From Virginia, New York and Florida in the US to Clare and Donegal in western Ireland, from Creswick rural Australia to Lewisham suburban London, from the Viedma Glacier in Patagonia through outer space to the Milky Way - there was no limit to the physical locations of nonfiction stories entered in our latest ‘Wild Atlantic Writing Awards.’
Focusing on the theme of 'Time,' the issues dealt with in stories were just as wide-ranging, from grief over the loss of loved ones to the unfamiliarity of having free time and wondering what to do with it, from the challenges of parenting to how changes in technology over time have transformed life on earth.
Some stories tackled the crucial role played by split seconds of time in the world of competitive sports such as swimming. Others, how the onset of Covid helped create free time and new interests for people to pursue. And still others focused on how the environment and our natural surroundings have changed dramatically over the course of time.
Many writers penned stories in memoir form, sharing their reflections on lives lived, with vivid scenes from childhood featuring strongly.
In contrast, other stories dealt with the onset of ageing and the physical and mental challenges that presents.
Some writers preferred the travel format, describing their adventures and excitement upon seeing exotic places in the world where time seems to have stood still.
And with judging complete, here are the ten finalists in alphabetical order selected in the non-fiction category of our latest ‘Wild Atlantic Writing Awards.’
Alli Mckenzie with ‘Time,’ Celia Chandler with ‘Mirrored Time,’ Daire O’Mahony with ‘Never Mind,’ Donal Flynn with ‘Flicker,’ Erin Gottwald with ‘Billy The Third,’ Jessica Sinclair with ‘Pursuit of the Black Line,’ Katherine Anne Muir with ‘Covid And The Time of My Life,’ Margaret O’Doherty with ‘Father’s Time,’ Patricia Harrison with 'Whispers In The Undergrowth’ and Shannon Manning with ‘The Theory of Relativity.’
And the winner is .... Alli Mckenzie, with her story entitled 'Time.' Alli will receive a special winner's certificate, 500 euro in prize money or free participation* valued at 1,200 euro including all excursions, by land and sea, food and drinks tastings, concerts and dance performances, and all writing workshops and author talks – at one of our retreats of her choice this year.
All finalists will receive a special 'Certificate of Excellence' in creative writing.
Finalists and winner of the flash fiction category in our 'Wild Atlantic Writing Awards' on the theme of Time will be announced later this month.
(*Participation package does not include accommodation or travel costs to and from retreat)