Budding travel writers urged to submit works for inaugural award

BUDDING young Dervla Murphys and Bill Brysons are to get the chance to display their talents at the country’s foremost travel-writing festival next month.

Lismore, Co Waterford native and award-winning travel writer Dervla Murphy received a second-hand bicycle at the age of 10 and decided a week later she would cycle to India on reaching adulthood — which she did.

Now the organisers of the Immrama Festival of Travel Writing have inaugurated an award for Teenage Travel Writing in her name.

Dervla Murphy’s first book, Full Tilt: From Ireland to India With a Bicycle, was published in 1965 and more than 20 other titles have followed including a highly-acclaimed autobiography, Wheels Within Wheels.

The Dervla Murphy Award for Teenage Travel Writing is open to Waterford teenagers aged between 13 and 18 years of age. Works of up to 500 words, which have not previously been printed or published, can be submitted for judging.

The award will be sponsored annually by Waterford County Library Service and the winning piece will be published online on the Library Service website.

County librarian Jean Webster said that they hoped this award will help launch the writing careers of talented young writers from Waterford city and county. “We are honoured that Dervla Murphy has agreed to lend her name to the award and we are very excited that the award will be presented as part of the Immrama Festival of Travel Writing.”

The teenage writers taking part in this inaugural award as part of this year’s Immrama Festival will be in good company as the programme of literary events includes audiences with top international travel writers Anthony Sattin and William Blacker, Conor O’Clery, Rolf Potts and Alex Von Tunzelmann.

Theo Dorgan and Sara Wheeler also feature on the diverse programme at the festival which runs from June 9 to 12.

Submission for the teenage travel writing competition must be accompanied by a completed entry form, that can be picked up from any Co Waterford library.

* lismoreimmrama.com and waterfordcountylibrary.ie


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