Young Travel Writers 2018

2018 has been crowned European Year of Cultural Heritage, and we have an exciting new competition in association with our partners, Department for Communities, Heritage Lottery Fund, the Arts Council and the British Council.  Are you a creative young writer?  Then share your travelling adventures of ‘How I explored Northern Ireland this year’.   There are exciting prizes to be won, including a stay at Blackhead Lightkeeper's House and the coveted title of ‘Young Travel Writer 2018’, at stake!

Titanic Belfast

So get sharing your thrilling and adventurous tales of your personal explorations with family and friends around Northern Ireland. Whether that’s the great outdoors during the summer, half-term holidays or at the weekends - there are plenty of opportunities to get inspired. Did you scale the Mourne Mountains, take in the views at the Giant’s Causeway or uncover the history of one of Northern Ireland’s ancient abbeys and castles?

Mourne Mountains

The competition will be split into five categories.  Four of the categories will be based on entrants’ ages and if you are a budding film producer the fifth category will allow you to share the hidden gems of your adventures visually, in video format.

Our expert judging panel who will be reviewing your entries includes top literary and travelling talent so make sure to impress them with your entries!

Gemma O’Neill is an illustrator and author from the Causeway Coast. She is the author of 'Oh Dear, Geoffrey!' and 'Monty's Magnificent Mane'. Her books have now been published globally and nominated for numerous awards, including the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal, Dundee Picture Book Awards and Coventry Inspiration Book Awards.

Glenn Patterson is a renowned writer from Belfast, best known as a novelist. He has received, among others awards, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and the Betty Trask Award . He and co-writer Colin Carberry's screenplay for Good Vibrations was nominated for the 2014 Outstanding Debut BAFTA.

Iain Greenway is Director of Historic Environment Division in the Department for Communities. Through his work, he supports vibrant communities across Northern Ireland. He oversees work that champions the value of our rich, historic environment and cultural heritage. 

Fionn Davenport is an inspiring and award-winning travel expert and Lonely Planet author. He regularly creates video and visual content for his, and other, social and digital platforms, documenting his many adventures in Northern Ireland and across the globe.

Sheena Wilkinson is a well-known author from County Down, described by the Irish Times as “one of our foremost writers for young people”. She has won many awards for her fiction including most recently the CBI Honour Award for Fiction for her novel Star By Star. 

 Blackhead Lightkeeper's House

Entry Category Requirements

P3 -P4, 6 – 8 years old

Competition entry: Draw a picture capturing your favourite moment spent exploring Northern Ireland, along with a short paragraph of up to 150 words explaining the adventure.

P5 – P7, 8 – 11 years old

Competition entry: Write a short story of up to 350 words, sharing the details of your memorable adventure in Northern Ireland.

Year 8 – 10, 11 – 14 years old

Competition entry: Write a short story of up to 400 words, sharing the details of your memorable adventure in Northern Ireland.

GCSE, 14 – 16 years old

Competition entry: Write a short story of up to 600 words, sharing the details of your memorable adventure in Northern Ireland.

Video category, all ages, 6 – 16 years old

Competition entry: a short video (2 minutes maximum) capturing your journeys in Northern Ireland.

Our competition is open to everyone from the ages of 6 to 16 years old and will close on Monday 12th November 2018.  In each category you are in with a chance to win a GoPro Hero 5, while the overall Young Travel Writer 2018 will win a luxury overnight trip with your family in Northern Ireland. 

Entries should be submitted to  Please note if video submissions are too large to email as an attachment, then please include a download link instead in the body of your email.

Click here for terms and conditions.

Good luck!