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Welcome to the Munster
Literature Centre

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.




Connect with Munster
Literature Centre
on social media

Munster Literature Centre










is now open for entries!

Closing date: November 30


1st Prize €1000, a week's residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, publication in Southword
and a trip to Cork, Ireland

2nd Prize €500 & publication in Southword

3rd Prize €250 & publication in Southword

Ten runners-up to be published in Southword and receive €30 publication fee

Find out more information about the prize and how to enter here!



New: Ceaití Ní Bheildiúin on Poetry International


ceaiti ni bhealdiuin

We're delighted to announce the publication of five poems by Ceaití Ní Bheildiúin over on Poetry International.

The poems are in Irish and in English translation, and many thanks to Doireann Ní Ghríofa for her introduction to 'one of the most innovative & interesting voices in contemporary Irish language poetry'.

You can read the poems, and more about the poet, here.




Announcing the 2016 winning, shortlisted
and longlisted stories in the Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition:


1st Prize
“The Idyllic Land of the 6’s” by Shauna Mackay (Northumberland, UK)

Shauna Mackay


Shauna Mackay lives in Northumberland with her husband and family. She is a previous recipient of the Andrea Badenoch Award for fiction and has stories published, or forthcoming, at several places online.

View all winning, shortlisted and longlisted authors on the competition page.





Fool For Poetry Chapbook Winners

Maya PopaJohn MeeRoisin KellyPaul McMahon

Congratulations to winners John Mee & Maya Catherine Popa!


Two further chapbooks by Róisín Kelly & Paul McMahon
to be published in our 'New Irish Voices' series

 There was a 25% increase in entries to this year's Fool for Poetry competition and the standard was extremely high. We will be posting a list of the 12 shortlistees and the many highly commended on munserlit.ie next week. But we can announce now that the overall winner this year was John Mee from Cork who won the Patrick Kavanagh Award just last year. Runner-up was New York-based Maya Catherine Popa - a previous winner of the Gregory O'Donoghue Prize.

Both John and Maya are debutantes and we are very proud to be issuing their first solo publications at the launch of the Cork International Poetry Festival next February. Our chapbook list will be augmented by a 'New Irish Voices' series. In November we will publish debutant chapbooks by Belfast-born, Munster-resident poets Roisin Kelly and Paul McMahon.

Thank you to everyone who entered and to James Harpur, Thomas McCarthy, Leanne O'Sullivan and Matthew Sweeney who judged the final 12 manuscripts shortlisted by Patrick Cotter - anonymous all the way.

View the highly commended and shortlisted titles at our Fool For Poetry page.




The Munster Literature Centre is a not-for-profit organisation; all moneys raised from the competition benefits writers and writing.






Previous articles and information available on the Archives page.




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Words Ireland

The Munster Literature Centre
is a constituent member
of Words Ireland.



O'Donoghue Poetry

Sean O'Faolain Short Story Competition

Now accepting


Southword issue #30



Read the latest issue
of Southword here



Frank O'Connor
Short Story Fellowship

2016 Fellow:
Zsuzsi Gartner

Zsuzsi Gartner
Applications now
being accepted for
2017 residency.




Fool for Poetry


2016 winners announced!




Writing Workshops
at the MLC


Short story
festival workshops
coming soon



Seán Ó Faoláin
Short Story

Sean O'Faolain Short Story Competition

2016 winners announced




Southword Editions

Tania Hershman

Newest books:

Fool For Poetry
chapbooks by
Tania Hershman
& Victor Tapner



Poetry International

Recent additions:

Ceaití Ní Bheildiúin
Kimberly Campanello
Justin Quinn
Brendan Cleary
Eleanor Hooker

& more




Cork International
Poetry Festival

Cork International Short Story Festival

Annually in spring.




The Cork International
Short Story Festival

Cork International Short Story Festival

Annually in September




Southword Issue 30

Southword Journal

New issue, free to read online.




The Munster Literature Centre


Frank O'Connor House, 84 Douglas Street, Cork, Ireland.

Tel. (353) 021 4312955 Email munsterlit@eircom.net

Irish Registered Charity No.12374