In May 2020, the ‘Become A Young Storykeeper’ initiative, developed by The Commissioners of Irish Lights’ (Irish Lights) tourism and community partnership, Great Lighthouses of Ireland, and creative writing organisation Fighting Words, invited all 7-12 year olds to become Young Storykeepers - to get creative and devise an original lighthouse-inspired story.
Launched last month as part of Cruinniú na nÓg’s 2020 programme, this year Ireland’s national day of free creative activities for children and young people under 18 takes place online on June 13th. Cruinniú na nÓg is a collaboration between the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Creative Ireland Programme, Local Authorities and RTÉ.
Volume 1 Showcased for Cruinniú na nÓg | June 13th
Young Storykeepers from all around Ireland and overseas submitted their imaginative creations in their droves! From swashbuckling stories to stop-motion animation, poems, illustrations and even a song or two, their efforts have been incredible.
With an impressive 1,249 entries submitted, these fantastic works will be showcased in a multi-volume digital magazine across the summer.
Volume One of the Young Storykeepers digital magazine will be live on both the Great Lighthouses of Ireland and the Fighting Words websites for Cruinniú na nÓg on June 13th.
A number of stories have also been selected to be animated by the Fighting Words volunteer team of illustrators and animators and will be featured as part of the launch of Volume One.
All children who submitted a story will receive a family ticket to visit any one of Great Lighthouses of Ireland Visitor Attractions to be used in 2021.
Speaking about the collaboration, Yvonne Shields O’Connor, CEO, Irish Lights, said, “Great Lighthouses of Ireland and Fighting Words decided early this year to collaborate on a story writing project that has turned out to be a wonderful experience for our two organisations. The idea behind "Become a Young Storykeeper" was to invite children aged 7-12 years of age to write imaginative and creative stories about Ireland’s lighthouses. The symbolism of the lighthouse - bright, magical, brave, mysterious - offers so many exciting possibilities. Then the covid-19 lockdown invaded our lives, and a whole extra dimension was added. Social distancing - the need to stay away from those we love to keep them safe - draws instant parallels with the lighthouse, which essentially pushes ships away to keep them safe. Our lighthouses are a powerful symbol of loss, hope and light and it’s incredibly exciting that so many hundreds of young imaginations have tapped into them in this collection of stories. We are delighted and proud to have been part of this great adventure.”
Seán Love, Executive Director of Fighting Words, said, “For hundreds of years lighthouses have ensured the safety of seafarers by helping them find their way. Lighthouses are places of wonder that can provide safety and guidance on a journey through danger. Creating stories is another way that people help and guide each other. The symbolism of the lighthouse pushing us away to keep us safe is very apt right now as the nation contends with the unprecedented challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Great Lighthouses of Ireland and Fighting Words are extremely grateful for the media support provided by The Irish Times, our media partner for this initiative.