Children's author Niall Breslin.

Bressie encourages children to take part in short story competition

Author and musician Niall Breslin has teamed up with Specsavers to encourage budding authors to get creative and enter its nationwide short story competition.

The competition has been launched to help celebrate Specsavers’ sponsorship of the Junior and Senior Children's Book of the Year categories at the An Post Irish Book Awards 2022.

As an author of multiple books, including two children’s books which were previously shortlisted at the Irish Book Awards, Bressie is encouraging kids to put pen to paper for the Specsavers competition.

"This competition is a brilliant way for children to get creative by thinking outside the box," he says

"Writing is an amazing way to build confidence in children as it allows them to communicate their own viewpoint, thoughts and feelings. Writing isn’t about having the best grammar or spelling; it’s about encouraging self – expression through a safe space.

"I would encourage all parents and guardians to get their children involved in this competition as it’s great way for children to use their imagination and they might even win something for their school too," Breslin adds.

Writing encourages children to explore their imagination, bolster their literacy learnings and put their reading skills into practice. It’s a fun and great way to help children fall in love with reading and writing.

The winner of the junior and senior category of the Specsavers short story competition will win €500 for their school library along with all of the shortlisted children’s titles for 2022.

To further support Specsavers involvement in the An Post Irish Book Awards campaign, Bressie is also getting involved in a Q&A, over on Specsavers’ social media channels.

This is due out October 31 so be sure to check it out for some hints and tips!

Bressie’s top tips for writing a short story:

1. "My number one tip to all budding authors is to believe in yourself and trust the process. If you believe in yourself and your story, then someone else will too. Too often we can shy away from a challenge. But if you believe you can succeed then that’s half the battle.

2. Write about something you know and love. Think of moments, people or things in your life that make you happy; is it the trip to the beach, a memory with a grandparent or the day your new puppy arrived home. Often the best stories are inspired by real life moments.

3. Read, read, read. Reading from a wide variety of genres (from fairy tale to action books) is an excellent way to see how different authors introduce characters, set scenes, and develop plotlines which will help you get inspiration for your own story.

4. To enter Specsavers’ competition simply create a short story, no longer than 500 words. The ask is to write a short story inspired by the below picture –

Looking into the crystal ball, the fortune teller was excited about the future…