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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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The Munster Literature Centre is pleased to announce the winner of the 2010 Cork City-Frank O'Connor Short Story Award has gone to


Ron Rash, 2010 FOC Award Winner




Read the announcement on the Guardian books page.

Read the announcement at the Irish Examiner.


More articles & commentary on the 2010 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Festival and its participants:


Jen Hamilton-Emery's blog

Ben Greenman of the New Yorker

Belle Bogg's blog

The Irish Times on Robin Black

The Irish Times on Claire Keegan

Gerry Smyth's 'Loose Leaves' in the Irish Times

Irish Times on David Marcus Memorial Reading

Shortlist coverage in the Guardian.




Shortlisted Authors 2010

Longlisted Authors 2010


Submission Guidelines

The 2010 Frank O'Connor Festival Website

Back to the Frank O'Connor Award Main Page

Visit Award Pages: 2009 or 2011






Shortlist for the 2010 Cork City - Frank O'Connor Short Story Award Announced


The Munster Literature Centre is pleased to unveil the shortlist for the 2010 Cork City – Frank O’Connor Short Story Award. At €35,000 it remains the world’s richest prize for the form. It is awarded to what is judged to be the best, original collection of stories published in English in the 12 months preceding its award in September. This year we have the usual mix of veteran and debutante authors, although unusually, five of the six places this year have been taken by authors of one country: the USA. Another unusual feature is that as many as three of the books have been published by small presses. All of the shortlistees have agreed to come to Cork next September to attend the awards ceremony and to read from their books at the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Festival.


Further information can be obtained from:

Patrick Cotter, Director,

The Munster Literature Centre,


++353 214312955 




The shortlisted books are as follows (in alphabetical order)




1. If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This (Picador UK, 2010) by Robin Black



Robin Black Robin Black shortlisted for the 2010 Frank O'Connor Award



Robin Black holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA from Warren Wilson College. If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This (Random House, 2010) is her first story collection. The book has also been brought out by six foreign publishers and translated into four languages.

Robin Black’s stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications including The Southern Review, One Story, The Georgia Review, Colorado Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Indiana Review, and The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. I (Norton, 2007). She is the recipient of grants from the Leeway Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, the Sirenland Conference and is also the winner of the 2005 Pirate’s Alley Faulkner-Wisdom Writing Competition in the short story category. Her work has been noticed for Special Mention by the Pushcart Prizes on four occasions and also deemed Notable in The Best American Essays 2008 and The Best Nonrequired Reading 2009.  She is currently at work on a novel, also to be published by Random House and overseas. Since receiving her MFA, she has taught Advanced Fiction Writing at Arcadia University and worked extensively with individual students.  In 2010, she will be teaching at Bryn Mawr College. Click here to visit Robin Black's homepage.




2. Mattaponi Queen (Graywolf Press, 2010) by Belle Boggs



Belle Boggs shortlisted for the 2010 Frank O'Connor AwardBelle Boggs Shortlisted for the 2010 Frank O'Connor Award



Belle Boggs grew up in Virginia and currently lives in North Carolina, USA with her husband Richard Allen. She holds an MFA in fiction from the University of California at Irvine and is a writer and teacher. Mattaponi Queen (Graywolf Press, 2010) is her first book. Stories from the collection have appeared in The Paris Review, Glimmer Train, At Length, storySouth and Five Chapters. Boggs is also the winner of the 2009 Katharine Bakeless Nason Prize for fiction, selected by Percival Everett and awarded by the Middlebury College Bread Loaf Writers’ conference. Click here to visit Belle Boggs homepage.




3.Wild Child (Bloomsbury, 2010) by TC Boyle


TC Boyle shortlisted for the 2010 Frank O'Connor AwardTC Boyle shortlisted for the 2010 Frank O'Connor Short Story Award



T. Coraghessan Boyle is the author of twenty books of fiction, including, most recently, After the Plague (2001), Drop City (2003), The Inner Circle (2004), Tooth and Claw (2005), The Human Fly (2005), Talk Talk (2006), The Women (2009), Wild Child (2010) and When the Killing's Done (2011). He received a Ph.D. degree in Nineteenth Century British Literature from the University of Iowa in 1977, his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1974, and his B.A. in English and History from SUNY Potsdam in 1968. He has been a member of the English Department at the University of Southern California since 1978. His work has been translated into more than two dozen foreign languages, including German, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Hebrew, Korean, Japanese, Danish, Swedish, Lithuanian, Latvian, Polish, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Finnish, Farsi, Turkish, Albanian and Slovene. His stories have appeared in most of the major American magazines, including The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly, Playboy, The Paris Review, GQ, Antaeus, Granta and McSweeney's, and he has been the recipient of a number of literary awards. He currently lives near Santa Barbara with his wife and three children. Click here to visit TC Boyle's homepage.  




