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Category: Children

A Blooming Great Day: Reading and Workshop with Úna Woods

It seems like just another ordinary day for Rosie and her grandad. But as soon as they step outside, they find themselves on a blooming great adventure around Dublin on the 16th of June, 1904!

Join us at the James Joyce Centre on Bloomsday for a children’s event of fun, mischief, and Joyce! Author and illustrator Úna Woods will read from her new children’s book A Blooming Great Day (The O’Brien Press) and lead a drawing workshop. The children will draw scenes from the book and design their own hats! This is a great way for children to be introduced to Joyce and to partake in Dublin’s great literary tradition.

Tickets are €10 with special 2-for-1 sale.

Úna Woods is a children’s book illustrator and author who lives in Dublin with her husband and two children and their ginger cat. Her previous books include Have You Seen the Dublin Vampire? and A Spooktacular Place to Be, both published by The O’Brien Press. Úna loves working with bright colours and patterns. She also loves reading and running.

Bloomday Writing Competition 2024 for Young Authors

The Museum of Childhood Ireland and Marsh’s Library proudly presents its annual Bloomsday Writing Competition for Young Authors! We invite young authors to write a short piece of fiction inspired by Ulysses.

Please read on to learn about what’s involved, what to write, and how to submit an entry. Whether the author is a primary school pupil or a second level student, these core rules apply:

-Deadline is June 1st 2024 at 9am and the author must be under 18 on that date.
-Entries must not exceed 500 words, and cannot include defamatory, distressing, or inappropriate content.
-The story must be based where the young writer is currently living or recently lived, but set 100 years into the future.
-Each entry should only include the writer’s first name, age, and approximate location (county in Ireland / country if outside Ireland). Contact details for a responsible adult are collected separately.

Primary school pupils
James Joyce was an Irish writer who wrote a very famous book called Ulysses. In it, he describes a day in the life of three main characters, living in Dublin over 100 years ago. Think of where you live right now. What might it have been like 100 years ago? Would it be very different? Now, think 100 years into the future. In 2124, what do you think life will be like where YOU live? What will people be like and what will the area be like? Now, write a story about one day in the life of one character (it can be you or someone else), and base it where you live. Tell us what it is like in 2124, what has changed in people’s lives and what has stayed the same.

Second level students
James Joyce was an Irish writer who wrote a very famous novel called Ulysses. The story takes place over a single day, June 16th, 1904. It follows the activities of three main characters, who offer a unique perspective on the changes happening in Dublin at that time. Often people say that Dublin is the fourth character, because Joyce weaves the city’s streets, landmarks, and cultural nuances into the fabric of the story. Ulysses captures the essence of early 20th century Dublin, a city emerging from cultural and political unrest, and gives a snapshot of this time. You are asked to create a story that reflects and pays homage to Joyce’s ability to capture social, political and cultural changes, but is based in the future (2124). It must include three main characters, each offering a unique perspective on where you live, as you think it will be in 100 years from now. If you use artificial intelligence (AI) as part of the creative process, you must indicate how it has been used and explain how you have put your own unique, personal and creative stamp/angle of this story to make it an original entry.

How to submit entries
Young authors cannot submit their own work. Entries must be emailed on their behalf by a teacher or responsible adult, with appropriate parental permission. Do not include the entries in the main body of the email. Send them as an attached file (e.g., a Word document or PDF) to

Each attached file must include the story itself, the writer’s first name, age and their location (county or country). It should not include any other identification information. In the email itself, the adult submitting must confirm that the story is original, it is the work of the author, and it is based where the author currently lives or previously lived. The adult must provide their own contact and personal details. If you are a teacher submitting on behalf of one or more pupils or students, you only need to confirm originality once, for all entries submitted. Please also include your school name and roll number. This information will be used to identify prize-winning schools.

Awards Ceremony: Marsh’s Library in September, specific date TBC.
The winners will be announced on Bloomsday, June 16th on our website, but the ceremony will be in September.
Prizes: For the primary school level winner, second level winner, and their associated schools. We will also have one overall winner. Shortlisted finalists will receive certificates.
Sponsors: Experience Glasnevin, Gill Books, Faber-Castell, Futa Fata, The O’Brien Press.
Winning writers will be able to select a set of books from our sponsors’ websites. They will also receive a set of Faber-Castell materials, and Experience Glasnevin are offering a family pass to visit and tour / something from their gift shop.
The schools associated with the winning writers will receive sets of books from our sponsors, materials from Faber-Castell, and a class tour with Experience Glasnevin.

Full terms and conditions of the competition:


Rathgar Bloomsday Festival

Dress up and come celebrate all things Joyce at Rathgar Village Square, sponsored by Dublin City Council and Rathgar Business Association. They will be readings of Ulysses, jazz from Razzmajazz, food stalls, and face painting and Alpacas for the kids. The event is free of charge and will be outdoors, weather permitting.

Make Your Own Boater Hat! Live Online Bloomsday Workshop for Families by Chester Beatty

In honour of James Joyce and his iconic work, Ulysses, the Chester Beatty invites families to engage in a creative and sustainable craft activity: making your very own boater hat from recycled materials. Armed with cardboard, tape, and an array of decorative elements, you’ll have everything you need to fashion a personalized boater hat. Once they’re complete, share your masterpieces with us on social media!

The event is free but booking is essential. The event will be held online.

Cardboard (cereal box cardboard & a thicker cardboard) – as much as you can find!
Masking tape
Duct tape
Measuring tape

Optional materials:
Toilet roll tubes
Dark Coloured Material
Scalpel (if old enough to use one)

Share your hat with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!