Maritime adventures tale wins Umar top travel writer title

Umar Muhammad.
Umar Muhammad.

Eight-year-old Carrick schoolboy Umar Muhammad is the winner of Tourism NI’s Young Travel Writer 2018 competition.

Umar has impressed the judges with his “creativity, imagination and story-telling”.

Umar has beaten off strong competition from 100 entries and “an array of creativity” from across Northern Ireland to become the winner of the P3-P4 category before being chosen as the Young Travel Writer 2018.

Umar’s winning entry told the story of his adventures on the Maritime Mile in Belfast, discovering the rich maritime history on offer.

He also completed his entry with imaginative illustrations, detailing a map of his explorations on his bicycle, as one of the entry requirements for his category.

Rosemarie McHugh, director of product development at Tourism NI, congratulated Umar on his win: “Umar’s entry stood out in terms of bringing our heritage to life through a wonderful adventure on his bike, demonstrated with lovely colourful illustrations and a story that showed how much fun he had on his travels. We hope Umar and his family enjoy their stay at the wonderful Blackhead Lightkeeper’s House and we hope to see his adventures captured on his new camera.”

Gemma O’Neill, Northern Ireland illustrator and children’s author, was the Young Travel Writers judge for Umar’s category: “We have such a rich maritime history here in Northern Ireland and it’s something that should definitely be explored more. The trail that Umar took sounded like a lot of fun and he’s done very well to structure all the lovely places and things he saw into the piece of writing.

“His piece has a strong beginning, middle and end. It’s very descriptive and the personal tone brings an extra depth to it. It’s a lovely piece of writing, along with his fantastic drawing that captured his adventure. It was a pleasure to read and I’ve discovered a new trail that I’ll have to explore now myself.”

Umar won an exclusive weekend break at Blackhead Lightkeeper’s House.