MLC books

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





southword covers

Southword is a literary journal published biannually by the Munster Literature Centre. Issues 16 - 34 are free to read online. Back issues in print are available from the online bookstore for purchase. To keep up to date with the publication year-round, like our Facebook page:

How to Submit


When does Southword accept submissions?

Next period for unsolicited submissions will be January-March 2019.


Does Southword accept previously published material?

No. We cannot consider anything that has been previously published or accepted for publication, anywhere, in any form. Work that has appeared online is considered to have been previously published and should not be submitted.


Does Southword pay money?

Yes. Payment is made on publication. For unsolicited work we will be paying €50 per poem and €150 per short story, published in our new print editions. Payments to contributors outside Ireland can only be made through Paypal.


How do I submit my work to Southword?

We now use Submittable for you to send us your work. It will securely send our editors your work and e-mail you a confirmation that it has been received. In January, when the next submission period opens, we will post a link to our Submittable portal at the bottom of this page. If you do not already have a Submittable account your account will be set up during your first submission. There is no need to create an account beforehand. Fiction and Poetry must be submitted separately. In a submission period we like to see no more than one story or six poems. There is an upper limit of 3000 words for short stories and a suggested limit of 40 lines per poem. Once you have submitted your work, you can check the status of your submission by signing into your Submittable account.


What file types can I submit?

Submit files in one of the following formats only: Word document (.doc, or docx) files, Rich Text Format (.rtf) files, Text (.txt) files or Portable Document Format (.pdf) files, Poems should be submitted in a single file, with poems separated by titles or page breaks. Please include all writer contact info on the first page of the submitted file.


When can I submit to Southword?

Our next open submission period for poetry and fiction will be January-March 2019 for the September 2019 issue. There will be an issue published in March 2019 consisting of work drawn from our 2018 writing competitions and specially commissioned work. If we can grow our subscription base to a sufficient number we will have the funds to publish a third issue each year drawn from another unsolicited open submission period.


How soon can I expect to hear about my submission?

We hope to respond to the 2019 open submission period before the end of June. Please ensure that you set your e-mail spam filter to allow mail from munsterlit.ie otherwise notification regarding your submission may be marked as junk mail.


Do you still accept standard mail submissions?

Afraid not. Submittable makes everything safer and more efficient for everyone.


Who can I contact if I'm having trouble using submittable?

Please contact Submittable by e-mail (support@submittable.com) or through their help centre.



Read all the latest issues
of Southword journal
online here


Visit our Youtube channel
to view events from
previous festivals and more

Words Ireland

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


Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition 2018


Judge Paul McVeigh

Read the 2017 winning story by Louise Nealon


The Cork International
Short Story Festival

Cork International Short Story Festival

Wednesday Septmeber 12-
Saturday September 15 2018


The Cork International
Poetry Festival


Wednesday March 27-
Saturday March 30 2019


The 2018 Southword Fiction
Chapbook Competition
is now accepting entries.
Deadline 31st October



The 2018 Fool for Poetry
Chapbook Competition
is now closed



Southword Editions

on sale in
our bookstore


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



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

2018 Fellow Carys Davies



Poetry International

Recent additions:

Michelle O'Sullivan
Paddy Bushe
Doireann Ní Gríofa
Paul Casey








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