Donegal student wins national short story competition

A BUDDING young author from Donegal has been crowned the senior winner of Specsavers Irish Book Awards’ short story competition.

Eleven-year-old Makayla Porter, from Scoil Íosagáin national school in Buncrana is the national champion of the senior category. The Donegal native entered the competition and triumphed over stiff rivalry to win the competition. The prize included a hamper of the shortlisted books featured in the recent Irish Books Awards children’s category and €500 for Scoil Íosagáin Buncrana’s school library.

The short story 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 2022. This year’s short story theme was Looking into the crystal ball, the fortune teller was excited about the future…’ and Makayla’s winning story, titled ‘Crystal Clear’, impressed the judges, who felt she had a bright future as a budding author. Makayla wrote a creative story of the magical fortune teller ‘Madam Rosemary’ who saw ‘grey and cloudy prophecies’ in her crystal ball. After a trip to Specsavers, a new pair of glasses allowed Madam Rosemary to see ‘crystal clear’.


Lisa McKeogh and Martina McNulty of Specsavers Letterkenny were delighted to present Makayla and her school with their prizes at a recent presentation at Scoil Íosagáin Buncrana national school.

Makayla was thrilled with her win, saying: ‘I really enjoyed writing my story and using my imagination to create such a fun world. I can’t wait to read all my new books and I’m excited to see our school library full of new books!’

Makayla Porter with her prize.

Martina McNulty of Specsavers Letterkenny says: ‘We are delighted to award Makayla with her prize, she is such a deserving winner with her very creative story that brought a smile to my face. It’s also our honour to be in a position to support a local school with a €500 donation for the school library. I am sure the school is as proud of Makayla as we are. Children have the most creative imaginations and have such a wonderful ability to make us smile and are sure this story will make many people in Donegal smile.’

Speaking about Makayla’s win, Deputy Principal Shay Kinsella adds: ‘We are so proud of Makayla, she has always had a great imagination. Reading and writing are such stimulating outlets for children and such creativity is something we seek to nurture as a learning community.  As a Changemaker school, such creativity will always be celebrated at Scoil Íosagáin.  We are very thankful to Specsavers for their generous donation to our school library which will undoubtedly inspire our pupils into the future.’


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