Budding young travel writers are being urged to enter the Immrama Festival of Travel Writing competition.
Organisers recently announced Wexford author Colm Tobin and humanitarian and author Terry Waite as just a couple of the headline speakers for the fifteenth annual event in Lismore from 15th to 18th June .
The theme of the 2017 festival is 'Emigration, Exile and Slavery'.
Students are now also invited to write an 800-word short story about their favourite air journey and where it took them.
Jan Rotte is the Administrator of the Immrama Committee:
"Since last year we have a competition for Transition Year students from the whole of Ireland, a transition year programme of travel writing.
Pupils can produce something in 800 words submitted to us and somebody will get a prize at the end of it.
So not only Colm Toibin will be attracting young people, I hope all of our speakers will because it's important.
I think it's important for young people to hear about experiences, read about experiences in other cultures, in other climates and other countries."
Páid O'Reilly is a member of the Immrama committee, he says they've had amazing guests over the past fifteen years.
He paid tribute to local Lismore woman Dervla Murphy, an Irish touring cyclist and author of adventure travel books for over 40 years, "It's amazing to think Dervla Murphy lives in Lismore and she was the beginning of travel writing in Ireland, I think myself.
What she achieved and the risks she took as a woman, going back to her first, cycling from Lismore to India, was just amazing!
And when you read her books, like her book on Ethiopia, it's just fascinating - the risks she took, nowadays you wouldn't dream of doing that."
Speaking at the launch of the 2017 festival programme Mayor of Waterford Councillor Adam Wyse said, "The theme of the 2017 festival 'Emigration, Exile and Slavery' sadly reflect issues which are as relevant today as they were duing the er of Colm Toibin's 'Brooklyn' and Des Ekin's 'The Stolen Village' of the 1600's.
The Immrama festival is always brave and topical in the development of its themes; continually proving to be innovative in its programming. It is this type fo approach which has proven hugely successful for the festival ensuring that each June, Lismore is a hub for international tourism."
The closing date for entries for the young travel writers competition is May 20th and submissions can be made via www.lismoreimmrama.com/studentcompetition
On the final day of the festival 'Family Fun Sunday' will take place at the Millennium Park, the Lismore Farmers Market will be on the castle avenue plus a Sunday evening event with focus on sport and travel is set to take place.
Full details of the festival programme are available on the Immrama websitehttp://www.lismoreimmrama.com