Writers are word perfect
There were celebrations at Bridgetown Vocational College recently as this year's fifth year students celebrated the end of their creative writing programme and also marked ten years of the programme.
Writer in Residence, Billy Roche has been working with fifth year students at the school, every year for the past ten years, and joked that it was the longest time he had ever held down a job for! The programme is undertaken by two English Higher Level Classes in LC1 each year.
It is funded by Poetry Ireland and the school and was facilitated this year by teachers Anne Hally and Kara Cahill.
Each year, a selection of awards are handed out to participants with four students honoured at this year's event. They were: Joshua McLoughlin and Zuzanna Neumann - joint first; and Shane Waters and Abbigail O'Connor - joint runners-up.
To mark the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the programme, a book featuring writers from the previous nine years is been compiled at present.
Billy Roche said that the project had been a very interesting one, spanning over the past ten years. He acknowledged that while certain things had changed - particularly technology - the same themes were coming up again and again.
'In general, the themes remain constant. The archetypal things are always there. For example, the Greek myths are noticeable even though the students might not have studied them. It's interesting to read the work of people who are on the cusp of maturity. I said that I had come to inspire the students but was duly inspired by them.'
Two previous students, he said, had gone on to study creative writing in college in Galway and he remarked that, every year, they unearthed a special talent as well as giving an outlet to people who might not previously have had one.
'It's been a wonderful experience in a great school,' said Billy, adding that the collection had something for everyone.
On the day, a cheque for €1,000 was also presented to the school by the committee of the Write by the Sea Kilmore Literary Festival. This will go towards the printing of the aforementioned anthology.