Saturday, May 7, 2011

Launch Of The Dervla Murphy Award for Teenage Travel Writing

The Immrama Festival of Travel Writing, Lismore, 2011, in association with Waterford County Library Service, is delighted to announce the launch of the inaugural year of the Dervla Murphy Award for Teenage Travel Writing.

Lismore native Dervla Murphy received a second-hand bicycle when she was aged 10; a week later she decided that she would cycle to India once she became an adult - so she did! Dervla Murphy's first book, 'Full Tilt: From Ireland to India with a Bicycle', was published in 1965. Over twenty other titles have followed, including an account of travels in Northern Ireland during the 1970s, a volume against nuclear power, a consideration of race relations in England during the 1980s and a highly-acclaimed autobiography, 'Wheels Within Wheels'. Dervla has won worldwide praise for her writing and many awards, including the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize.

The Dervla Murphy Award for Teenage Travel Writing is open to Waterford teenagers aged between 13 and 18 years of age. Works of up to 500 words, which have not been previously been printed or published, can be submitted for judging. Writings must be accompanied by a completed entry form, which can be picked up from your local Co. Waterford library or downloaded from and  The final submission date is May 27, 2011

The award will be sponsored annually by Waterford County Library Service and the winning piece will be published online on the Library Service Website. County Librarian, Jean Webster says that "We hope that this prestigious award will help launch the writing careers of talented young writers from Waterford City and County. We are honoured that Dervla Murphy has agreed to lend her name to the award and we are very excited that the award will be presented as part of the Immrama Festival of Travel Writing."

The teenage writers taking part in this inaugural award as part of this year's Immrama Festival will be in excellent company, as the extraordinary programme of literary events this year includes audiences with top international travel writers Anthony Sattin and William Blacker, Conor O'Clery, Rolf Potts and Alex Von Tunzelmann. Theo Dorgan and Sara Wheeler also feature on the diverse programme at the Immrama Lismore Festival of Travel Writing 2011, which takes place from June 9 to 12.

The 2011 festival also sees a brand new addition to the programme, a 'Blogger's Forum' facilitated by Manchán Magan, with special guests Rolf Potts, Áine Goggins of the TG4 Couchsurfing programme "Ó Tholg go Tolg", and Darragh Doyle of

A variety of fringe events will also take place over the weekend, including an International visual arts exhibition at Lismore Castle Arts, exhibition and events at Lismore Library, the launch of seven new travel books, creative writing workshops, book readings and much more.

The Immrama Festival of Travel Writing will be held in Lismore from June 9 to 12, 2011 and is generously supported by Fáilte Ireland, Waterford County Council, Eason Dungarvan, Waterford Airport and the Arts Council. Tickets and further information can be found on or by contacting 058-53803.

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