Our five mentors this year will each mentor two individuals. Candidates may apply to a maximum of two mentors, but no successful candidate can receive more than one mentorship. Mentorships will consist of four face-to-face, two-hour sessions. Complete guidelines and submission details are available at southword.submittable.com.
Deadline for submissions: 14th July 2023 (midnight)
Thomas McCarthy was born in Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, in 1954 and educated locally and at University College Cork where he was auditor of the English Literature Society. He has published many collections of poetry, including The First Convention, The Sorrow Garden, Lost Province, Merchant Prince and The Last Geraldine Officer. He has also published two novels, Without Power, and Asya and Christine as well as two works of non-fiction, Gardens of Remembrance and Out of the Ashes. Pandemonium was published by Carcanet Press in 2016 and was short-listed for the Irish Times/Poetry Now Award. Prophecy was published by Carcanet in 2019. He is a member of Aosdána, the Irish Assembly of artists and writers. He has won the Patrick Kavanagh Award, the Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize and the O’Shaughnessy Prize for Poetry as well as the Ireland Funds Annual Literary Award.
Afric McGlinchey is an Irish poet and reviewer with strong African connections, as she spent her childhood and early adulthood in Southern Africa. Selected by Poetry Ireland Review as one of The Rising Generation (2016), her other honours include a Hennessy poetry award, Poets Meet Politics award, Northern Liberties prize (USA), and Best of the Net and Pushcart nominations. She has been the recipient of several bursaries from the Cork County Council and was Writer in Residence at the Uillinn Arts Centre in 2016. Since 2005, Afric has been facilitating creative writing and poetry workshops. She is a reviewer for the Dublin Review of Books and other journals, and works as a consulting book editor for The Inkwell Group. Her début poetry collection, The lucky star of hidden things, was published by Salmon Poetry, followed by Ghost of the Fisher Cat in 2016. Both collections have been well-received, translated into Italian and re-published by L’Arcolaio. A surrealist chapbook, Invisible Insane, was published by SurVision in 2019. She was awarded a Literature Bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland to write Tied to the Wind, an auto-fictional prose poetry collection, published by from Broken Sleep Books. www.africmcglinchey.com
Billy O’Callaghan was born in Cork in 1974, and is the author of four short story collections: In Exile (2008, Mercier Press), In Too Deep (2009, Mercier Press), The Things We Lose, The Things We Leave Behind (2013, New Island Books, winner of a 2013 Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Award and selected as Cork’s One City, One Book for 2017), and The Boatman (2020, Jonathan Cape and Harper (U.S.A.), as well as the novels The Dead House (2017, Brandon/O’Brien Press and 2018, Arcade/Skyhorse (USA) and My Coney Island Baby, (2019, Jonathan Cape and Harper (U.S.A.). His latest novel, Life Sentences, was published by Jonathan Cape in January 2021. Billy is the winner of a Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Award for the short story, and twice a recipient of the Arts Council of Ireland’s Bursary Award for Literature. Among numerous other honours, his story, The Boatman, was a finalist for the 2016 Costa Short Story Award.
Mary Morrissy is the author of three novels, Mother of Pearl, The Pretender and The Rising of Bella Casey and two collections of short stories, A Lazy Eye and Prosperity Drive. Her short fiction has been anthologised widely; she also writes flash and essays. Her fourth novel, Penelope Unbound, is forthcoming in October from Banshee Press. Her work has won her the Hennessy Prize and a Lannan Foundation Award. A member of Aosdána, she is a journalist and literary mentor – see https://marymorrissy.com/ – and was formerly the Associate Director of Creative Writing at UCC.
Eibhlís Carcione is a children’s author, a bilingual poet and a teacher. Her three poetry collections in Irish, Tonn Chlíodhna (2015), Eala Oíche (2019), and Bean Róin (2023), are published by Coiscéim. She has won numerous awards for her poetry and was awarded an Arts Council literature bursary in 2021. Her children’s novel Welcome to Dead Town Raven McKay was published in 2023 by Everything With Words. She is represented by Silvia Molteni at PFD. “Lyrical and magical.” —Zillah Bethell; “Deliciously dark and gorgeously gothic.” —Kieran Larwood; “In her middle-grade debut, poet Eibhlís Carcione infuses the Gothic setting of Grave’s Pass with a lyricism and humour that recalls Neil Gaiman’s work for young readers. However it is the immediacy of the action that keeps the pages turning in this crackerjack fantasy adventure.” —The Irish Times; “Prepare to be thrilled, spooked and enthralled.” —The Irish Examiner