Where are we now???
Dear authors, teachers, parents and Write a book Project contributors,
The end of this year’s Project came on Monday 27 th April, in a ceremony that saw four hundred and six children receiving medals and plaques in representation of 7,976 children who wrote wonderful stories and poems. The world has been wondering for centuries how a comparatively small island like Ireland has made such a disproportionately large contribution to world literature. If people only knew what has been achieved only in our local schools they would understand! Ireland can be proud of all its writers: past, present and future!
Mary Mitchell O’Connor gave again her time to be with us on this occasion. This year we also had the honour of having Joe Prendergast present the awards. Joe got a Write a book Merit Award in 2012, and has not stopped writing since. Finishing primary school this year, he has already published a trilogy about the Great Fragola Brothers, Italy's most famous magicians, and their travels and adventures. Joe’s personal story is a wonderful example of the power of words, books and love of reading. His books can be bought in local Dubray bookshops and online, or rented from http://www.emuink.ie. This is the speech he delivered:
First of all I would like to thank "Write a Book" and the Blackrock Education Centre for inviting me here today to present these Awards. I have very happy memories of coming here to receive my awards , all the excitement of receiving acknowledgment for what I had written and I always loved reading everyone else’s books , wishing I’d thought of that idea, that title. The last time I was here was three years ago and it is a very special memory for me. It was also one of the last things I did with my Dad. He died just 3 weeks later of cancer. It was then I decided to write a book in his memory and so "The Great Fragola Brothers" came about.
Writing books is a lot of fun, but it is also a lot of hard work. Three groups of people have gone into the process that I think should be acknowledged today. Firstly, your teachers. They have taught all the words, the grammar, the vocabulary and the confidence to write and I think you should give them a big round of applause.
Secondly, your parents. They have nurtured your love of words by both reading to you and with you over the years. They have encouraged you by visiting libraries and buying books for you, and they too deserve a round of applause.
But no book gets written without the writer, the author, without you. So I think you should give yourselves and those sitting with you a big, big clap.
Since finishing the Great Fragola Trilogy, people keep asking me what I’m writing now, what’s the next book about. To be honest I’m finding it really difficult to come up with an idea. But last year at a book festival I got a great piece of advice from a well-known author. He said when you are "between books" you should do 3 things:
1. Keep reading;
2. Keep reading; and
3. Keep reading!
So, that’s what I intend to do, keep reading, including your wonderful books which were displayed at the back of the room. Well done and congratulations!
16th April 2015
These are the figures for 2015:
Total of books written: 6,859
Total of participating children: 7,976
Total of participating teachers: 345
Total of participating schools: 63
The invitations to the authors are in the post. Details of ceremony as follows: