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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







(Entries from September to November annually.



The 2016 competition deadline has passed, and we would like to extend a sincere thank-you to everyone who entered. Here are the Gregory O'Donoghue Poetry Prize Results:


Leila Chatti


These poems will be published in the April 2016 issue of Southword Journal

More information will be given at a later stage about the winners. but here quickly are the results of this year's competition. We realise many of you will want to submit elsewhere for December 31st deadlines and speedy delivery of this news will be beneficial.. There were almost 2000 poems entered so competition was stiff. But standards were so high I decided to increase the number of published "Highly Commended" poems from ten to twenty-five. I will publish a detailed judge's summation on my blog in the new year. In the meantime I would like to thank everyone who entered. We are a registered charity and your entry has helped us to keep Southword free for readers and provide publication fees for authors.
--Patrick Cotter

First Prize
‘After Another Attempt at Eighteen’
by Leila Chatti, West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA

Second Prize,
‘The Invisible Man’s Blind Date’
by Michael Derrick Hudson, Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA

Third Prize

‘Different Kinds of Life’
by James O’Sullivan, Cork, Ireland

Highly commended – in alphabetical order:
‘Sindhura, Andalusia’ by Amanda Bell, Dublin 6, Ireland
‘Of Love, Sappho Wrote’ by Leila Chatti, West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA
‘Gull Egg Season’ by Stephanie Conn, Ballyclare, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland
‘Flood’ by Marie Coveney, Monkstown, Co Cork, Ireland
‘A Stay in North Carolina’ by Kelly Creighton, Newtownards, Co Down, Northern Ireland
‘Our Recurring List of Heartbreaks’ by Jonathan Greenhause, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
‘Perfect’ by Michael Fleming, Brattleboro, Vermont, USA
‘The End of St. Barbara’ by Eithne Hand, Ireland
‘A Calling’ by Eleanor Hooker, Nenagh, Co Tipperary, Ireland
‘Loch na Fuaiche’ by Theophilus Kwek, UK
‘Aristotle’s Lantern by Anthony Lawrence, Kingscliff, New South Wales, Australia
‘Mary Daly’ by Simon Lewis, Crossneen, Carlow, Ireland
‘Solace at the P.O.’by Sandy Longley, Delmar, New York, USA
‘From a Hauptbahnhof Café in Berlin by Terry McDonagh, Swinford, Co. Mayo, Ireland
‘The Cure for the Burn’ by Paul McMahon, Kinsale, Co Cork, Ireland
‘How to Construct the Hero of a Western’ by Jennifer Militello, Goffstown, New Hampshire, USA
‘As Much As A Letter’ by Emily Mohn-Slate, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
‘Looking West from Iona’ by Valerie Nieman, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
‘Photograph, Painting, Poem’ by Mary O’Donnell, Maynooth, Co Kildare, Ireland
’10.30 to Severn Beach’ by Elizabeth Parker, Bristol, Avon, UK
‘A Little off the Top’ by Laura Jan Shore, New Brighton, New South Wales, Australia
‘Oranmore’ by Peter Stuart-Sheppard, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
‘Call Her Ghazal’ by Devon Walker-Figueroa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
‘Taking Soup’ by Glen Wilson, Portadown, Co Armagh, Northern Ireland
‘Bloodsuckers’ by Mary Woodward, St Albans, UK





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



More About the Prize

The Judge

Previous Winners

Southword Journal




More About the Prize


1st Prize €1000, a week's residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, publication in Southword
and a trip to Cork, Ireland*.

2nd Prize €500 & publication in Southword

3rd Prize €250 & publication in Southword

Ten runners-up to be published in Southword and receive €30 publication fee.


*(First prize roughly equivalent to $1122.07 USD/ £727.63 GBP @ xe.com on 16th September 2015.) Payments will be subject to exchange rates valid on date payment is issued. The MLC will subvent travel costs for the winner up to €600 and provide hotel accommodation and meals for four days during the Cork Spring Poetry Festival.) 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.


The Munster Literature Centre holds an annual competition for an international poetry prize for a single poem, named in honour of a late Irish poet long associated with the Centre. The Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize will have a first prize of €1,000 (approx $1122.07 USD/ £727.63 GBP @ xe.com on 16th September 2015), a week's residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and publication in Southword Literary Journal. The MLC will subvent travel costs for the winner up to €600 and provide hotel accommodation and meals for four days during the Cork Spring Poetry Festival. There will be a second prize of €500, third prize of €250, and ten runners-up will each have their poems published in Southword and receive Southword’s standard fee of €30.


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 late January and the winners will be announced during the Cork Spring Poetry Festival. 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.


The 2016 Judge: Patrick Cotter



Patrick Cotter



Born Cork, 1963. Writer and publisher. Educated at UCC, he has published several chapbooks of his poems including The Misogynist’s Blue Nightmare (Raven Arts Press), A Socialist’s Dozen (Three Spires Press), and The True Story of Aoife and Lir’s Children & other poems (Three Spires Press). His first collection, Perplexed Skin, was published by Arlen Press in 2008. His second collection, Making Music, was published in early 2009 by Three Spires Press.

His translations of the Estonian poet Andres Ehin are collected in the book Moosebeetle Swallow (Southword Editions). His play Beauty and the Stalker was produced at the Granary Theatre, Cork in 2000. In 1984 he was shortlisted for a Hennessy Award and was runner-up in the Patrick Kavanagh Award in 1988. In 2013, he won the Keats-Shelley Prize for Poetry. He is currently the Director of the Munster Literature Centre. www.patrickcotter.ie

It is planned to have a rotating judge each year. Past judges have included Matthew Sweeney, Thomas McCarthy, James Harpur, Leanne O'Sullivan and Patrick Cotter. The judge will read each and every entry themselves; in many other competitions entries are screened and longlisted by preliminary readers, not so for the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize.







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Past winners of the Gregory O'Donoghue
International Poetry Competition


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 to view results of past competitions, including runners-up and commendations.








Words Ireland

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




Fool for Poetry


Now open.
31 May 2016




Writing Workshops
at the MLC

Danielle McLaughlin

Evening fiction
coming soon.



Southword Editions

Tania Hershman

Newest books:

Fool For Poetry
chapbooks by
Tania Hershman
& Victor Tapner



Southword Issue 29

Southword Journal

New issue, free to read online.



Poetry International

Recent additions:

Kimberly Campanello
Justin Quinn,
Brendan Cleary,
Eleanor Hooker
& more





The Cork International
Short Story Festival

Cork International Short Story Festival

Annually in



Frank O'Connor
Short Story Award

2015 Laureate:
Carys Davies

Carys Davies

World's richest prize for
a short story collection,
co-sponsored by the
UCC School of English
Cork City Council

Seán Ó Faoláin
Short Story

Sean O'Faolain Short Story Competition

May 2016

Cork International
Poetry Festival

Cork International Short Story Festival

Annually in spring.




O'Donoghue Poetry

Sean O'Faolain Short Story Competition

2015 winners



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