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Six Irish short story competitions and awards that are still open for submissions

With hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland now unemployed, many are looking for a way to occupy themselves during this difficult time. One such way is through writing short stories and honing in on their writing skills.

Many creative people have a penchant for writing and thankfully though we are living in strange times there are still Irish short story competitions and awards that are taking submissions. With prizes ranging up to €3000, it’s worth getting your creative hat on.

The Molly Keane Creative Writing Award [May 1st]

Waterford City and County Council’s Arts Office is currently accepting entries for the Molly Keane Creative Writing Award 2020. The requirement to attend a presentation ceremony is no longer necessary.

There is no entry fee, no age limit and no restriction on the subject matter. A prize of €500 will be awarded to the winner.

Find out more here and find the entry form here.

RTÉ Short Story Competition [May 8th]

RTÉ is currently accepting short story submissions for the RTÉ Short Story Competition in honour of Francis MacManus.

The overall winner will receive €3,000, while €2,000 and €1,000 will be awarded to the second and third place prize winners respectively. A further seven runners-up will receive €250 each, and all 10 short stories will be broadcast in a season of new writing on RTÉ Radio 1 in the autumn. The top three prizewinning stories will also be published on TheJournal.ie.

You can find out more details about the competition here and submit your story here.

Mairtín Crawford Poetry and Short Story Award [May 13th]

These awards are aimed at writers working towards their first full collection of poetry, short stories, or a novel. Both published and unpublished writers are invited to submit between 3-5 poems for the poetry award, and a short story of up to 2,500 words for the short story award, with the only stipulation being that they have not yet published a full collection of poetry, short stories, or a novel.

The winner for each award will receive a cash prize of £1,000 and a 3-night stay at the writing and reading retreat ‘The River Mill’. There will also be a Runner-Up Prize for each award at a value of £250. Find out more here

New Roscommon Writing Award [May 15th]

Part of the county’s literature development programme this competition is funded by Roscommon County Council and The Arts Council, and supported by the Roscommon Herald and by Shannonside FM. The winner will receive a monetary prize of €500 and will have their winning entry printed in the Roscommon Herald. It will also be broadcast on Shannonside FM. Four runners-up will receive €100 each.

Further details can be found here.

Anthology Magazine Short Story [Early Bird May 31st – Final Deadline July 31st]

Short fiction writers are invited to enter this competition which is open to original and previously unpublished short stories in the English language by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world.

Stories submitted must be on the theme of ‘Friendship’ and not exceed the maximum of 1,500 words. Writers can submit as many entries as they wish.

The winner will receive a €300 cash prize and the chance to see their work published in a future issue of Anthology Magazine.

The winner will also receive: A two-night stay with one dinner at the Montenotte Hotel in Cork City, a limited edition pen created to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Weir & Sons, Waterford Crystal engraved trophy and a one-year subscription to Anthology Magazine.

Find out more here.

The John Mc Gahern Award [July 31st]

As part of the Iron Mountain Literature Festival, Leitrim County Council and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre with the support of the McGahern Estate developed the John McGahern Award to encourage the development of emerging Irish writers and to pay tribute to the exceptional contribution of John McGahern to literature, and to Leitrim.

The recipient of the award who will receive a two-week fully resourced residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and a stipend of €1,000.

This is an open call to early career writers of fiction resident in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. Applicants must have had some fiction or short stories published in a recognised journal or anthology selected by an established publisher or editor.

​Find out more about the specific submission details here.

Looking for other things to do? Check out our list of top Irish podcasts to listen to here or Irish short films to watch here.

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I'm a freelance content creator and a journalist who has a strong desire to do as much as possible in the time I've got left on this planet. I got a taste for storytelling when I interned in Storyful many moons ago and since then have worked for places like WorldIrish (now Irish Central), Her.ie and Lonely Planet. I am constantly curious.

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