This is the final week of our creative writing competition!  

We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who took part. We were delighted with the huge response and the calibre of writing we received.

Here are the winners for week 7 of our competition:

CATEGORY 1: Previously Published Writers:

Poem, Mary Anne Smith by Valerie Bryce

Mary Anne Smith


Mary Anne Smith, pea shooter, knocker upper

And infamous interrupter of dreams

On London’s East Side Streets

In the 1930’s. 

Pulled on her shoes at 3am each morning

Toes upturned

And with her tools of trade in hand

Entered into the dark.


Soot sodden air and brick 

Housing worker’s wrapped in sleep 

Street lamps yellow glow 

Illuminates the theatre below

Mary-her cardigan pockets sagging

With dried out peas

Unfurls herself majestically

Poised like a Greek goddess

Assumes the formidable grace

Of actors she would never see.


Hand on hip, instrument to lips

A stance unique to one of her station 

Looks upwards, blows and pip, pip, pip

The warmest sound 

To rouse the human cogs 

Of the industrial revolution.


Was it imagination 

Drove her stoic will to persevere?

Fantasies of what went on

Behind the panes of glass?

Whole tenement blocks of trains to be caught

Factories and marketplaces to be filled

Town houses full of lover’s embraces

To be detangled. 


And Mary at the centre of it all

Fraying the edges of dreams

Their threads unravelling

Into patches

Like the cuffs of her sleeves.  

Announcing a new dawn

Though fourteen of her sixteen children dead

Her diligence and pride earned her 6 pence a week 

Morning angel of the East Side streets

Held together at the seams

Bravely heralding the sunlight up ahead. 





CATEGORY 2:  Unpublished writers

Our winner is Anne McDonald with poem, Three Hours Out

Three Hours Out

We got the call three hours out to sea

I know that we were thinking all the same

I wonder is it him or is it me? 

We had no choice but wait the hours out

with endless cigarettes and cups of tea,

too harsh for crackling radio to explain

I hope that it was them and wasn’t me.


We made talk so small it meant nothing;

the haul we got, the time we lost the nets,

and when I won the each way bet

but still the time dragged every minute single

out of three excruciating hours, coated in

the sour smell of oilskins mixed with salt.


I listed all the possibles for heartache

knowing each man counted out the same.

Was the family affected theirs or was it ours?

Strong men rendered naked in the rain.

As we turned for home and braced against the wind

a small crowd gathered silent on the quay,

my head spun somewhere between fear and hope 

I wished that it was them and wasn’t me. 


Our hearts broke for the man whose news it was,

as hands reached down to haul him from the deck,

words whispered on the winds were “cot” and “death.”

Feeling glad then sickened with the shame,

but knowing it was not my news to claim.

We got the call three hours out to sea

I wished it wasn’t him, that it was me.


Remembering Baby Ryan Minto, born April 18th, 1996 and died on the night of his Mammy’s birthday in June 1996, aged 9 1/2 weeks.  See


CATEGORY 3: Young writers

Poem The Ballad of  The Seasons by Ava Harrison (10yrs)

The Ballad of The Seasons

Yellow Springtime. 

Cute, flourishing lambs, The magical new life, at

the start of a wonderful year. The viridescent

leaves of the weeping willow trees, Egg filled

nests with pollen in the air, Making people

wheeze and sneeze away. Beautiful dew drops,

falling from the lushious rain showers, to

naturally water the plants that we will later

harvest. New puppies, kittens, calves, goat kids

with little hooves, jumping around in the green

fields, shaking off the winter feelings and

springing into the springtime. Patterned

butterflies and stripy bees, And the fluffy chicks,

yellow as cheese. 

The Summer Green. 

The soft, sandy beaches. Swimming in the

pool, The aquatic blue. Jumping over

waves, splashing in the water, fluid motions 

of the sea, ripples in the ocean as the tide

comes in excited, running free. Cotton

candy clouds in the skies. A cascade of

green and blue flowing around the rock

pools. Dribbling ice cream melting with the

heat, and waves surrounding my feet. 

The salty air fills the land with a fresh, new and wonderful

smell. Seagulls, feathered frenzies of chaos, cawing and

stalking your fish and chips. 

Orange Autumn Leaves. 

Halloween approaching, Fallen leaves of orange,

brown, red and green, leave trees to freeze. Say

goodbye to longer days, the night now longer, stays.

The air, now colder, makes us wear thicker layers. The

leaves crunch underfoot as you walk across the

frost-glazed concrete. The misty mysteriousness, and

the sticky, delicious toffee apples. Jack ‘O lanterns

illuminate the empty street, with a hint of blue inside

their smiles. Forest animals begin their long slumber

until the blossoms bloom again. 

The Cold, Blue Winter. 

Winter winds blow, Children wishing for snow. The stocky evergreen leaves, with pines on them that smell radiant. Protecting the squirrels above and the small foxes, badgers and mice that live or hibernate below, the deer munching loudly on the leaves and bark, having a winter snack. Cozy, dark, colder days, when the sun does come, it sheds a dim glow, rays of light bring us a short day, and subsequently, the longer night. Shooting stars in the clear, moonlit skies. Nights sat in, watching festive movies, full of cheer. Sipping hot-chocolate. Feeling lucky to be sheltered in the colder times. Billowing chimneys, full of smokey grey clouds, that float upwards and upwards, dissipating into thin air. 

A robin sitting on a glimmering branch with a dash of snow. Snowflakes, those small masterpieces perfected by nature

itself. Blankets, stories and candy-canes. Twinkling lights,

natural or not, are beautiful in their own way. And giving

presents, and seeing the look on peoples faces, full of joy

when they see the gift you put effort into choosing or making

for them. 

The seasons are so beautiful,

They make me feel so

wonderful, They all have

special and unique qualities,

Just like each of us. 


Congratulations to  the winners of our Week 7 Creative Writing competition.  You will be receiving a €50 One4all voucher and a book voucher from our partner, Books on the Green, Sandymount. 

We will be running more competitions soon so please check our website and social media posts for updates and we will continue creating podcasts narrated by Anne Doyle. 

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