Monaghan Education Centre

Write-a-Book Project 2023-24

The Write-a-Book project is a long-established feature of the programme provided by Monaghan Education Centre for primary schools in Monaghan and Cavan. Wendy Flood has been co-ordinating this project since 2008 and spearheads this project with great enthusiasm and attention to detail.

This year, a new digital element was introduced to the project with a Digital Book project, developed in partnership with Karen Mc Cague, Executive Librarian from Monaghan County Library. Karen reported that Monaghan County Library was delighted to collaborate with Monaghan Education Centre, to introduce a digital element into their bi-annual ‘Write-a-Book’ competition.  This innovative partnership aims to foster creativity and literacy skills among young minds, while embracing the advancements in technology. By incorporating a digital element into the competition using the ‘Book Creator’ platform, children are encouraged to explore various digital tools to express their ideas and stories, expanding their creative horizons beyond traditional pen and paper. The initiative promises to be a stepping stone towards a more engaging and inclusive literary experience for children in the community.

The presentation evening for the young authors who received a merit award for their book was held recently in the Garage Theatre in Monaghan. The theatre was packed with young authors, their parents and teachers who attended by special invitation for this exciting evening. Wendy Flood co-hosted the evening with Teresa McSorley, Director of Monaghan Education Centre and Karen McCague, Executive Librarian from Monaghan County Library. Invited guest Nicola Pierce, an author of historical novels for young people, spoke of the importance of the arts as personal expression and a freedom to explore our humanity. She praised the young authors, from Junior Infants to 6th Class, who had worked hard to produce stories of their own, working hard to hone their writing skills and illustrating the books to produce a wonderful, finished piece.

When the Merit Winner’s names were announced, Wendy Flood gave a brief synopsis of each winning story. Each child was presented with a certificate and a medal to commemorate this special event. All the presenters thanked the teachers who had participated in the Write-a-Book project, encouraging and guiding their pupils to tell and illustrate a story, creating a lasting piece of work in their individual books. Teachers played an active role at all stages of the project, providing in-class instruction, assessing the work of pupils from other schools and awarding the highly commended prizes (runners up) and the winning Merit Awards. Parents were reminded of, and thanked for, their huge influence and support in encouraging their children to work hard and be proud of their efforts and achievements. High praise was also given to Mary McQuaid and Mary Savage from the Education Centre who worked tirelessly on the administration of the project. Thanks also to Rory Geary from the Northern Standard newspaper for taking the photographs and adding to the sense of occasion for the young authors and their families.

The Write-a-Book project will also run during the 2024/2025 school year to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the project.

Participating Schools

Aughadreena NS

Aughnafarcon NS

Blackstaff NS

Bunscoil Lughaidh Naofa

Corcreagh NS

Deravoy NS

Drumacruttin NS

Drumcorrin NS

Gaelscoil Lorgan

Killeevan Central NS

Monaghan Model School

Oram NS

Scoil Mhuire, Magherarney

Scoil Mhuire, Rockcorry

St. Comgall’s NS

St. Oliver Plunkett’s NS

St. Patrick’s NS, Shercock

Write A Book Co-ordinator: Wendy Flood      087 947 1458 Monaghan Education Centre is pleased to announce details of this year’s Write-a-Book project: Write-A-Book 2023/2024. This will follow similar lines to previous projects, with participating teachers marking books from other schools, and culminating in a presentation evening in March/ April 2024 ‘Write-a-Book’ involves taking a critical look at books, creative writing, and imaginative use of art. Age-appropriate for pupils from Junior Infants to 6th Class, and accounting for all ability levels, it encourages children and teachers to develop the process writing approach in school. Features of the Write a Book project include:
  • Planning, writing, drafting, editing, and illustrating a book on a topic of choice.
  • In Infant classes, children may work on a short picture book with less text, focusing on topics familiar to them.
  • The teacher undertaking Write-a-Book with their class, will work on the project as part of the class’ English and Art programmes during this period. Fiction and non-fiction books are equally viable as original works in this project, as are texts completely as Gaeilge.
  • The teacher will certify that each child’s work is his/her own.
  • At the end of the project, each teacher will accept one batch of books from another school. After reading the books, the teacher will award one merit and two/three highly commended awards (dependent on class size) to books they have read.
  • Each child will receive a certificate acknowledging his/her achievement in producing a book. At least one child from every class participating will be awarded a Merit Award at a special Presentation Evening.  Two/Three children from each class will have their work highly commended.
  • Merit Awards will be presented to approximately one child in every 10 who attend lessons with a Special Education Teacher.
  • Fee of €20 per teacher/ class – maximum €60 per school, payable when registering and submitting books in January 2024.   
  • Books should be entirely the children’s own work.
Neat handwriting and artistic illustrations are encouraged.  For Consideration: “Winning” books (Merit) should be of the best quality within the age-group being judged, with an emphasis on interesting storyline, chronology, good character descriptions and interactions. Carefully considered illustrations, including an eye-catching cover should be clear features of the book’s design. All teachers should make their pupils aware of this prior to, and during the writing process, as attention to these points will be assessed during the marking process. Please refer to the criteria listed below when writing with your class, and when assessing other class’ work to ensure consistency of marking within the project.
Infants to 2nd Class 3rd Class to 6th Class
Quality illustrations Gripping cover and blurb
Interesting story Development of storyline
Correct sentence structure Use of more complex language and sentences
Sequencing ideas and events Grammatically sound writing including consistency of tenses, correct use of punctuation
Please complete and submit the registration form by Wednesday 17th January 2024.