Witches and haunted houses, time-travelers and ancient heroes, sadness and joy, modern-day comings and goings, life and death, food and travel, love found, love lost, the ending of things, the beginnings of others – such were some of the themes that featured in our inaugural ‘Wild Atlantic Writing Awards’ (WAWA).
Together they provided a refreshing breeze of free-flowing imagination that swept across the heather-clad hills and rolling peat bogs of Donegal, and over the soft-sandy beaches lining the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, a short walk from our ‘Ireland Writing Retreat.’
It is not by chance our home is called ‘anam cara’ (Gaelic for ‘soul friend’), for that is how we feel not just about those who have shared many of their inner-most thoughts with us during our week-long retreats but also those who trusted themselves enough to let their writing dreams fly high like kites and enter our competition.
Colorful, entertaining, thought-provoking stories arrived from all quarters - from writers in quiet one-street rural towns as well as dense high-rise urban centers in countries such as Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Austria, France, the Czech Republic, Japan and Canada.
Sunset on 'Ireland Writing Retreat' boulevard.
We envy not the judges. To say their task is a challenge is a severe understatement.
Until the winners are named in July, one thought applies to all those interested in writing, including the Margaret Atwoods and the Dean Koontzes of this world – there is no such thing as a perfect diamond, only the exciting potential of an uncut gem.
Thank you everyone, participants and judges. The trust you have bestowed upon us is a humbling honor.
We wish you every success now and in the months and years to come.
May the act of writing nourish your every fibre.
Hoping to meet you in person at one of our writing retreats, later this year or next.
To receive updates about the winners of WAWA competition,
become a Friend of the Ireland Writing Retreat HERE.