Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Calling All Poets!

Do you write poetry in Irish, English, or Ulster-Scots? Would you like the chance to see your work in print? Would you like to win a top cash prize?

Welcome to the Frances Browne International Poetry Competition.

Frances Browne of Stranorlar

The Donegal newspaper, the Finn Valley Voice, is launching this brand-new poetry competition with a difference. For the first time ever, poets are invited to enter work in any of Ireland’s three national languages, Irish, English and Ulster-Scots, with a guaranteed top prize of E100.00 and trophy in each category.

The competition is in memory of Frances Browne, the Blind Poetess of Stranorlar, one of the world’s most popular poets and childrens’ storytellers in Victorian times. Frances Browne came from the Finn Valley. The Finn Valley is unique in being the only part of Ireland where the three national tongues, Irish, English and Ulster-Scots, are spoken by large sections of the population as first languages.

The Finn Valley is also the only part of Ireland where the religious and demographic mix matches that of Northern Ireland, and is often cited as a role model for the pluralist Ireland we are trying to create.

In that spirit, all are welcome to enter. Young or old, Irish or non-Irish, Irish-speaking, English-speaking or Ulster Scots-speaking – send along your entry to this groundbreaking new competition. In addition to the main prizewinners a selection of the best entries will appear in the Finn Valley Voice over the coming months.

Entry forms may be obtained by sending a stamped addressed envelope to the Arts Page, Finn Valley Voice, Ballybofey, Co Donegal.

Entry forms may also be available from your local library or by downloading at

Closing date for completed entries is Friday 17th October 2008

This is a great opportunity for Irish speakers and those with Ullans to participate in a wonderful event that adds much to the quality of life in Donegal.

Barry R McCain

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