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Welcome to the Munster
Literature Centre

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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Literature Centre
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Munster Literature Centre








Announcing the results of the 2018 Gregory O'Donoghue Poetry Competition. Find out who

1st Prize: Robert Lipton of Richmond, California for his poem
                'Official Story'
2nd Prize: Majella Kelly of Tuam, Galway for her poem
                'Portrait of the City with Masectomy'
3rd Prize: Kim Addonizio of Oakland, Claifornia for her poem 
                   'Black Hour Blues'

Read the shortlist


Just Launched:
Issue 33 of Southword is now online.
Featuring the story that won the Sean O Faoláin prize by Louise Nealon as well as poetry by Matthew Sweeney, Eileen Sheehan and Stephen Sexton, reviews by Clíona Ní Riordáin and Matthew Geden and much more.




The Four Masters Workshop has SOLD OUT
Just a few places remain on the Brian Turner workshop and for James Harpur's one-to-one sessions. Find out more





eFull Programme for the 2018 Cork International Poetry Festival is now online

Workshops with Brian Turner and with Neil Astley, Ken Babstock, Patricia Smith and Mary O'Malley. Booking up fast. Find out more here




Just Launched:

Special end of year issue of Southword
a retrospective special featuring Jo Shapcott, Danielle McLaughlin, Dermot Healy and many more...





Announcing the winner of the 2017 Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition!

1st Prize goes to "What Feminism Is" by Louise Nealon from Co. Kildare, Ireland. Her winning story, along with the second prize winner “Dear Miss Jacobs” by Paul Byall from Georgia, USA, and four shortlisted stories will be published in the winter edition of Southword Literary Journal. ("Cicada" by Dean Gessie, "One Last Chance at the Night" by Rory Duffy, "The Ballad of Apollo" by Daniel Shand and "Fast-forward" by Tatiana Duvanova).

Louise Nealon

Louise Nealon is a twenty-six year old writer from Co. Kildare. She studied English literature in Trinity College Dublin, and then completed a Masters in Creative Writing at Queen’s University Belfast in 2016. She currently lives on her family’s farm where she divides her time between reading, writing and milking cows.

We are looking forward to having Louise read her winning story at the Cork International Short Story Festival.

More details about the Seán Ó Faoláin Competition here.




Molly Minturn & Bernadette McCarthy have won the 2017 Fool For Poetry Competition!

Molly MinturnBernadette McCarthy


Molly Minturn of Charlottesville, USA has taken first place for her manuscript Not in Heaven, and Bernadette McCarthy of Cork, Ireland was awarded second place for Bog Arabic. Both poets will receive chapbook publication, 50 copies of their chapbooks and an invitation to read at the2018 Cork International Poetry Festival. VIEW LONGLIST & MORE ABOUT THE COMPETITION HERE.




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.




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Words Ireland

The Munster Literature Centre
is a constituent member
of Words Ireland.


Images from the Cork
International Poetry Festival


Preperations are underway
for the 2019
Cork International Poetry Festival
next Febuary



Southword Editions

on sale in
our bookstore


including Fool For Poetry
winners, the New Irish
Voices series & more





Read all the latest issues
of Southword journal
online here



The Gregory O'Donoghue
Poetry Competition

Gregory O Donoghue

This year's winner is Rob Lipton

We will be open for submissions
in September 2018



Frank O'Connor
Short Story Fellowship

Marie Helene Bertino
2017 Fellow:
Marie-Helene Bertino


Seán Ó Faoláin
Short Story
Competition 2017


2017 Winner:
Louise Nealon

Read the winning story



Poetry International

Recent additions:

Michelle O'Sullivan
Paddy Bushe
Doireann Ní Gríofa
Paul Casey



The Cork International
Short Story Festival

Cork International Short Story Festival

Septmeber 2018!









The Munster Literature Centre


Frank O'Connor House, 84 Douglas Street, Cork, Ireland.

Tel. (353) 021 4312955 Email munsterlit@eircom.net

Irish Registered Charity No.12374