A creative schoolboy from Donegal has been named as a finalist in the Irish libraries national Summer Stars short story competition.
John McLoone caught judges’ attention with his imaginative unexpected adventure story called ‘Planet Fruit’.
The competition, part of the annual Right to Read programme which took place in public libraries and online all last year, saw entries from hundreds of young people from across the country. The winning stories, on the theme of ‘An Unexpected Adventure’ can all be read online at www.summerstars.ie
The winners from each age category will receive a tablet and have a bespoke book cover for their story designed by author and illustrator, Alan Nolan. Each finalist will receive a €50 voucher and will be invited to take part in an online author event for their age category, organised in partnership with O’Brien Press.
The competition was judged by bestselling authors Judi Curtin, Alan Nolan and Sarah Webb who were blown away by the talent and creativity of the young writers. Award-winning Children’s writer Sarah Webb said “Well done to all the entrants. The standard was extremely high and it was very hard to pick a winner.”
The aim of the competition was to encourage all children to enjoy the creativity of writing and express their thoughts and ideas in their own unique voice. The stories were fun, clever and exciting, inspired by friendship, coronavirus, love and loss and bursting with colourful imagination.
Alongside the short story competition, the Summers Stars programme saw libraries organise online storytimes for children of all ages, books reviews by young people, recommended reading lists, and reading resources for families to enjoy at home. Despite facing challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, library staff rose to the occasion to find innovative ways of spreading the joy of reading to young library members again this year.