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The competition is open to original, unpublished and unbroadcast short stories in the English language of 3,000 words or fewer.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.
- Residency (one week) at Anam Cara Retreat
- Featured reading at the Cork International Short Story Festival (with four-night hotel stay and full board)
- Publication in Southword
- Publication in Southword
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.
Send to: email@example.com
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.
- 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
- 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:
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.
|2021||1st Prize||Shelley Hastings||Am I Helping?||Issue 42|
|2nd Prize (shared)||Neil Cawley||Requiem for a Strip Club|
|2nd Prize (shared)||Jay Kelly||At Sea, Two Graces|
|2020||1st Prize||Ben Fergusson||A Navigable River||Issue 40|
|2nd Prize||LA Williams||Garden|
|2019||1st Prize||Mike Allen||Come Closer||Issue 38|
|2nd Prize||Peter Hughes||The Rules|
|2018||1st Prize||Louise Crimmins||How to Pass||Issue 36|
|2nd Prize||R. S. Wynn||Find Yourself Here|
|2017||1st Prize||Louise Nealon||What Feminism Is||Issue 33 (online)|
|2nd Prize||Paul Byall||Dear Miss Jacobs|
|2016||1st Prize||Shauna Mackey||The Idyllic Land of the 6s||Issue 31 (online)|
|2nd Prize||Laura Legge||Lingua Franca|
|2015||1st Prize||Evelyn Walsh||White Rabbit||Issue 29 (online)|
|2nd Prize||Dolores Walshe||Small Yellow Sun|
|2014||1st Prize||Susan Maier-Moul||Pleasure||Issue 27 (online)|
|2nd Prize||Kathy Conde||This is the place where it all breaks down: A family alphabet|
|2013||1st Prize||Molia Dumbleton||The Way We Carried Ourselves||Issue 25 (online)|
|2nd Prize||Danielle McLaughlin||The Others|
|2012||1st Prize||Sophie Hampton||White Socks & Weirdos||Issue 23 (online)|
|2nd Prize||Thomas Watson||Café at the V&A|
|2011||1st Prize||P. G. O’Connor||The Haggard||Issue 21 (online)|
|2nd Prize||Laura Rock||Woman Cubed|
|2010||1st Prize||Nikita Nelin||Eddie||Issue 19 (online)|
|2nd Prize||Bernie McGill||No Angel|
|2009||1st Prize||Alexa Beattie||Cold Cut||Issue 17 (online)|
|2nd Prize||David Mohan||My Friend Joe|
|2008||1st Prize||Julia van Middlesworth||Daddy Dead||Issue 15|
|2nd Prize||Anna May Mangan||The Red Dress|
|2007||1st Prize||Toby McGrath||If Our God Is God What’s Their God?||Issue 13|
|2nd Prize||James Harkin||Explosions|
|2006||1st Prize||Joyce Russell||We All Fall Down||Issue 11|
|2nd Prize||Alan McMonagle||The Wake|
|2005||1st Prize||James Moynihan||El Dorado||Issue 9|
|2nd Prize||Deirdre Jacobson||Gone|
|2004||1st Prize||Jon Boilard||The Good Kind||Issue 7|
|2nd Prize||Aidan Harman||The Serpentine Trap|
|2003||1st Prize||William Wall||What Slim Boy, O Pyrrha||Issue 5|
|2nd Prize||Mary Leland||Pilgrims of the Night|