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Here’s Hoping You Win Our New Writing Competition

With the New Year upon us, there’s one simple word that springs eternal - ‘hope.’

As such, we thought it appropriate to kick off our series of ‘Wild Atlantic Writing Awards’ for 2023 on this particular theme.

In its essence, ‘hope’ holds so many different meanings for so many different people. Hope for good health; hope for a strong relationship; hope for success in work. Or indeed, lack of hope.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary says, ‘Hope implies little certainty but suggests confidence or assurance in the possibility that what one desires or longs for will happen.’

Wikipedia says, ‘Hope is an optimistic state of mind based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one's life or the world at large. As a verb, its definitions include: ‘expect with confidence’ and ‘to cherish a desire with anticipation.’

Either way, we want you to decide what hope means for you and no better time to think of its meaning and illustrate that meaning in your story than right now, as a New Year begins.

Let your imagination guide you as to what the message of hope in your story should be.

As with all our competitions, there will be two separate categories - flash fiction and creative nonfiction, which can include travel, memoir, journalism or an essay.

Deadline for submissions: Friday, March 31, 2023.

As you write your story, remember to keep in mind these important guidelines:

  • the maximum length of your story should be 500 words, not including the title (please be mindful of this requirement, even one word over the limit can disqualify your entry);

  • judges should be left in no doubt that the core theme in your story is linked to ‘hope;’

  • you can only use the word ‘hope’ once - either in the body of your story or in your story title;

  • multiple entries accepted.


The winner for each of the two categories will receive 500 euro in cash, or a voucher worth 1,000 euro redeemable towards any one of our retreats of your choice this year.

And more.

With the writer’s permission, the top ten stories in each category will be published on the ‘Ireland Writing Retreat’ website, with a short bio and photograph of the writer. Writers retain all copyrights to their work.

For added interest and a little inspiration, here are the thoughts of some well-known writers on the word ‘ hope’.

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.Emily Dickinson.

The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.Barbara Kingsolver.

Love is a springtime plant that perfumes everything with its hope, even the ruins to which it clings.” Gustave Flaubert.

Hope is a waking dream. Aristotle

See full details about WAWA Hope competition HERE.

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