4.The Shieling (Comma Press, 2009) by David Constantine



David ConstantineDavid Constantine shortlisted for the Frank O'Connor Short Story Award



David Constantine is an award-winning poet and translator. His collections of poetry include Madder, Watching for Dolphins, Caspar Hauser, The Pelt of Wasps, Something for the Ghosts (shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Prize), Collected Poems and most recently Nine Fathom Deep (all Bloodaxe). He is a translator of Hölderlin, Brecht, Goethe, Kleist, Michaux and Jaccottet. In 2003 his translation of Hans Magnus Enzensberger's Lighter than Air (Bloodaxe) won the Corneliu M Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation. He is also author of one novel, Davies (Bloodaxe) and Fields of Fire: A Life of Sir William Hamilton (Weidenfeld). The Shieling (Comma, 2009) is his third collection of short stories, following Back at the Spike (Ryburn), and the highly acclaimed Under the Dam (Comma). He lives in Oxford, where he edits Modern Poetry in Translation with his wife Helen. Click here for more about Constantine at Comma Press.




5.Burning Bright (HarperCollins, 2010) by Ron Rash



Ron Rash shortlisted for the 2010 Frank O'Connor Short Story AwardRon Rash shortlisted for the 2010 Frank O'Connor Short Story Award



Ron Rash was born in South Carolina, USA, grew up in North Carolina, and is a graduate of Gardner-Webb University and Clemson University. He is the author of prize-winning novels: One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, The World Made Straight; and the New York Times bestseller, Serena, which was a 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist. His poems have appeared in over 100 magazines and journals, and he has published several collections. Burning Bright (HarperCollins, 2010) is the most recent of short story collections. Twice a recipient of the O. Henry Prize, he holds the John Parris Chair in Appalachian Studies at Western Carolina University. Click here to read more about Rash at HaperCollins.




6. What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us (Dzanc Books, 2009) by Laura van den Berg



Laura van den Berg Laura van den Berg shortlisted for the 2010 Frank O'Connor Short Story Award



Laura van den Berg was raised in Florida and earned her MFA at Emerson College. She is the recipient of scholarships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers' Conferences, the 2009 Julia Peterkin Award, and the 2009-2010 Emerging Writer Lectureship at Gettysburg College. Formerly an assistant editor at Ploughshares, Laura is currently a fiction editor at West Branch and the assistant editor of Memorious, an online journal of new verse and fiction. She has taught writing at Emerson College, Grub Street, and in PEN/New England's Freedom to Write Program. Her fiction has or will soon appear in One Story, Boston Review, Epoch, The Literary Review, American Short Fiction, StoryQuarterly, Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008, Best New American Voices 2010, and The Pushcart Prize XXIV: Best of the Small Presses, among other publications. The winner of the Dzanc Prize, Laura's first collection of stories, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us, was published by Dzanc Books in October 2009 and was a Holiday Pick for the Barnes & Noble "Discover Great New Writers" Program. She is currently at work on new stories and a novel. Click here to visit Laura van den Berg's homepage.







Announcing the 2010 Cork City - Frank O'Connor Short Story Award Longlist


Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award

The Munster Literature Centre is pleased to release the longlist for the 2010 Cork City - Frank O’Connor Short Story Award, now in its sixth year. The longlist is almost evenly split between women and men this year with 30 men and 28 women. The strength of the short story in the United States is reflected by that country’s overwhelming number of 23 longlistees. This year is also noted for a surge of entries from Asia, accounting for one fifth of all titles. There are three Irish nominees this year including Nuala Ni Chonchuir, the first author to be longlisted for the third time.


Household names in the running include novelist Louis De Bernieres, playwright and film star Sam Shepard, T.C. Boyle,  Michelle Roberts, David Means and short story specialist Helen Simpson.


The jury for this year consists of Irish novelist Mary Morrissy, Nadine O’Regan who is arts editor for the Sunday Business Post and Diana Reich, former Orange Fiction Prize judge and a curator of the Small Wonder short story festival in the south of England.


The Cork City – Frank O’Connor Short Story Award is the world’s richest and most prestigious prize for the form and is sponsored by Cork City Council. It is awarded to the best new collection of the year. Previous winners have included Haruki Murakami (Japan),  Jhumpa Lahiri (USA) and Simon Van Booy (UK). On two occasions the award has gone to an author for their first book: Yiyun Li (China) in 2005 and Miranda July (USA) in 2007.


A shortlist of six will be announced at the beginning of July. The winner will be chosen in September and receive the award at the close of the world’s oldest annual short story festival in Cork.


