, content only with the highest standards. A good lecturer and most entertaining in conversation, she was sharply witty in speech, but sympathetic and generous in action, especially to her fellow writers and to young people.”

Her writing on hunger and war, as well as on great humanitarians such as Florence Nightingale, make her a fitting choice for the issues that Concern continues to deal with today.

In this our inaugural year, we are asking students to write an essay or short story entitled “A world without hunger” by imagining it is the year 2058 and that they have been asked by one of their grandchildren about the greatest human achievement that has taken place in the past 50 years. Without hesitation the response comes; “it was the year that hunger was finally ended?”

The grand prize for the competition is to meet Kofi Annan at an International Conference on Hunger organised by Concern in October of this year. Other prizes will include laptops, iPods and magazine subscriptions.

It is our hope that by holding this competition we will encourage students to reflect on and write about some of the great issues facing our world today. We look forward to receiving many creative essays and short stories that give us a glimpse into a not too distant future where we live in “A world without hunger.”

For details of the competition log onto