independent

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Spookiest scribes

donal nolan

Published 27/11/2013|05:36

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WE'RE blown away by the level of talent, scared witless by the stories, are still recovering from reading through the massive response to this year's Halloween writing competition in The Kerryman.

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WE'RE blown away by the level of talent, scared witless by the stories, are still recovering from reading through the massive response to this year's Halloween writing competition in The Kerryman.

Our nerves are just about coming around after reading so many spooky stories about all manner of fiendish creatures, from vampires, werewolves and zombies to the more familiar spectres of good old fashioned ghosts and witches.

Aside from the frights, the stories were a wonderful reminder of just how talented our young are when it comes to penning a ripping yarn. Wonderfully written, the thousands of stories we received displayed great command of language – in both English and Irish – as the writers marshalled their imagination and skill to bring terrible nightmares to life.

"All of us in The Kerryman were hugely impressed by the response to this year's competition," Kerryman editor Declan Malone said. "We regularly hear these days of how young people's writing skills are declining in the age of texting, but our Halloween short stories competition proved there's no shortage of literary talent among the youngsters of Kerry."

Computer tablets and framed copies of the winners' stories made their way to three schools in the county this week as prizes for the most outstanding stories.

Connie Horgan (7) from Scoil Naomh Eirc in Kilmoyley was delighted to receive a framed copy of his story The Ghost Train as well as two digital tablets – one for himself and another for his school- from The Kerryman. His story, which he won in the 5-7 category, saw young Alan turning the table on bullies with a little help from some undead friends.

Twelve-year-old Amy Pollmann Daamen was the toast of Scoil Nuachabháil in Ballymacelligot when we arrived at the door to present her with her framed copy of her story and a new tablet, as well as one for her school. The sixth class pupil told us how she loves writing and was thrilled to be chosen as the winner. Her principal, Michael Bolger, said Amy has always had a talent for writing and is a star pupil. "Everyone at the school is delighted with her success," he added.

Amy's story The Miller's Daughter was inspired by Blennerville's famous windmill and told the intriguing story of a young girl, Peggy, who lost her mother in a drowning accident but was reunited with her many years later on a ghostly Halloween night.

And in south Kerry, Curraheen National School pupil Jaya Shrestha (10) won in the 8-10 years age category for her spine-chilling story Ghost Girl and Horse. This story was all the more powerful for its restraint in getting across the horrific experience of a ghostly encounter for a young girl in her stables.

Jaya was delighted to hold her framed copy in her hands when The Kerryman's Kevin Hughes called to her school on Friday.

Kerryman

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