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Calling all young writers! Share your travel adventures with Tourism NI

by • September 20, 2018 • Events, FeaturedComments (0)1629

With 2018 being the European Year of Cultural Heritage, Tourism NI, Department for Communities Historic Environment Division and partners have launched a new competition this week and are challenging creative young writers to share their travelling adventures of ‘How I explored Northern Ireland this year’.

For the chance to win exciting prizes and the coveted title of ‘Young Travel Writer 2018’, entrants are encouraged to share their thrilling and adventurous tales.

Writers are invited to draw on their creative skills to share their personal explorations with family and friends. Exploring NI during the summer, half-term holidays or at the weekends means there are plenty of opportunities to get inspired. Whether it be scaling the Mourne Mountains, enjoying a city break, taking in the views across the Coast or uncovering the history of one of NI’s ancient abbeys and castles, there are many stories to be told and memories to be made.

The competition will be split into five categories, with an expert judging panel featuring a host of literary and travelling talent reviewing the entries. The panel will include Glenn Patterson, novelist; Gemma O’Neill, illustrator and children’s author; Iain Greenway, Director of Historic Environment Division in the Department for Communities; novelist Sheena Wilkinson and travel expert and Lonely Planet author, Fionn Davenport. Each will judge one of the five categories, with four of the categories based on entrants’ ages. The fifth category will allow budding film producers to share the hidden gems of their adventures visually, in video format.

Rosemarie McHugh, Director of Product Development at Tourism NI, who will decide the overall winner and the Young Travel Writer of 2018, commented: “The Young Travel Writer competition is the perfect opportunity for young people to showcase their creative flair whilst also discovering the fantastic places to explore right on their doorstep. As this is the European Year of Cultural Heritage there is no better time to explore the iconic and hidden heritage gems across Northern Ireland.  We are excited to discover the many adventures young people are having across NI and explore the creative talent that they possess.”

Glenn Patterson, novelist and Young Travel Writers judge, commented: “I am delighted to be a part of the inaugural Young Travel Writers competition and look forward to exploring Northern Ireland through the short stories submitted to the competition. One of the keys to original writing is learning to look afresh. I can’t wait to find out what our talented young writers see when they turn their gazes – and their imaginations – on all that Northern Ireland has to offer, its towns and its cities as well as its extraordinary landscape.”

Iain Greenway, Director of Historic Environment Division in the Department for Communities expressed his support for this exciting competition. Iain said: “In heritage we learn to understand each other, and become the society we want to be. Our children learn the significance of their towns and villages. We live in places that exude atmosphere and character. We feel confident in our stories and enjoy the freedom to engage in and understand them. Therefore, I encourage as many young writers as possible to get involved, this is a great opportunity to show off your talent and perhaps win a fantastic prize!”

The competition is open to those from the ages of 6 to 16 years old and will close on Monday 5th November 2018. Entrants in each category are in with a chance to win a GoPro Hero 5, while the overall Young Travel Writer 2018 will win an exclusive weekend break at Blackhead Lightkeeper’s House with their family in Northern Ireland. Entries should be submitted to

PHOTO: Pictured (l-r) are budding young writers Hannah Carson, Anna Attwood, Oliver Poots, Mark Buchanan and James McCrum. For more information visit

To find out more about the competition, including entry categories and terms & conditions visit

To get inspiration for family breaks across Northern Ireland please visit



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