Munster Literature Centre
Ionad Litríochta an Deisceart

Seán Ó Faoláin

Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition

Open for entries 1 May – 31 July

Word limit: 3,000
Closing date: 31st July (midnight)
Entry fee: €19 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The competition is open to original, unpublished and unbroadcast short stories in the English language of 3,000 words or fewer.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. Entrants may submit more than one entry. Once entered, no alterations can be made to the submission. Simultaneous submissions are accepted but please notify us immediately should your work be accepted elsewhere.

Prizes

1st Prize
2nd Prize
Four Runners-Up

Judge

Alan McMonagle
Photo by John Minihan

Alan McMonagle has written for radio and published two collections of short stories (Psychotic Episodes and Liar Liar). Ithaca, his first novel, was published by Picador in 2017, and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Award for first novels, the Dublin Literary Award, and shortlisted for an Irish Book Award. His second novel, Laura Cassidy’s Walk Of Fame, appeared in 2020. He lives in Galway.

Submission Details

Email entry

Send to: sofcomp@munsterlit.ie
Subject: SOF entry

Attachment 1: the story for submission (Word or other text document – we cannot accept PDFs). As the competition is judged anonymously, we request that you do not write your name or personal details anywhere on this document.

Attachment 2: cover letter (separate text document attached to the same email, not in the body of the 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)

Payment of the €19 entry fee can be made through PayPal. PayPal will deduct the fee in your own currency.

A PayPal portal will appear here during the competition submission window – entry fees will not be accepted outside of this time.

Postal Entry
  • Submission manuscript (typed). To ensure anonymity, please do not write your name or any other personal details on the manuscript.
  • Cover letter: see required details above. Cover letter should be on a separate page to ensure anonymity.
  • Payment: If you have paid through PayPal, just quote the PayPal transaction ID. Alternatively, we accept cheques or bank drafts payable to the “Munster Literature Centre” in Euro, U.S Dollars or Pounds Sterling at a rate of €19 EUR, $22 USD or £18 GBP for each entry. We also accept postal orders from the Republic of Ireland only. Please note that we cannot accept cash payment or Western Union money orders.
  • Send to:
    Seán Ó Faoláin Competition,
    The Munster Literature Centre,
    84 Douglas Street,
    Cork, T12 X802
    Ireland
  • Please do not sent 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.
  • If you would like us to send you confirmation of your postal entry, please include a self-addressed stamped postcard or envelope (if posted within Ireland). We can confirm the receipt of international entries via email.

More 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 May 1st to July 31st annually. It is dedicated to one of Ireland’s most accomplished story writers and theorists and is sponsored by the Munster Literature Centre.

Due to the large volume of entries, the judge will not be able to notify the authors of non-winning entries or give individual feedback. A shortlist will be posted on our website homepage by late September / early October, with winners and runners-up contacted before the public announcement. We recommend following us on social media or signing up for our newsletter to stay up to date with all competition developments directly:

Join Our Mailing List


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Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat awards a weeklong 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 money raised from the competition benefits writers and writing.

Previous Winners

YearAccoladeAuthorTitleSouthword
2022 1st PrizeE.M. HughesInfestatoIssue 44
2nd PrizeJ.P. GarveyDraíocht
20211st PrizeShelley HastingsAm I Helping?Issue 42
2nd Prize (shared)Neil CawleyRequiem for a Strip Club
2nd Prize (shared)Jay KellyAt Sea, Two Graces
20201st PrizeBen FergussonA Navigable RiverIssue 40
2nd PrizeLA WilliamsGarden
20191st PrizeMike AllenCome CloserIssue 38
2nd PrizePeter HughesThe Rules
20181st PrizeLouise CrimminsHow to PassIssue 36
2nd PrizeR. S. WynnFind Yourself Here
20171st PrizeLouise NealonWhat Feminism IsIssue 33 (online)
2nd PrizePaul ByallDear Miss Jacobs
20161st PrizeShauna MackeyThe Idyllic Land of the 6sIssue 31 (online)
2nd PrizeLaura LeggeLingua Franca
20151st PrizeEvelyn WalshWhite RabbitIssue 29 (online)
2nd PrizeDolores WalsheSmall Yellow Sun
20141st PrizeSusan Maier-MoulPleasureIssue 27 (online)
2nd PrizeKathy CondeThis is the place where it all breaks down: A family alphabet
20131st PrizeMolia DumbletonThe Way We Carried OurselvesIssue 25 (online)
2nd PrizeDanielle McLaughlinThe Others
20121st PrizeSophie HamptonWhite Socks & WeirdosIssue 23 (online)
2nd PrizeThomas WatsonCafé at the V&A
20111st PrizeP. G. O’ConnorThe HaggardIssue 21 (online)
2nd PrizeLaura RockWoman Cubed
20101st PrizeNikita NelinEddieIssue 19 (online)
2nd PrizeBernie McGillNo Angel
20091st PrizeAlexa BeattieCold CutIssue 17 (online)
2nd PrizeDavid MohanMy Friend Joe
20081st PrizeJulia van MiddlesworthDaddy DeadIssue 15
2nd PrizeAnna May ManganThe Red Dress
20071st PrizeToby McGrathIf Our God Is God What’s Their God?Issue 13
2nd PrizeJames HarkinExplosions
20061st PrizeJoyce RussellWe All Fall DownIssue 11
2nd PrizeAlan McMonagleThe Wake
20051st PrizeJames MoynihanEl DoradoIssue 9
2nd PrizeDeirdre JacobsonGone
20041st PrizeJon BoilardThe Good KindIssue 7
2nd PrizeAidan HarmanThe Serpentine Trap
20031st PrizeWilliam WallWhat Slim Boy, O PyrrhaIssue 5
2nd PrizeMary LelandPilgrims of the Night