The Longlist


(In no particular order)



Author & Nationality





Temsula Ao (India)






Richard Bausch (USA)

Something is out there: Stories by Richard Bausch


Alfred A. Knopf


Martin Bax (UK)

Memoirs of a Gone World




Pinckney Benedict (USA)

Miracle Boy and Other Stories


Press 53


Louis de Bernières (UK)




Harvill Secker


Belle Boggs (USA)

Mattaponi Queen: stories


Graywolf Press


T.C. Boyle (USA)


Wild Child




O Thiam Chin (Singapore)


Never Been Better


MPH  Publishing



Kunzang Choden (Bhutan)

Tales in Colour and Other Stories


Zubaan – Penguin


Craig Cliff

(New Zealand)

A Man Melting


Vintage – Random House



Venita Coelho (India)

The Washer of the Dead


Zubaan – Penguin


Nuala Ní Chonchúir (Ireland)





David Constantine (UK)

The Shieling



Comma Press


Jameson Currier (USA)

The Haunted Heart and Other Tales


Lethe Press


Brian Joseph Davies (Canada)

Ronald Reagan, My Father


ECW Press


Deyan Enev (Bulgaria)

Circus Bulgaria

Portobello Books



Anne Finger (USA)

Call The Ahab

University of Nebraska Press



Patrick Gale (UK)


Gentleman’s Relish

Fourth Estate


Angelica Garnett (UK)

The Unspoken Truth

Chatto and Windus – Random House



Holly Goddard Jones (USA)

Girl Trouble

Harper Perennial



Perry Glasser (USA)


Dangerous Places

BkMk Press



Alyson Hagy (USA)


Ghosts of Wyoming

Graywolf Press



Dhruba Hazarika (India)






Mark Illis (UK)






Barb Johnson (USA)

More of This World or Maybe Another

Harper Perennial



Lorraine M. López (USA)

Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories


BkMk Press,


Thomas Lynch (USA)

Apparition and Late Fictions: a novella and stories


Jonathan Cape – Random House



Paul Magrs (UK)


Twelve Stories




Martin Malone (Ireland)

The Mango War: and other stories


New Island


Owen Marshall

(New Zealand)

Living as a Moon

Vintage – Random House



Donal McLaughlin

(Northern Ireland)

An Allergic Reaction to National Anthems


Argyll Publishing


Lori Ostlund (USA)


The Bigness of the world


University of Georgia Press


Manoj  Kumar Panda (India)

The Bone Garden and Other Stories




Wena Poon (Singapore)

The Proper Care of Foxes


Ethos Books


Dawn Raffel (USA)

Further Adventures in the Restless Universe


Dzanc Books


Mahmud Rahman (Bangladesh)


Killing the Water




Ron Rash (USA)

Burning Bright


Ecco; Harper Collins



Peter Robinson (UK)

The Price Of Love: And Other Stories


McClelland and Stewart


Anne Sanow (USA)

Triple Time

Pittsburgh University Press



Sarah Selecky (Canada)

This Cake Is for the Party


Thomas Allen Publishers


Bubul Sharma (India)

Eating Women, Telling Tales: Stories about Food


Zubaan - Penguin


Robert Shearman (UK)


Love songs for the shy and cynical


Big Finish


Sam Shepard (USA)


Day out of Days

Alfred A. Knopf



Anis Shivani (USA)

Anatolia and Other Stories

Black Lawrence Press



Louise Stern (USA)


Chattering: Stories




Kalpana Swaminathan (India)


Venus Crossing



Justin Taylor (USA)

Everything here is the best thing ever


Harper Perennial


Ruth Thomas (UK)


Super Girl

Faber and Faber



Laura van den Berg (USA)

What the world will look like when all the water leaves us


Dzanc Books


David T. K. Wong (China)

Chinese Stories in Times of Change


Asian Stories - Muse


Tiphanie Yanique

(US Virgin Islands)


How To Escape From A Leper Colony

Graywolf Press



Michele Roberts (UK)

Mud: Stories of Sex and Love


Little Brown


Helen Simpson (UK)

In-Flight Entertainment




Billie Livingston (Canada)

Greedy Little Eyes

Random House Canada


55 Hassan Blasim (Iraq)

The Madman of Freedom Square


Comma Press
56 David Means (USA) The Spot

Faber & Faber


57 Xiaolu Guo (China)

Lovers in the Age of Indifference


Chatto & Windus
58 Robin Black (USA) if i loved you, i would tell you this Picador UK



  • 28 women/ 30 men
  • 23 Americans, 12 British, 6 Indians, 3 Canadians, 3 Irish, 2 New Zealanders, 2 Singaporeans, 2 Chinese, one each from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bulgaria, Iraq & US Virgin Islands.







