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19 May 2022

Leitrim writer wins JP McManus All Ireland Scholarship

Leitrim Scholar makes shortlist for JP McManus All Ireland Scholarships Competition

Romana Semler was unanimously chosen as the winning entrant for the 2022 All Ireland Scholarships Alumni (AISA) Creative Writing Competition for her short story ‘Stringing The Bow’.

The competition, sponsored by JP McManus, was open to all 1,500 All Ireland Scholarship winners, where eight candidates were selected as the finalists.

Leitrim native Romana, a 2011 All Ireland Scholarship recipient who studied Classics, Creative Writing and Italian at the National University of Ireland, Galway will be presented with €1,000 prize money.

The Competition judging panel was chaired by Professor Sarah Moore Fitzgerald of the University of Limerick and featured Ireland’s first Prix Jean Monnet winner, Donal Ryan, acclaimed writer Kerri ní Dochartaigh and poet Alice Kinsella, the 2021 winner.

On the winning entry, the judges commented: “Stringing The Bow is a subtly abstracted story, with an arresting opening and an attention to detail that makes it shine.

“It’s so difficult to capture a child’s voice authentically and consistently, but the voice in this piece is utterly true, and never slips. This is a story composed by a writer of clear talent, replete with startling images and language that’s full of music and flow.

“From its first line right up to its unforgettable closing passage, it is a searing, virtuosic work.”

JP McManus congratulated Romana on her extraordinary short story and to commend the runners up on their achievement.
“Now in its second year, the competition has attracted incredible writing talent and we’d like to sincerely thank Prof Sarah Moore Fitzgerald and the judges for giving their time and expertise to ensuring its success.”

Read Romana's winning story here.

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