“Picture That” Writing Competition

Picture That

This competition has now ended. Thanks to all who entered.  The names of the winners will be posted on this page by September 18th 2020.

Any other summer and by now you’d have spent time outside with family or friends, savouring the sunshine; anticipating a holiday, the sights, sounds and joys of being free from work or domestic chores for a week or two – or more.

This year though is unlike any other. COVID-19 has cut a swathe across our lives, our plans, our sense of freedom and spontaneity.

So if you missed out on a Fleadh, a Feis,  an Irish Festival or Fete, Aidan O’Brien’s Serpentine winning the Epsom Derby or  the Irish night at Kempton Park.  Or were deprived of agricultural shows, tractor and car rallies, concerts, the annual club outing to the seaside or the BBQ at your Church or  GAA club then you might like to enter our writing competition.

Green Curtain Theatre would like you to help us keep those ‘summertime memories’ alive by writing a short piece that has been inspired by a photo from your album or phone. This piece of writing can be a:

  • Monologue or speech
  • A poem
  • A short play with no more than two characters
  • A story

The best pieces will be recorded by professional actors and made available on our website. They may be staged at a later date, should circumstances allow.

So whether this year means a staycation or a vacation for you,  why not dig out your old photos of summers past and get writing.

Click  on this link to use one of  our Competition pictures  which include those  donated by Sarah Finucane from the ‘Craic is Back’ magazine. 

Or here to use those donated by John Giltenan and the Council of Irish Counties.


















The best memory pieces are those which create a real connection with the reader. The most powerful writing evokes the essence of a person, a place or an event that is being described. Writing has the power to create an emotional response through carefully crafted words. That’s exactly what you’re aiming for in your responses to this competition.
Below are 6 tips to get you started.
1. First, try to imagine the scene, person, event you’re bringing to life through your piece. Jot down words which you associate with this memory. These words will help to create the mood of your piece.
2. You need a plan. What will your piece be about?  It’s important to frame your piece so it has a clear beginning, development and ending. For some writers, this can mean starting at the end point then the rest of your piece explains how this all happened. Other writers go for a more linear approach. Choose the narrative pattern that works best for you.
3. When you have the ideas and pattern of your piece clear in your head, begin your first draft. As you’re writing, ask yourself these questions about your piece. What feelings am I trying to convey here? What is the message of my piece? Is it feel authentic? Am I repeating myself or pacing myself well, covering everything I want to say? Does the language I have chosen fit my topic? Have I created the right mood in my piece? Does my ending round my piece off effectively?
4. Remember to include some or all of the five senses. We experience the world through our senses and you can really evoke a place, a person or an event through references to what you see, hear, smell, taste or touch. A particular smell is often a powerful memory trigger – freshly baked bread, mown grass, the briny smell of rock pools at low tide.
5. Once you’ve finished your first draft, read it aloud. This is a good way of checking the flow and rhythm of the piece. Some sentences may be too long, and need breaking down into shorter ones. A sequence of short sentences can make your piece feel a bit jerky – is this effect you want to create? Is there anything which can be edited out because it doesn’t suit your purpose? Is there anything you need to add?
6. Once you are happy with your piece of writing, complete your final draft. It’s a good idea to leave it for a few hours or till the next day – and make any final changes. Coming at your writing fresh, with a new perspective, can lead to productive tweaks.
Good luck with the creation of your piece.



  1. Your piece of writing can be a monologue (one person speaking), duologue (two people speaking), a story or poem.
  2. All pieces must show a strong connection to a photo. Entrants who are using their own photo should submit this with their written piece. Entrants who are using one of our photos should indicate which photo inspired the piece.
  3. All written pieces must be set in the UK although they can recall past times in Ireland.
  4. The competition is open to anyone over 18 who is member of the Irish diaspora and resident in the UK. For this competition we ask that you have a parent, grandparent, or great grandparent who is Irish.
  5. One the characters in the piece must show a strong connection to Ireland.
  6. All entries must be typed and submitted online.
  7. Monologues must be 500 words or less, stories may be up to 750 words. Duologues should be no longer than three pages of double spaced script.
  8. Please email your entries to competition@irishinlondontheatre.co.uk
  9. You may only enter the competition once.
  10. All entries should be original and not have been submitted anywhere previously.
  11. We would like all entries to be judged anonymously so please ensure that your contact details, which must include an address in the UK are on a separate page to your writing
  12. We will only contact those whose work has been selected to be recorded. Please be aware that the judges may make some slight editorial changes prior to recording. This is done so that the actors can present your work in its best light.
  13. The judges’ decision is final.
  14. Closing date is midnight on Monday August 31st 2020. The winners will be announced on Friday September 18th 2020.
  15. For any queries please contact competition@irishinlondontheatre.co.uk. Please be aware that we are unable to comment on your work.