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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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Munster Literature Centre






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



Congratulations to the winning, shortlisted and longlisted writers in the 2015 competition.


1st Prize: Evelyn Walsh (Georgia, USA)
'White Rabbit'

2nd Prize: Dolores Walshe (Leitrim, Ireland)
'Small Yellow Sun'

Shortlisted Stories
(Listed in alphabetical order. These stories will be published
in a future edition of Southword Journal.)

Kevin Klinskidorn (Pennsylvania, USA). " Mind the line. Mind the line."
Miranda Luby (Victoria, Australia). "The corn coder's daughter."
Wayne Price (Aberdeen, Scotland). "Everyone's the Same Inside."
John Saul (Suffolk, UK). "Chelsea."

Longlisted Stories
(In alphabetical order)

Jan Carson (Belfast, Northern Ireland). "We've got each other and that's a lot."
Grace French (County Dublin, Ireland). " Diving for Dust"
Sarah Gilmartin (Dublin, Ireland). "Coastal Shelf"
Brian Kirk (Dublin, