As many of you may know, we ran 2 competitions over the month of May. One of those was a writing competition where we aimed to amplify your voices and give the girls of Ireland a platform to share their stories.

We had hundreds of entries and the talent displayed absolutely blew our minds! You made the job of picking a winner almost impossible. We admire all of your talent, and love it when young people use writing to express themselves. If you’ve discovered a love of writing, please keep it up, whether it’s to pursue writing as a career, or just to keep a journal to help with your mental health.

Our winner of the SHONA writing competition and the winner of the writer’s bundle kindly sponsored by our friends at Harvey Norman is…….

Sophie Peare from Kinsale Community School.

Sophie’s piece is a tribute to her mother, who inspires her every day. We love that she used amazing imagery in a poem, which is a tricky thing to do! And so many of us can think of normal everyday things that define our relationships with those we love.

Huge congratulations to Sophie, and huge thanks to everyone who shared their writing with us, we appreciate every single one and will share a selection in the coming weeks and months.

Here it is! Our winner….

A Woman I Admire by Sophie Peare.

There are countless women all over the world who have shown me the grit, determination and backbone that females possess. Reading about crucial women from history empowers me indescribably. Similarly, the likes of Michelle Obama who are continuing to break new ground today give girls my age invaluable footsteps to follow in.

However, one woman, in particular, inspires me every day. She hasn’t flown solo over the Atlantic or led a suffrage movement yet, but she has taught me everything I know. She sets an admirable example for me and for everyone around her. My mother’s drive, kindness and unconditional love are inspiring to be around and I want to be like her when I grow up. Irish author Sarah Crossan says that love is “a day to day toil in the dark”. I think this quote sums up my mother’s love and why I admire her so much. Her actions, while equally inspirational to me as Earhart’s or Pankhurst’s, exist silently and humbly. In the poem below that, I have written, I hope to bring these actions out of the dark and the silence, as these are the reasons why I admire my mother.


A dark chocolate rice cake with a mug of mint tea,

A stripy red blanket shared across our knees,

Along to the Gilmore Girls theme tune we sing.

She teaches me to love the little things.

Haggling at markets to get a good deal

Announcing her opinion, being honest and real

A proud feminist, she holds her head high

And teaches me to fight til I die.

Nose to the grindstone, day in and day out.

Cogs always turning, mind racing about.

Although she’s never “too busy” and doesn’t complain,

She teaches me what hard work can gain.

Yellowed books with wild pencil scratches,

A respect for Beckett and word tennis matches

And all things curious, new and absurd.

She teaches me a love for words.

Scarlet flooded eyes in front of a film,

Hugs that are like entering a whole different realm,

A knowledge of when she should ask or just leave me.

She teaches me to have empathy.

Brisk walks on cliffs, over bridges, through trees

The cheer she lets out upon entering the sea.

Sandwiches in mountains, the clingfilm unfurled

She teaches me to adore the world.

Head thrown back with a bubbling laugh

When someone teases her for being daft.

Her jovial outlook and bursts of silliness;

She teaches me joy that I can express.

Flat 7up and Vicks when we’re sick,

Strange, doting nicknames that tend to just stick.

Conspiratorial eyes thrown to ‘heavens above’

She teaches me – most importantly – how to love.

A teacher who holds a master’s degree,

A driver, a cook, a mother of three,

A daughter, a confidante, a friendly face,

She is everything and more and the world in one place.



We also wanted to give a special mention to our runners up:

– Lakshmi Shaji from Loreto, Letterkenny, Donegal.
– Lily Van De Bergh from Dunamase College.
– Siobra O’Callaghan from Sligo Grammar School.
– Tara Mooney from St. Anne’s Secondary School in Killaloe, Co.Clare.


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