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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.




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Literature Centre
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Munster Literature Centre




- now accepting entries

Word limit: 3,000 words
Closing date: Tuesday the 31st of July (midnight)
Entry fee: €15 per story

The competition is open to original, unpublished and unbroadcast short stories in the English language of 3,000 words or fewer. The story can be on any subject, in any style, by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world. Translated work is not in the scope of this competition.

First Prize: €2,000, a week-long residency at Anam Cara Retreat and publication in the literary journal Southword
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.


2018 Judge
Paul McVeigh

The Good Son, Paul’s debut novel, won The Polari Prize and The McCrea Literary Award. It was shortlisted for The Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award, the Prix du Roman Cezam in France and a finalist for The People’s Book Prize. The Good Son was chosen as Brighton’s City Reads 2016 and was given out as part of World Book Night 2017.

Born in Belfast, Paul’s work has been performed on stage and radio, published in print and translated into seven languages. He began his career as a playwright before moving to London where he wrote comedy shows, which were performed at the Edinburgh Festival and in London’s West End. Moving into prose, his short stories have been published in anthologies & literary journals and read on BBC Radio 3, 4 & 5. ‘Hollow’ was shortlisted for Irish Short Story of the Year at the Irish Book Awards in 2017.

Paul co-founded the London Short Story Festival, of which, he was Director and Curator for 2014 & ’15. He is associate director at Word Factory, ‘the UK’s national organization for excellence in the short story’ The Guardian. Paul’s blog for writers which posts on submission opportunities for journals and competitions gets 40,000 hits a month and has had over a 1 3/4 million visitors.
He now lives back home in Belfast.


How to submit (email or post)

Email entry

Send to:
Subject: "SOF entry 2018"

  1. The story for submission (Word document. We cannot accept PDF's). As the competition is judged anonymously, we request that you do not write your name or personal details anywhere on this document.
  2. A cover letter (separate word document attached to the same email). The cover letter should include
    - Your name
    - Story title
    - Email address
    - Phone number
    - Postal address
    - Image of PayPal receipt or the Paypal transaction ID  number
    - How your heard about the competition
    - A brief bio (optional)
    Please ensure that this information is in the attachment and not in the body of the email.
  3. Payment of the €15 entry fee can be made through PayPal (see below)

Postal entry: Please include:

  1. Submission manuscript (typed). To ensure anonymity, please do not write your name or any other personal details on the manuscript.
  2. Cover letter - see details above. Cover letter should be on a separate page to ensure anonymity.
  3. Payment: If you have paid through Paypal, just quote the Paypal transaction ID. Alternatively we accept cheques and bank drafts (see details below)
  4. Send to:
    The Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition,
    The Munster Literature Centre, Frank O'Connor House,
    84 Douglas Street,
    Cork, T12 X802
  5. Please DO NOT SEND ENTRIES BY REGISTERED POST. Unfortunately we are less likely to receive entries sent by registered post and your submission may be ineligible due to the delay incurred.
  6. If you would like us to send you confirmation of your postal entry, please include a self-addressed stamped postcard or envelope. We can confirm the receipt of international entries via email.



Paypal will deduct the fee in your own currency. As proof of payment, please include an image of the receipt or quote the transaction ID in your cover letter.

No. of entries

Alternative methods of payment (Postal entries)

  • Bank drafts
  • Other currencies: We can also accept cheques and bank drafts in Euro, U.S. Dollars or Pounds sterling at a rate of US $20 or £15 for each story
  • Postal order (Republic of Ireland only)
  • Please note that we cannot accept cash payment

To ensure that you will be notified when the competition results are released, sign up for our newsletter

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About the competition
The Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition is an annual short story competition open to writers from around the world, submissions accepted from March to July annually. It is dedicated to one of Ireland’s most accomplished story writers and theorists and is sponsored by the Munster Literature Centre.

If the winner comes to Cork to collect their prize the centre will pay for hotel accommodation, meals and drinks at the Cork International Short Story Festival (September 12-15, 2018) - Ireland's only dedicated short story festival.

Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat is again awarding a week-long residency to the first prize winner of the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition. Located just outside the colourful village of Eyeries on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork, Anam Cara is a tranquil spot structured to provide support and sanctuary for people working in the creative arts. It offers private and common working rooms as well as five acres of walking paths, thirty-four nooks and crannies, a river cascades and a river island, gardens, and a labyrinth meadow. Editoral consultation is also available. The additional prize is valued at €700.

(The dates of the residency will be arranged between the writer themselves and Anam Cara, and can be scheduled before or after the week of the Cork International Short Story Festival. Otherwise, the week can be scheduled for another time of the year, at Anam Cara's discretion.)

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



Shauna MackeySusan Maeir MoulMolia Dumbleton

Click here to learn more about O'Faolain winners in years past.










Words Ireland

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


Seán Ó Faoláin
Short Story
Competition 2018
judge Paul McVeigh


2017 Winner:
Louise Nealon

Read the winning story


View images from the Cork
International Poetry Festival


Preperations are underway
for the 2019
Cork International Poetry Festival
March 27-30



The 2018 Fool for Poetry
Chapbook Competition
is now accepting entries.
Deadline 30 June
Find out more.


Southword Editions

on sale in
our bookstore


including Fool For Poetry
winners, the New Irish
Voices series & more




Read all the latest issues
of Southword journal
online here


The Gregory O'Donoghue
Poetry Competition

Gregory O Donoghue

This year's winner is Rob Lipton
whose poem will be published
in the next issue of Southword

The competition will reopen
for submissions in
September 2018



Frank O'Connor
Short Story Fellowship

Marie Helene Bertino
2017 Fellow:
Marie-Helene Bertino


Poetry International

Recent additions:

Michelle O'Sullivan
Paddy Bushe
Doireann Ní Gríofa
Paul Casey


The Cork International
Short Story Festival

Cork International Short Story Festival

Wednesday Septmeber 12-
Saturday September 15 2018






The Munster Literature Centre

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

Tel. (353) 021 4312955, Email: munsterlit(AT)eircom(DOT)net

Irish Registered Charity No.12374