Two young Irish novelists aged just 14 and 16 have been announced as the winners of the Eason Creates creative writing national competition.
Hannah Kennedy (14) from Sancta Maria College, Rathfarnham and Oyanne Gaham (16) from St Raphaela's, Stillorgan, Co Dublin, have had their short stories published into e-books by eReader Kobo.
The competition provides a creative platform for budding young authors who are in with a chance to have their work published.
Over 400 secondary school students from across the country submitted their short story, on a subjec tof their choice, to either a junior or senior category.
The 18 finalists received the backing of their communities with over 5,000 people picking their favourite stories in the nationwide public vote.
The two overall winners have had their stories, along with the other 16 finalists’, published in an e-book by Kobo, which will be available soon on easons.com. Hannah and Oyanne also each received a €500 Eason gift card and a Kobo Aura HD eReader, along with €1,500 worth of books for their school from Eason.
Hannah was chosen as the winner of the junior cycle category for her tale of ‘The Letter’ while Stillorgan native, Oyanne’s compelling story ‘Making Waves’ earned top spot in the senior category.
The panel of experts, including bestselling author of young adult novel Only Ever Yours Louise O’Neill and Eason's David O’Callaghan, shortlisted 18 finalists who were then voted on by the public.
“It is so inspiring to see this level of talent from these young writers," said Louise.
"Hannah and Oyanne are deserving winners. What an achievement to be a published author at such a young age?
"My advice for any other future authors is write, write and write some more! There is a story in everything and whether it is in a journal or on a blog, make sure you’re writing your own story down.”