Literary Awards acknowledge talented Longford writers

by Patrick Conboy

The first ever Longford Leader Literary Awards were held on June 27th to coincide with the ‘Writers Love Longford’ aspect of the successful Love Longford festival.

There was an enthusiastic response to the call for entries from poets and writers from right across the region, and a large group of them were present at the Longford Arms Hotel for the occasion.

The County’s Arts Officer, Fergus Kennedy, got proceedings underway, while there were also introductions from local town councillor Gerry Warnock, one of the main organisers of Love Longford, and the editor of the Longford Leader, Sheila Reilly.

Also present at the event was local author Alan McMonagle, who was given the unenviable task of choosing the winners from the impressively large number of entries. Before making the big announcement, Mr McMonagle was invited to read an extract from his latest book of short stories, ‘Psychotic Episodes’, which was warmly received by the audience.

The award for ‘Best Poem’ was presented to Mary Melvin Geoghegan for her composition, ‘The Geography of a Writer’, while ‘The Return Visit’ by Rose Byrne was chosen as the winner in the ‘Best Prose’ category. Both writers received plaques to mark their success, with the presentations being made by Sheila Reilly.

presentation to Mary Melvin Geoghegan

Gerry Warnock, Alan McMonigle, Mary Melvin Geoghan, Sheila Reilly, Fergus Kennedy