MLC books

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.




Connect with Munster
Literature Centre
on social media

Munster Literature Centre






AUG - OCT 2013


The Cork International Short Story Festival

18 - 22 September, 2013


Cork International Short Story Festival


Readings by Patrick McCabe, Michele Roberts, Julian Gough, Deborah Levy, Billy O'Callaghan and many more....









Sean O'Faolain Competition

Announcing the winners of the 2013 Seán Ó Faoláin
Short Story Competition





1st Prize

Molia Dumbleton--Illinois, USA
'The Way We Carried Ourselves'


2nd Prize

Danielle McLaughlin--Co Cork, Ireland
'The Others'


View the runners-up & highly commended authors.







Announcing the winner of the
2013 Frank O'Connor International
Short Story Award!


David ConstantineFrank O'Connor Award


David Constantine's
Tea at the Midland and other stories


Click here for coverage by the Guardian (UK)




MAY - JULY 2013


Seán Ó Faoláin Competition now closed.
Many thanks to everyone who entered!


John Boilard, Seán Ó Faoláin Competition winnerPhotoPG O'Connor, winner of the Seán Ó Faoláin competition


Shortlistees and winners will be contacted directly in late August/early September. Subsequently, notice will be posted here on our website and on social media:

Due to the volume of submissions received, we regret that we cannot notify directly authors of stories that didn't place in the competition. Instead, we recommend they sign up for our newsletter by entering their email address into the form here, where they will be notified of the results as soon as possible.: http://www.munsterlit.ie/#newsletter






Seán Ó Faoláin International
Short Story Competition

Writing Competition

Click here for more info.


First Prize: €2,000 (*approx $2602.11/£1700.04), publication in the literary journal Southword,
AND a week-long residency at Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat

Second Prize: €500 and publication in Southword.

Four other shortlisted entries will be selected for publication in Southword and receive a publication fee of €120.

*Currency exchange amounts via XE.com, calculated 10.04.13. If the winner is from outside Ireland, the amount paid will be the equivalent of €2,000, subject to market changes as determined by the bank in September 2013.







Poetry International Web - Ireland


Trevor JoyceBrid Ní MhóráinPaul Perry

The Munster LIterature Centre and editor Billy Ramsell produce the Irish section of this prestigious poetry site.
Current poets:
Trevor Joyce, Bríd Ní Mhóráin
& Paul Perry







Announcing the 2013 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award shortlist


Tea at the Midland by David ConstantineSiege 13 by Tamas DobozyBlack Vodka by Deborah Levy

Black Dahlia & White Rose by Joyce Carol OatesWe're Flying by Peter StammBattleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins


More about the award at www.frankoconnor-shortstory-award.net

Coverage of the Frank O'Connor Award at the Guardian.






Frank O'Connor

Frank O'Connor International
Short Story Competition
Longlist Announced


We are pleased to announce the jury and longlist for the 2013 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. A record seventy-five eligible entries were received this year. On the list there are One Swiss, thirty-one American, thirteen British, eight Irish, seven Canadian, four Australian, two Indian, two Nigerian, two Singaporean, two South African authors. The jury this year consists of non-voting chairman Patrick Cotter, the short story writer John F. Deane and editors Cathy Galvin & Brigid Hughes.

New Co-Sponsor: We are delighted to announce that the award has new co-sponsors. Joining Cork City Council as award funders are the Boole Library and the School of English at University College Cork. Their involvement means we can sustain the value of the award in a time when our country is facing severe economic hardship.









MLC Writing Workshops

Spring Workshop:
The Novel

Tutor: Mary Leland
Begins 23 April 2013



Course runs 6 weeks, 23 April - 28 May (Tuesdays, 7- 9pm)
Maximum participants: 11
Venue: The Munster Literature Centre, 84 Douglas Street, Cork
Tuition Fee: €120 (€100 concs.)
To Book: ring (021) 431-2955 or email info(AT)munsterlit(DOT)ie

Click here for course description
and tutor's bio note.







Applications now accepted from Cork writers for

Shanghai Writer's Residency

part of the Cork - Shanghai Twinning Initiative

Deadline: Applications must be received by Friday April 19th.




Click here for more information.






The Munster Literature Centre regrets the passing of Nora Browne, former board member and long-time supporter of the literary arts in Ireland.

Details from Irish Examiner below

BROWNE (Cork): On February 25, 2013, peacefully, in the loving care of the staff of Marymount Hospice, NORA M, Glasheen Road (retired Deputy Librarian, UCC and Member of Neocatechumenate), beloved daughter of the late Charlie and Elizabeth, much loved first cousin and special friend of Nora, Henry, Breeda and the late John and Connie and their spouses and families. Sadly missed also by her cousins in America and her many other cousins, neighbours and friends, especially Myrrha. Requiescat in pace. Reposing at Marymount Hospice Mortuary on today (Tuesday) from 5pm to 6pm, followed by removal to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, The Lough. Requiem Mass on tomorrow (Wednesday) at 11am. Funeral afterwards to St Finbarr's Cemetery. Family flowers only, please. Donations, in lieu to Marymount Hospice.






(From October to December annually



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


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.


For more information including submission guidelines and payment options, click here visit our competitions page.






Congratulations to the 2013
Gregory O'Donoghue International
Poetry Competition winners!


1st Prize: 'The Conversation'

Judith Barrington

by Judith Barrington of Oregon, USA



2nd Prize: 'in the space between'

Gerry Boland

by Gerry Boland of Roscommon, Ireland


3rd Prize: 'Sashimi'

by Maya Catherine Popa of New York, USA



WinnersVisit the Gregory O'Donoghue competition page to view the Highly Commended and Longlisted poems, along with statements by judge Thomas McCarthy.







Dennis O'Driscoll


It is with huge personal sadness that the staff of the Munster Literature Centre regrets the sudden passing of the poet and friend Dennis O’Driscoll. Dennis will be missed not only for his own wonderful poetry but for his immense personal generosity and friendship. Visit the Cork Spring Poetry Festival page to find out more about our plans to celebrate the memory of this well-loved poet.


Click here to read two poems by Dennis O'Driscoll in Southword Journal.










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