Siobhan Halligan (second year, Mount St Michael Secondary School, Claremorris ) and Catherine King (second year, Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Crossmolina ) are both finalists in the 2013 John West Fantasy Writing Competition – and they are competing against each other in the same category. It is an impressive achievement for both girls as the competition attracted more than 11,000 entries this year.
Students nationwide were asked to write a short story in the fantasy and science fiction genre based on the theme ‘Under the Sea’. There are three categories – primary (5/6th class ), junior secondary (1st – 3rd year ) and senior secondary (transition year/4-6th year ). Siobhan and Catherine are shortlisted in the Junior Secondary category.
Siobhan’s story is called Trapped while Catherine’s is The Storm. Siobhan’s teacher at Mount St Michael is Evelyn O’Connor and Catherine’s teacher at Jesus and Mary is Miss Lyons.
The three category winners and overall winner of the John West Fantasy Writing Competition will be announced at a ceremony in Dublin on Monday, April 29.
The overall winner will receive a tablet PC and a meeting with an Irish literary agent plus a trip for his/her entire class to their nearest RNLI station (John West has a partnership with the RNLI ). Each of the three category winners will get an iPod Touch. The first 300 entrants to the competition receive a selection of fantasy novels from the main competition judge, Dr Frank Ryan, who is a doctor and best-selling author, and there is also a weekend away for the teacher of the winning entry.