Welcome to the Munster
Founded in 1993, the Munster Literature Centre (Ionad Litríochta an Deiscirt) is a non-profit arts organisation dedicated to the promotion and celebration of literature, especially that of Munster. To this end, we organise festivals, workshops, readings and competitions. Our publishing section, Southword Editions, publishes a biannual journal, poetry collections and short stories. We actively seek to support new and emerging writers and are assisted in our efforts through funding from Cork City Council, Cork County Council and the Arts Council of Ireland.Originally located in Sullivan's Quay, the centre moved to its current premises in the Frank O'Connor House (the author's birthplace) at 84 Douglas Street, in 2003.
In 2000, the Munster Literature Centre organised the first Frank O'Connor International Short Story Festival, an event dedicated to the celebration of the short story and named for one of Cork's most beloved authors. The festival showcases readings, literary forums and workshops. Following continued growth and additional funding, the Cork City - Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award was introduced in 2005, coinciding with Cork's designation as that year's European Capital of Culture. The award is now recognised as the single biggest prize for a short story collection in the world and is presented at the end of the festival.In 2002, the Munster Literature Centre introduced the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize, an annual short story competition dedicated to one of Ireland's most accomplished story writers and theorists. This too is presented during the FOC festival. The centre also hosts the Cork Spring Literary Festival each year, at which the Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Prize is awarded (established 2010).
Workshops are held by featured authors in both autumn and spring, allowing the general public to receive creative guidance in an intimate setting for a minimal fee. In addition, the centre sponsors a Writer in Residence each year. We invite you to browse our website for further information regarding our events, Munster literature, and other literary information. Should you have any queries, we would be happy to hear from you.
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Congratulations to the winners of the
Fool For Poetry Competition!
Victor Tapner has taken top prize with his manuscript Banquet In the Hall of Happiness. Tapner's full collection Flatlands was published by Salt in 2010. Among his previous honours he has won the Cardiff International Poetry Competition, the Wigtown Prize and Flatlands won the East Anglian Book Award for Poetry.
Tania Hershman came second with her manuscript Nothing Here is Wild, Everything is Open. Tania has published books of short fiction previously but this will be her debut poetry volume. Her fiction books are The White Road & Other Stories (Salt, 2008) and My Mother Was An Upright Piano (Tangent, 2012).
The following poets were also selected as finalists from a field of over 200 entries:
Liz Bahs, Berkshire, UK
The winning chapbooks will be launched at next February's Cork International Poetry Festival.
Garret Bryant, California,
Catherine Cole, Wollongong, Australia.
Kevin Conroy, Naas, Ireland
Paul McMahon, Sligo, Ireland
Lauren Rusk, California
Ryan Vine, Minnesota
The judging process consisted of Patrick Cotter selecting the finalist manuscripts and past and present Southword Poetry editors, James Harpur, Thomas McCarthy, Leanne O'Sullivan and Matthew Sweeney, ranking (without mutual consultation) each finalist in order of preference. When points were added up Victor Tapner and Tania Hershman came out tops.
Southword Journal Issue 28 now online!
Featuring poems selected by editor Matthew Sweeney, including work by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, John McAuliffe, Maurice Riordan, Fiona Pitt-Kethley, the late John Hartley-Williams, and more; six new short stories selected by fiction editor Danielle McLaughlin; litríocht as Gaeilge curated by Colm Breathnach; and reviews of four new English language publications from Irish writers.
Read issue 28 free online.
THE SEÁN Ó FAOLÁIN SHORT
2015 competition now open for submissions! Deadline 31 July.
First Prize: €2,000
(approx $2153/£1431 in April 2015), publication in the literary journal Southword,
AND a week-long residency at Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat.
Second Prize: €500 and publication in Southword.
Four more shortlisted entries will be selected for publication
in Southword and receive a publication fee of €120.
Guidelines, rules and information here.
Previous articles and information available on the Archives page.
Seán Ó Faoláin
Southword Issue 28
New issue, free to read online.
Fool For Poetry
& Virginia Astley
Short Story Festival
23 - 26 September
Short Story Award
World's richest prize
a short story collection,
co-sponsored by the
UCC School of English
Cork City Council.
Fool for Poetry
Thanks to those
at the MLC