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WINNERS ANNOUNCED
Awards Ceremony at UCC's Aula Maxima

Over 200 entries from 40 secondary schools across Cork and Kerry were in the running for the top prizes in our first Young Writers Awards – #WriteForHome in partnership with the Irish Examiner.

The competition aimed to discover writing and storytelling talent among the student community; it succeeded in giving students a voice in tackling one of the biggest social issues of our times: the housing and homelessness crisis.

A panel of judges – authors Kathy D’Arcy and Tadhg Coakley, Irish Examiner News Editor John O’Mahony, and Cork Simon’s Head of Housing and Support Services Kerry Brennan, reviewed all of the entries and selected five awardees.

Award-winning author and Irish Examiner columnist, Louise O’Neill announced the winners and presented students with their awards at a prize-giving ceremony in UCC’s Aula Maxima on Saturday 11 May 2019.

OVERALL WINNER
'Music is the medicine of the mind' by Caitlin Canavan O'Driscoll

The judging panel selcted Caitlin Canavan O’Driscoll’s poem, ‘Music is the medicine of the mind’, as the overall winner of #WriteForHome 2019.

A student of Mount Saint Michael in Rosscarbery, Caitlin is hoping to pursue a career in journalism. Her teacher at Mount Saint Michael is Sheila Jennings. Caitlin received the top prize of a laptop and her poem has been published in the Irish Examiner.

Pictured at the Awards Ceremony at UCC’s Aula Maxima are Caitlin; Kathy D’Arcy, Kerry Brennan and Tadhg Coakley – members of the judging panel; Cllr Mary Shields – Deputy Lord Mayor; Louise O’Neill – author and Irish Examiner columnist.

Read ‘Music is the medicine of the mind’ by Caitlin Canavan O’Driscoll HERE.

FIRST RUNNER-UP
'Angie's Diary' by Olivia Payne

The judging panel selected Olivia Payne’s entry, ‘Angie’s Diary’, as the first runner-up of #WriteForHome 2019.

A student of Cork Learning Support Services, Olivia’s teacher is Derek O’Gorman.

Olivia was unable to join us at the Awards Ceremony at UCC’s Aula Maxima; her mother accepted the award on her behalf on the day.

Read ‘Angie’s Diary’ by Olivia Payne HERE.

SECOND RUNNER-UP
'Heavy Red Door' by Christopher Forrest

The judging panel selected Christopher Forrest’s entry, ‘Heavy Red Door’, as the second runner-up of #WriteForHome 2019.

A student of Douglas Community School, Christopher also wants to pursue a career in journalism.

Pictured at the Awards Ceremony at UCC’s Aula Maxima are Christopher receiving his award from Louise O’Neill – author and Irish Examiner columnist.

Read ‘Heavy Red Door’ by Christopher Forrest HERE.

FIRST MERIT
'Street' by Amy O'Toole

The judging panel selcted Amy O’Toole’s entry, ‘Street’, as the first merit in #WriteForHome 2019.

A student of Schull Community School, Amy’s teacher is Julie MacMahon.

‘Street’ is one of three poems to receive an award.

Amy was unable to join us at the Awards Ceremony at UCC’s Aula Maxima; her class mate, Caragh accepted the award on her behalf on the day.

Read ‘Street’ by Amy O’Toole HERE.

SECOND MERIT
'Homelessness' by Caragh Cifone

The judging panel selcted Caragh Cifone’s entry, ‘Homelessness’, as the second merit in #WriteForHome 2019.

A student of Schull Community School, Caragh’s teacher is also Julie MacMahon.

Pictured at the Awards Ceremony at UCC’s Aula Maxima are Caragh with her dad receiving her award from Louise O’Neill – author and Irish Examiner columnist.

Read ‘Homelessness’ by Caragh Cifone HERE.

THANK YOU

Thanks to the Irish Examiner for supporting our first Young Writers Awards competition – #WriteForHome.

Thanks to Anna Foster and Phil Touhy at Limelight Media for creating the branding and other materials for #WriteForHome.

Thanks to UCC for making Aula Maxima available to us for the Awards Ceremony.

Thanks to the judging panel – Kerry Brennan, Tadhg Coakley, Kathy D’Arcy and John O’Mahony for their time and expertise in reviewing all of the entries and choosing the winers.

Thanks to all the authors who created video blogs throughout the school year, offering tips and advice to students – Paul Casey, Kathy D’Arcy, Gabriel Fitzmaurice and Louise O’Neill.

Thanks to Louise O’Neill for supporting #WriteForHome, and presenting the awards.

A big Thank You to all the writers and schools throughout Cork and Kerry that participated in #WriteForHome 2019.

Cork Simon in Schools

Cork Simon Community has 25 years’ experience of working with students in primary, secondary and third level education. Our Education Sector Co-ordinator works with students at all levels to help build an understanding of one of the biggest social crises in a generation: the housing and homeless crisis. We believe everyone has a role to play in fighting homelessness.

Our Education Sector Co-ordinator visits students in their schools, working with them to build social awareness and good citizenship, and offering plenty of ideas and opportunities on how they can be part of the solution to the housing and homeless crisis. We use a variety of tools, activities and projects that students can participate in, building their awareness of the causes of homelessness and in many cases offering students opportunities to be actively involved in tackling homelessness.