Two Mayo pupils used their love of science fiction, imagination, and top writing skills to beat off competition from some 10,000 budding novelists and claim a finalist place in the 2014 John West Fantasy Writing Competition.
Danny Newcombe, a sixth class student from Cooneal National School, Ballina, and Emily Nolan, a fifth-year student at Davitt College, Springfield, Castlebar, are both through to the final 21 writers remaining in the competition.
For this year’s competition, students nationwide were asked to write a short story in the fantasy and science fiction genre with the theme ‘A Wild Adventure’.
Danny is shortlisted in the fifth and sixth class primary category for the story ‘Crashed’, which is set in the hills of 1942 war-torn Germany a week after a plane crash.
The story focuses on sole survivor and pilot, David, who was born on a Native American reservation and who, when hunting for food, battles with a mountain cat for the prize - a rabbit.
Danny’s teacher is Martha O’Shaughnessy.
Emily’s story is shortlisted in the senior secondary category. ‘Run for Your Money’ tells the story of a scam involving the storyteller, Liz and her friend, Jet, who sell and re-sell the same horse, all the while pursued by ‘scathes’ - ruthless trackers with black eyes. But Liz is also fighting another battle - against her ability to control minds.
Emily’s teacher is Veronica Morley.
The final of the competition will be held on Wednesday May 14 at The Mansion House, Dublin, and the overall winner will receive a tablet PC and a meeting with an Irish literary agent.