The Munster Literature Centre is a not-for-profit organisation; all moneys raised from the competition benefits writers and writing.


Entries now open


About the Prize


Submission Guidelines

More About the Competition

Previous Winners


About the Prize

1st Prize
Featured reading at the Cork International Poetry Festival (Spring 2022)
Publication in Southword

2nd Prize
Publication in Southword

3rd Prize
Publication in Southword

Ten runners-up
Publication in Southword


The competition is open to original, unpublished and unbroadcast poems in the English language of 40 lines or fewer. The poem 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. 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.

Deadline: 30th November, 2021 (midnight). Entries are accepted from 1st September.

Cost of entry: €7 per poem or €30 for a batch of five. If you would like to submit more than five poems, please make more than one entry.

As the poem is judged anonymously, the entrant's name must not appear on poem pages.



Thomas McCarthy


Thomas McCarthy was educated at University College Cork and worked for many years at Cork City Libraries. His published collections include The First Convention, The Sorrow Garden, Lost Province, Merchant Prince and The Last Geraldine Officer. His Pandemonium, 2016, was short-listed for the Irish Times/Poetry Now Award and his new collection, Prophecy, was published by Carcanet Press UK in April 2019. He has won the Patrick Kavanagh Award, the Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize and the O’Shaughnessy Prize for Poetry as well as the American-Ireland Funds Annual Literary Award. His work has been included in more than thirty anthologies of Irish poetry, the most recent being the Harvard anthology. A selection of his translated poems were recently published in POESIA (Feltrinelli, Milan). His prose-book, Poetry, Memory and the Party, will be published by Gallery Press in 2021.


Submission Guidelines


Send to: godcomp@munsterlit.ie
Subject: GOD entry


  1. The poem(s) for submission, with each poem in a seperate Word document (we cannot accept PDF format). Please use the title of the poem (or the first few words of the title) as the title of each document. As the competition is judged anonymously, please do not write your name or personal details anywhere on this document as this could lead to disqualification.
  2. A cover letter (separate Word document attached to the same email). The cover letter should include:
    - Your name
    - Poem title(s)
    - 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)
    Please ensure that this information is attached as a Word document and not in the body of the email.
  3. PayPal payment:
  4. Number of Entries



  1. Submission manuscript (typed). To ensure anonymity, please do not write your name or any other personal details on the manuscript. Each poem should be printed on a seperate page with no back to back printing.
  2. Cover letter as a seperate page, which includes:
    - Your name
    - Poem title(s)
    - Email address and/or phone number
    - Postal address
    - How your heard about the competition
    - A brief bio (optional)
  3. Payment: If you have paid through PayPal, please quote the PayPal transaction ID in your cover letter. Alternatively we accept cheques and bank drafts (see details below).
  4. Send to:
    The Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition,
    The Munster Literature Centre, Frank O'Connor House,
    84 Douglas Street,
    Cork, T12 X802
  5. Please DO NOT SEND 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.
  6. If you would like us to send you confirmation of your postal entry, please include a self-addressed stamped postcard or envelope with an irish postage stamp. We will confirm the receipt of international entries via automatic email response.



PayPal will deduct the fee in your own currency. As proof of payment, please include an image of the receipt or quote the transaction ID in your cover letter. You do not need a PayPal account.

Number of Entries



  2. Bank drafts
  3. Other currencies: we can accept cheques and bank drafts in Euro, Pounds sterling (£7 for each poem or £30 for a batch of five) or US dollars ($8 for each poem or $35 for a batch of five)
  4. Postal order (Republic of Ireland only)
  5. Please note that we cannot accept cash payment

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More About the Competition

The Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition was first held in 2010. It is an poetry prize for a single poem, open to writers from around the world from September to November annually. Sponsored by the Munster Literature Centre, the prize is named in honour of the late Irish poet long associated with the Centre.

Due to the large volume of entries, the judge will not be able to notify the authors of non-winning poems or give individual feedback. A shortlist will be posted on our website in February 2022 and the winners will be announced during the Cork International Poetry Festival (Spring 2022). We recommend signing up for the Munster Literature Centre newsletter if you would like to be kept up to date with all competition developments directly.

Prize winnings will be subject to exchange rates valid on the date payment is issued. The Munster Literature Centre is a not-for-profit institution, an officially registered charity in the Republic of Ireland (Charity. No. 12374). All entry fees received in this competition will be disbursed in prize money, judge's fee and to fund services the Centre provides to writers and readers.





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The winning and shortlisted poems of the Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition 2010 - 2018 can be read through Southword Online below. The Munster Literature Centre marked the return of Southword as an exclusively print publication with issue 35 in August 2018. Thereafter, the winning and shortlisted poems each year feature in the spring issues of Southword, available here.


Winning poems available to read on Southword Online:

Mark Wagenaar
Leila Chatti
2018 winner:
Robert Lipton
2017 winner:
Mark Wagenaar
2016 winner:
Leila Chatti
Breda Wall Ryan
Maya Popa
Judith Barrington
2015 winner:
Breda Wall Ryan
2014 winner:
Maya Popa
2013 winner:
Judith Barrington
Suji Kwock Kim
Sandra Ann Winters
John F Deane
2012 winner:
Suji Kwock Kim
2011 winner:
Sandra Ann Winters
2010 winner:
John F. Deane


Click here for results of past competitions,
including runners-up and commendations



2021 Competitions

Gregory O'Donoghue
Poetry Competition

Deadline: 30st November




Cork International
Short Story Festival

October 12 - 16




2021 Publications

Southword 40

Includes O'Faoláin Prize stories
& O'Donoghue Prize poems




Felicity Sheehy

Fool for Poetry Winner




Vicky Morris

Fool for Poetry Winner




Queer Love

Fiction anthology




YouTube Videos





O'Faoláin Short Story
Prize Reading Playlist




O'Donoghue Poetry
Prize Reading Playlist




How to Write Titles








Cork Events




Essays & Blogs




Munster Literature Centre
is a constituent member of




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

Tel. (353) 021 4312955 Email info@munsterlit.ie

Irish Registered Charity No.12374