‘Play Me a Story’ seeks children’s words and pictures to set to music – closing 15 Nov

Award-winning children’s author Máire Zepf, musicians from the Ulster Orchestra and Cultúrlann Mac Adam Ó Fiaich are set to collaborate on ‘Play Me a Story, an innovative new project which will set children’s words and pictures to newly composed music.  

Máire is inviting primary school children to contribute their most imaginative stories and pictures which musicians  Ralph Tartaglia and Jonathan Simmance from the Ulster Orchestra will then set to music and perform in a special video.  

Explaining the inspiration behind the project, Máire says:

“As artists and arts organisations we have had to explore new ways of engaging people with our art forms during the pandemic.  I loved the idea of telling a story through music and am delighted that Ralph and Jonathan used one of my stories – ‘Rita Wants a Robot’ – as inspiration for their first ‘Play Me a Story’ piece.

That turned out so well that we’re now inviting primary school children to get involved too!  There are no limitations – you can write about anything you like, in a story of any length, in English or Irish.  All you need is a beginning, a middle and an end for the story and a picture so that the musicians can see what you’re seeing when you write. 

Ralph, Jonathan and I will then select the two most inspiring stories – one in English and one in Irish – and will work with the young authors to bring them to life through music, reading and a professional video.”

To enter your story for consideration for the ‘Play Me a Story’ project, simply:

  • Send your story and pictures, along with your name and age to myra@quotidian.ie by 15th November 2020.
  • Stories can be typed or handwritten (scanned/photographed).
  • Please include a picture (or more than one if you can) to illustrate your story.
  • Submission of entries to the ‘Play Me a Story’ project will be taken to indicate that the entrant agrees with the rules and conditions of the competition and are happy for their stories and pictures to be made into a video to be shared online.
  • For further information on ‘Play Me a Story’, visit quotidian.ie

‘Play Me a Story’ is a collaborative venture between Cultúrlann Mac Adam Ó Fiaich, the Ulster Orchestra and Quotidian – Word on the Street. It is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and through National Lottery funds.

For further information and interview requests, please contact Sarah Hughes, Ava Creative Consulting, tel. 07905 276399, email sarahhughesbelfast@gmail.com 

Quotidian – Word on the Street

Quotidian  – Word on the Street Limited is an arts production company dedicated to putting literature, especially poetry into public spaces, in innovative ways intended to engage the general public and not just a literary audience.  Its Artistic Directors are poet Maria McManus and author Myra Zepf and projects to date include the highly acclaimed Poetry Jukebox, based outside the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast.  

For further information, visit www.quotidian.ie 

Myra (Máire) Zepf

Based in Holywood, Co. Down, Máire Zepf is a children’s author of 11 books. She was the first ever Children’s Writing Fellow for Northern Ireland (2017-2019), based at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at QUB. She is an author of picture books, chapter books and YA fiction, as well as writing for television. She has translated a further 6 children’s books to Irish.

Máire is the current winner of the KPMG/CBI Children’s Book of the Year Award for her YA verse novel ‘Nóinín’ and won a White Raven Award in 2020. She has won two Children’s Book Awards from the Literacy Association of Ireland (2017 and 2019), two Oireachtas Awards for Fiction (2015 and 2018) and an IBBY honour award. Her books have been translated to 8 languages worldwide. In 2019, she became the first poet to represent Northern Ireland in the European ‘Transpoesie’ project, when extracts from her verse novel were featured on the transport system in Brussels.

Máire is a keen workshop-creator, collaborator and co-conspirator across numerous genres and artforms, on a sworn mission to inspire children to write their own stories. Running many hundreds of workshops per year with babies, children, teenagers and adults, she is always on the lookout for new creative opportunities and partners. Recent projects have included ‘Heartland’ – a creative writing and heritage project with Mid-Ulster Council that won a ‘Heritage Angels’ award, a story and dance show based on her book ‘An Féileacán agus an Rí’, which premiered at the Belfast Children’s Festival, and ‘Sound Sparks’ – a schools’ poetry project with then Laureate na nÓg, Sarah Crossan. 

artist forms link
New Belfast Community Arts Initiative trading as Community Arts Partnership is a registered charity (XR 36570) and a company limited by guarantee (Northern Ireland NI 37645).Registered with The Charity Commission as New Belfast Community Arts Initiative - NIC105169.