The 2010 Judges


Mary MorrissyMary Morrissy is the author of two novels, Mother of Pearl and The Pretender, and a collection of short stories, A Lazy Eye. She has recently completed a third novel called The Family Silver, based on the life of Sean O’Casey sister’s Bella and is at work on a second collection of linked short stories, tentatively titled Diaspora. She works as a journalist and teacher of creative writing, most recently as the Jenny McKean Moore Writer in Washington at George Washington University.




Nadine O'Regan, 2010 Judge of the Frank O'Connor Short Story Competition

Nadine O'Regan is The Sunday Business Post’s Books and Arts Editor, an occasional telly pundit with The View on RTE 1 and the presenter and producer of The Kiosk, the weekend arts show on Dublin station Phantom 105.2. Originally from Skibbereen, Co. Cork, she lives in Dublin. She is an English and Philosophy graduate of UCC and has an Mphil in Creative Writing from Trinity College.http://nadineoregan.wordpress.com/



Diane Reich, 2010 Judge of the Frank O'Connor Short Story CompetitionDiana Reich is former Orange Prize for Fiction Administrator, former Director of English PEN, and the founder and Artistic Director of Small Wonder, the only dedicated short story festival in the UK, held at Charleston in Sussex.











What is the Cork City - Frank O'Connor Short Story Award?

The Cork City - Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award is an annual award of €35,000 and is currently the world's richest prize for the short story form. The award is in memory of the late Frank O'Connor, one of the world's most renowned short story writers. The award, organised by the Munster Literature Centre and funded by Cork City Council, is presented in O'Connor's hometown of Cork, Ireland, at the end of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Festival. The prize is awarded to the author of the book judged to be the best collection of stories published in English for the first time anywhere in the world in the twelve months between September of one year and August of the next. If a translated book wins, the purse is shared equally between the author and translator. Please note that the amount of the award is subject to change, depending on the resources of the relevant funding bodies.

How can books be entered for the award?

Publishers, authors and agents may enter eligible works of short fiction. Self-publications are considered but entries from vanity presses are not. Self-publishers should be aware that the standard is world-class and very competitive. Books must be submitted by 31st March in seven bound copies to the Munster Literature Centre, Frank O'Connor House, 84 Douglas Street, Cork, Ireland. There is no entry form, but a cover letter with contact information is required. Books considered in a particular year will have a first publication date of between September 1st of the prior year and August 31st of the current year. (For example, books considered in 2010 had first publication date of between September 1st, 2009 and August 31st, 2010.) Books due for publication before the closing date may be submitted in bound proof form.

What sort of books are entered in error?

Vanity press publications, books first published outside the year of consideration, books which collect or select stories published from the author's previous short story collections and collections of novellas, titles which have previously been submitted for the award, and books by authors who are deceased.

How is the winner decided?

All eligible titles constitute the long-list, which is read by the jury. A short-list of four or six is chosen. The winner is selected after further deliberations from the short-list. If eligible titles entered exceeds 50 in number the Munster Literature Centre reserves the right to exclude certain entries from the longlist. Only authors who commit to attending the awards ceremony in Cork, Ireland in September 2010 will be deemed to have accepted a shortlist position. The Munster Literature Centre will pay for hotel and economy travel expenses of shortlisted authors. Shortlisted authors will also be offered a fee of €500 if they agree to read at the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Festival.

Who will serve as judges?

The judges are selected by the director of the Munster Literature Centre from published short-story writers and academics with a track-record of involvement with the short story. From time to time, any other special category person may also be on the panel.

When will the shortlist be announced?

The short-list will be announced mid-July 2010. Only authors who commit to attending the awards ceremony in Cork, Ireland in September 2010 will be deemed to have accepted a shortlist position. The Munster Literature Centre will pay for hotel and economy travel expenses of shortlisted authors. Shortlisted authors will also be offered a fee of €500 if they agree to read at the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Festival.

How will the winner be announced?

The winner will be announced at the closing event of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Festival in Cork, Ireland in September 2010.





For information on past winners and the Frank O'Connor Festival, please visit the festival pages found on the drop down menu.






Further Information

FOC 2008

Festival In the News

In the Irish Times

In the Guardian

Shortlist in the Guardian (United Kingdom)

2008 FOC Winner: Lahiri Links

Interview inThe Atlantic (US periodical)

New York Times review

The Arts Show RTE1 Irish national radio

18 minute radio broadcast on US NPR

FOC Brochure


Irish Times ad


eigse 2009

The Munster Literature Centre

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

Tel. (353) 021 4312955, Email: munsterlit(AT)eircom(DOT)net

Irish Registered Charity No.12374