I was honoured to be among the shortlist of ten for this award and headed off to Roscommon for the award ceremony in the rain yesterday morning. It was held in the library in Roscommon and that building has certainly changed a lot since the days when myself and my sister used to cycle the five miles in from Athleague when I was about 9 or ten. It was a much more gloomy place then but was a treasure to us nonetheless. I don’t remember that we minded the cycle. My mother used to give us a shilling each to spend and one sad day the coin rolled out of my hand on the way and into the grass at the side of the road and even though I spent ages looking it was never to be found. It didn’t spoil my love of books though.
So it was great to be back there for the awards yesterday. There was a first prize and four runners up and I didn’t win but was lucky to be one of the runners up and was delighted with my cheque but also with the surprise of being also given a lovely piece of artwork by the fibre artist Frances Crowe. For these pieces she used text from old library books as part of her woven art pieces.
Fair dues to The Roscommon Herald and Gerry Boland for promoting creative writing in Roscommon and to the Library service and to the judge, the lovely Jane Clarke. Hopefully this will now be a yearly event. The winning entries will be published in the Roscommon Herald over the next few weeks.