Children are encouraged to enter the Specsavers short story competition, Something to Smile About.

Something to smile about

A nationwide short story competition is being launched by Specsavers to encourage children all over the country, including Mayo, to get creative and give people something to smile about through their storytelling.

The writing competition celebrates Specsavers’ sponsorship of the Junior and Senior Irish Children's Book of the Year categories at this year’s An Post Irish Book Awards 2020. It also helps to kick-start Specsavers’ new Something to Smile About multi-channel campaign.

Inspired by a cartoon drawing of a magical mystic, children are being asked to create a short story, no longer than 500 words, beginning with the sentence: “Looking into the crystal ball gave the fortune teller something to smile about...”

Specsavers Castlebar store director, Niamh O’Connell, said: “In a year that has been so difficult and seen so much change, we are delighted to continue in our sponsorship of the children’s categories at the An Post Irish Book Awards this year and host our annual short story competition.

“Not only is it a great opportunity for budding authors to showcase their writing talents, but we also hope it to be some fun for participants, giving them something to smile about – that’s what we are all about at Specsavers.

“Children have the most wonderfully creative imaginations, so we are very excited to see what magical tales they conjure up.”

The competition is open to children and teenagers up to 16 years of age. With 10 shortlisted finalists across Ireland, the winner of each category will win €500 for their school library along with all of the shortlisted children’s titles for themselves. The eight remaining shortlisted winners will also win a hamper of books.

Entry details can be found online at or pick up a leaflet in your local store. All entries should be posted to: Specsavers Short Story Competition, c/o WHPR, 6 Ely Place, Dublin 2, or submit them online at The closing date for receipt of applications is Monday, January 4. Don’t hold back children – let your imagination soar and give Ireland something to smile about!

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