Munster Literature Centre
Ionad Litríochta an Deisceart

Southword Literary Essay Competition

Judge: Patrick Cotter

1st Prize:

8 Runners-Up:

All nine essays will be published over the course of 18 months (next three issues of Southword)

There is an entry fee of €20

Competition open: 1st December 2021

Deadline: 28th February 2023

The competition is open to original, unpublished, personal essays between 2500 ‒ 5000 words. We’re looking for personal, confessional essays which border on memoir ‒ gripping essays full of memories and feelings. The best indicator of the kind of thing which interests us is what we have published in past issues; essays by Kim Addonizio, Sandra Beasley, Simon Van Booy, Carlo Geblér, Thomas Lynch, Anthony Walton, Helen Mort and Kim Moore.

Prize money will be disbursed upon publication of the essays, over the course of the 18 months of three issues. Results are hoped for within three months of the competition deadline.

Submission Details

Send to:
Subject: Essay entry

Attachment 1: the essay 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
  • Essay title
  • Email address
  • Postal address
  • Image of PayPal receipt or the PayPal transaction ID number

Essays will be judged anonymously by editor Patrick Cotter.

The link below will bring you to a payment screen for the €20 fee: