Stories from the waterside

Every waterbody has a story! …and what is a waterbody? It is any place, where there is a body of water, like an estuary, lake, canal, stream, pond, wetland and even the coast. The Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) are working hard with many other State agencies, private industry, and of course communities and the public, to try to protect and restore good water quality in Ireland. This is important for everyone’s health and for all those things that depend on clean water quality.

Ok, that’s the background to what we do! Now back to the competition. Every waterbody has a story!  These stories can be from the past or in the present. They can be about the wildlife that lives or once lived in or around a waterbody, maybe stories about fishing, hunting or just watching nature. Stories of traditions or practices that once took place or maybe still do. Your story can involve folklore, local traditions, humourous tales or yarns associated with a waterbody. What makes this waterbody special?

We have partnered with The Heritage Council and the Heritage Officer Programme, Waterways Ireland and Inland Fisheries Ireland to look for stories about people’s favourite waterbody or interesting stories from someone you know.. Maybe that person is an uncle, aunt or grandparent who is a great storyteller. Here’s an opportunity for all the family to get involved! So why not get that story written down and enter this competition? You don’t have to be an expert writer to enter, just tell us your story or a story told to you by someone else.

Anyone can enter. And you can enter more than one story.  The closing date for entries is 31st May.

After the competition we will publish a compilation of stories in booklet in time for National Heritage Week 15 23 August. Only original stories please!

Let’s get started

Write your original story in 600 words or less.  There are two ways you can do this:

1. The Storyteller Tells the Story: Write your story about your favourite waterbody and what it means to you. This format might involve personal memories or reflections on the wildlife, past memories of the waterbody and what it was like on the past or is like now. It might include local traditions, crafts, folklore, serious stories or humourous yarns.

2. Interview of the storyteller: Interview someone you know who is a great storyteller. That person could be a friend, an aunt, uncle or grandparent or any family member with a great story involving water.  This is one that all the family might enjoy getting involved with.

Choose a theme for your story

Choose one of the following themes on which to base your story.

Memories and Reflections :Write a story based on your personal experiences, memories or reflections, or alternatively based on those from a storyteller you have interviewed.  We are particularly interested in stories about a waterbody from the past. But stories from the present are welcome too.

Folklore and Tales: Write a story on the folklore associated with a waterbody that you know about or have learned from your interview of a storyteller. Or perhaps there is an interesting or funny story worth telling!

Prizes and categories

There will be 10 Prizes worth €300 each Plus, additional 10 prizes worth €100 each

If you are a lucky winner you can choose from a local provider to do any of the following with family or friends: guided fishing for the family, Zip-lining over a lake, family kayaking adventure, or other water based activity. You can choose for book tokens or arts and crafts tokens if you prefer! Prizes will support local businesses and operators.  Enter under one of two categories: Under 18s and Over 18s.

How to enter

Entries must be accompanied by a completed competition form, which is available for download here

Tá an fhoirm iontrála i nGaeilge ar fáil anseo

We encourage people to use the online portal if possible and it helps with the administration on our end. To enter via the online portal, complete the entry form here and attach your story in .doc, .docx or pdf format only.  But you can enter handwritten or typed stories.

There are three ways you can enter:

Don’t forget entries by email and by post online must be accompanied by a completed entry form, which can be printed (or downloaded, filled in and attached to the email). This editable form can be downloaded here.

Entries can be in either English or Irish language. Original and previously unpublished stories only.

A selection of stories will later be published in a compilation booklet. For competition terms and conditions click here

If you would like information or details on water quality on a particular waterbody, or to view stories of what communities are doing in their local areas visit catchments.ie click here

If you have any views on water quality and would like to put them forward, there is currently a public consultation on the Significant Water Management Issues affecting water quality in Ireland, for more details click here