Africa Day 2017 writing competition announced by Irish Aid and The Irish Times

8th March 2017

Irish Aid and The Irish Times have joined up again to promote aspiring, emerging and established writers, to celebrate Africa Day 2017! The short story and poetry competition, which is in its third year, seeks to discover new writing talent, as well as showcase established writers. Interested? Here’s how to get involved:

Writers are invited to submit a short story or poem with an African theme, set in either Ireland or Africa. The Irish Times and Irish Aid are looking for entries in three categories:

  • Primary school (maximum word count 250 words)
  • Secondary school (maximum word count 1,000 words)
  • Adult (maximum word count 2,000 words)

Submissions for all categories can be made via email to, putting “Writing Competition” in the subject line, or by post to “Africa Day Writing Competition, DHR Communications, 80 Francis Street, Dublin 8”. Submissions for the adult and secondary school category must be typed. Entries for the primary school category may be handwritten.

The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 3rd May 2017. Winners will be chosen by a panel made up of representatives from Irish Aid and The Irish Times. The winning entries will be published on on Sunday, 21st May, the same day as the flagship Africa Day event in Dublin. Winners will receive a selection of books to the value of €50 each. There will also be a photographic presentation at The Irish Times.

Welcoming the announcement of the 2017 competition, Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh TD said: “Irish Aid is delighted to partner with The Irish Times once again for the Africa Day 2017 short story and poetry competition, and to showcase the creative writing of Irish and African writers who are telling stories about the diverse culture and traditions of Africa and their links with Ireland. Celebrating Africa’s culture in this way helps to shine a light on the growing connections between Ireland and Africa.’’

Books Editor of The Irish Times, Martin Doyle said: “The Irish Times is delighted to team up with Irish Aid again to provide a platform for a new generation of storytellers and poets. The competition has proved to be extremely popular in previous years and I look forward to seeing the entries this year. The Africa Day short story and poetry competition presents an ideal opportunity to showcase African culture and to explore being African in Ireland or Africa itself.”

Read the winning entries from 2016 and 2015.

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