Two Short Story Competitions

Short story writers, here are two short story competitions that you may be interested in with closing dates in the next couple of months. The William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen is due in April, with a 3000 word limit and a 20 euro entrance fee, the Molly Keane award is free to enter, due in March and has a 2000 word limit (tricky those!) Both are postal entry only.


Mitchelstown Literary Society, the organising committee, is pleased to announce that entries are now being accepted for the above Competition; this being the first under this banner.

“This is an ideal opportunity for creative writers to have the standard of their literary efforts appraised. Our short listing adjudicator for the competition is Vincent McDonnell, who is a well known short story writer and has won several prestigious national competitions in recent years. He will select a short list of circa 25 stories.

The final adjudicator will be John MacKenna, whose recent book of short stories, “The River Field”, has received much critical acclaim. If competition, in any facet of life, is the act of testing oneself against, or being judged by, the best then, in this competition, that tenet certainly holds true”.

Each story should contain a maximum of 3000 words and should be submitted, by post only, on or before Friday 29th. April 2011.

The winner will receive the Prize of 2,500 Euro and a Laptop Computer.

Five runners up will receive cash prizes of 200.00 Euro each.

There is an entry fee of 20.00 Euro per entry and each entry must have an official entry form attached.

The names of the winner and runners-up will be posted to the competition website when they become available.

Closing date: Last post Friday 29th. April 2011.

Entries, by post only, to:

Trevor/Bowen International Short Story Competition,

37 Upper Cork Street, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, Ireland



Now in its 14th year, Waterford County Council’s Arts Office is pleased to announce that it is currently accepting entries for the Molly Keane Memorial Creative Writing Award.

The late writer lived, until her death in 1996, in Ardmore, Co. Waterford.  Her first ten novels and four plays were published under the pseudonym M.J. Farrell.  In 1981 ‘Good Behaviour’ became a publishing sensation for which she was short listed for the prestigious Booker Prize.  To celebrate this rich literary life, the County Waterford Arts Office, by kind permission of the Keane family, is inviting entries for a previously unpublished short story to a maximum of 2000 words.  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 at a special ceremony during the IMMRAMA Literary Festival in Lismore, Co. Waterford in June 2011.

The closing date for receipt of entries is 5pm on Thursday 24th March 2011.

Full details and an entry form can be downloaded from:


or by contacting the Arts Office on 058-41416.

RTE Francis Mac Manus Competition 2009

This year the Frances Mac Manus Short Story competition celebrates its 25th anniversary. It is one of the foremost competitions in Ireland, both in terms of prestige and the generosity of its prizes.  Prizes of €3,000, €2,000 and €1,000 will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd winning stories. The story must be  should be within the range of 1,800 to 2,000 words. Competition is tough, as there are over 700 entries every year.

Writing a short story for radio has particular considerations, imagery has to be extremely vivid and character voices distinct.  Guest blogger Kellie Jackson (who was commissioned to write a story for BBC Radio 4) gives some great tips on Emma Darwin’s site This Itch of Writing.

The winners and all of the shortlisted stories will be broadcast on RTE Radio 1. You can listen to previously successful entrants on the RTE website.

The closing date for entries is Monday 26th October 2009. The prize will be announced in April 2010. For full details of rules and application form, see the 25th Frances McManus Short Story Competition.