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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







Ian WildIan Wild Awarded the Fish Short Story Prize 2008 for

Ten Pint Ted and Awarded Arts Council Bursary

The Munster Literature Centre congratulates former fiction workshop leader Ian Wild, who has been awarded the Fish Short Story Prize 2008 for his story, "Ten Pint Ted", selected by judge Colum McCann. Introduced in 1995, the prize recognises the best short story written in English under 5,000 words.
Wild was also recently named as a recipient of an Arts Council Bursary. An English ex-patriot, he resides in Enniskean, West Cork. A short story writer, poet, playwright and composer, his publications include the short story collections Intercourse with Cacti (2003), Leopold Bloom’s Underpants and other stories (Fish Publishing, 2000) and The Woman Who Swallowed the Book of Kells (Fish Publishing, 2000), the title story of which also won the prestigious Fish Short Story prize. A workshop teacher and mentor, Wild has been performing his work live since 1984. Along with his writing, Wild has penned a number of musicals, including The Pirates in Short Pants and Marco Polo’s Toilet Brush.



December 2008

Robert O'Donoghue
1924 - 2008

Robert O'Donoghue

With deep regret, The Munster Literature Centre has learned that writer Robert O'Donoghue has passed away. We wish to extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to his wife Ann, sons David, Robbie, Tom and Jess, and his extended family and friends. Below is his obituary as it appeared in The Irish Examiner on 2nd December 2008.

"The death has taken place of poet, playwright, writer, critic and journalist Robert (Bobby) O'Donoghue.
Bobby joined the Cork Examiner in September, 1944 and brought great energy and integrity to each of the roles he was asked to undertake until his retirement in 1987.
He was a communicator by vocation and his commitment to the principles and traditions of his chosen careers was exemplary. Bobby carried his great command of English lightly and was always happier to teach, to lead by example, rather than brow beat those less skilled than himself.
During most of his newspaper career Ireland was an impoverished place where writers found it difficult to make a living. In a practical effort to encourage and support young writers Bobby, in his role as literary editor, established one of the very few newspaper outlets for new, creative writing in this country. Among those he encouraged were Paul Durcan, Macdara Woods, Michael Coady, Sean Dunne and Theo Dorgan.
Bobby began writing plays and poetry in a serious way in the early 1950s and had six experimental plays performed. He was delighted to win a major honour at the 1968 National Amateur Drama Festival in Athlone.
He was an especially good collaborator bringing the discipline and production skills learnt in the world of newspapers to bear on other projects.
One of these was a series of radio productions with Sean O Riada called In Praise of Cork, commissioned by RTE.
Bobby, who would have been 85 next July, also collaborated with Professor John Barry on a History of Cork which was published in book form after it was serialised in this newspaper.
One of his final collaborations was with great friend and fellow poet Paddy Galvin when they translated the work of Turkish poet Yilmaz Odavasi while Cork was European Capital of Culture in 2005. His last published collection of poetry was The Witness in 1990.
Bobby was a considerate, warm and entertaining man whose company was a great, enriching pleasure. He championed the cause of good, clear writing to the end, insisting it is the very best way for us all to understand ourselves.
To his wife Ann, sons David, Robbie, Tom and Jess, and his extended family, we offer our condolences. His burial is after 11 o'clock Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes church in Ballinlough, Cork today.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilís."
The Irish Times obituary is available here.



October 2008

Trevor JoyceMLC announces new Writer-in-Residence

Trevor Joyce is The Munster Literature Centre's new Writer-in-Residence. Founder and director of The SoundEye Festival of the Arts of the Word since 1997, he held residencies with Cork County Council (2001) and NUIG, (2001/2). Awarded a Literary Bursary by the Irish Arts Council (2001), Joyce was a Fulbright Scholar for the year 2002-2003. In 2004 he was elected a member of Aosdána, the Irish Affiliation of Artists, and was the first writer to be awarded a fellowship by the Ballinglen Arts Foundation. Further information, including details of his new workshop, is highlighted on the Events page.












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


The Munster Literature Centre

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

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

Irish Registered Charity No.12374