Welcome to the Munster
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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Cork International Short Story Festival
September 7th - 10th
The Cork International Short Story Festival's full programme is now up online. In recognition of these times of austerity many events are free and all the rest are priced at €5 each. A full set of tickets costs €55 and the first 30 to book the full set will receive a complimentary copy of Neil Jordan's seminal short story collection Night in Tunisia. As well as Neil the festival features Polly Sampson, Zsuzsi Gartner, Gerard Woodward, John Boyne, Alan Heathcock, Donal Ryan, many other well known names and as usual, brilliant new names you will never have heard of before but which will be common knowledge in the years ahead. There will be spotlights on the journals Banshee, Long Story Short, a Fiction Introductions Reading and the annual stimulating, controversial panel discussion. Zsuzsi Gartner's masterclass workshop is almost sold out but we have only just begun taking bookings for Alan Heathcock's four-morning workshop suitable for beginner and experienced alike. All details are here:
August issue of Southword Journal
Issue 30, August 2016
Fool For Poetry Chapbook Winners
Congratulations to winners John Mee & Maya Catherine Popa!
Two further chapbooks by Róisín Kelly & Paul McMahon
to be published in our 'New Irish Voices' series
There was a 25% increase in entries to this year's Fool for Poetry competition and the standard was extremely high. We will be posting a list of the 12 shortlistees and the many highly commended on munserlit.ie next week. But we can announce now that the overall winner this year was John Mee from Cork who won the Patrick Kavanagh Award just last year. Runner-up was New York-based Maya Catherine Popa - a previous winner of the Gregory O'Donoghue Prize. Both John and Maya are debutantes and we are very proud to be issuing their first solo publications at the launch of the Cork International Poetry Festival next February. Our chapbook list will be augmented by a 'New Irish Voices' series. In November we will publish debutant chapbooks by Belfast-born, Munster-resident poets Roisin Kelly and Paul McMahon. Thank you to everyone who entered and to James Harpur, Thomas McCarthy, Leanne O'Sullivan and Matthew Sweeney who judged the final 12 manuscripts shortlisted by Patrick Cotter - anonymous all the way.
View the highly commended and shortlisted titles at our Fool For Poetry page.
Frank O'Connor International
Short Story Fellowship
Announcement of mentorship recipients
The mentorship bursaries have been awarded to Marie Gethins of Passage West, Cork, and David Brennan of Cork. The two runners-up are Eimear Ryan of Cork, and Micheál ó Siocháin of Charleville, Co. Cork.
Marie Gethins’ work has featured in The Irish Times, 2014/15/16 National Flash Fiction Day Anthologies, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, NANO, Litro, The Lonely Crowd,Wales Arts Review, The Incubator, Firewords Quarterly and others. She won or placed in The Short Story, Tethered by Letters, Flash500, Dromineer Literary Festival, Kanturk Arts, The New Writer, Prick of the Spindle and 99fiction.net. Other pieces listed in From The Well, Boulevard Emerging Writers, Bath Short Story Award, Bristol Short Story Prize, Fish Short Story/Flash/Memoir, James Plunkett, Listowel Writers Week Originals, Inktears, Over the Edge, WOW! Award, and RTE/Penguin competitions. Marie is a Pushcart, Best of the Short Fictions, and British Screenwriters Award Nominee. She is completing her Master of Studies in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford and lives with her family in Glenbrook, Cork.
In 2014 David returned to Ireland after living in Japan for 12 years. He currently lives in Cork. In the last year he has been short listed for the Doolin Short Story award, the Curtis Bausse Short story award and long listed for the Fish Memoire prize. He has also published stories and poems in Memoryhouse, The Ogham Stone, Crabfat and Jungle Crows (a Tokyo anthology). He is currently working on a collection of stories, a novel or two, and a few other things!
THE SEÁN Ó FAOLÁIN SHORT
The 2016 deadline has now passed.
Thank you to everyone who entered! The longlist will be announced at the end of August.
First Prize: €2,000
(approx $2308/£1583 in May 2016), publication in the literary journal Southword,
AND a week-long residency at Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat.
Second Prize: €500 and publication in Southword.
Four more shortlisted entries will be selected for publication
in Southword and receive a publication fee of €120.
The Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition is an annual short story competition open to writers from around the world, submissions accepted from May to July annually. It is dedicated to one of Ireland’s most accomplished story writers and theorists, sponsored by the Munster Literature Centre. If the winner comes to Cork to collect their prize, we will lavish them with hotel accommodation, meals, drinks and VIP access to the literary stars at the Cork International Short Story Festival (7 - 11 September 2016). The Munster Literature Centre is a not-for-profit organisation; all moneys raised from the competition benefits writers and writing.
Visit our competition page for more information and submission guidelines.
The Frank O'Connor International
Short Story Fellowship
(Open for submissions in April through September annually.)
2016 Fellow Zsuzsi Gartner.
The call for submissions for the 2017 Fellowship will open in April.
The Munster Literature Centre is pleased to announce the establishment of a new initiative aimed at benefiting short story writers: The Frank O’Connor International Short Story Fellowship. The fellowship is made possible through the very generous sponsorship of Cork City Council (the municipal government).
During their twelve week stay the fellow would have contact hours with the creative writing department of University College Cork, and additional time mentoring two Cork writers. They will be welcomed into the literary social life of the city where they will have the opportunity to network with resident established writers. They would present a farewell public reading at the Boole Library of University College Cork. There will be available two Frank O’Connor Mentorship Bursaries which consist of fees-free mentoring by the Frank O’Connor International Fellow.
Read more about the Frank O'Connor International
Short Story Fellowship.
The Munster Literature Centre is a not-for-profit organisation; all moneys raised from the competition benefits writers and writing.
Previous articles and information available on the Archives page.
The Munster Literature Centre
is a constituent member
of Words Ireland.
Short Story Festival
7 - 10 September
Southword Issue 30
New issue, free to read online.
Short Story Fellowship
being accepted for
at the MLC
Fool For Poetry
& Victor Tapner
Annually in spring.
Fool for Poetry
Annually in spring.
Seán Ó Faoláin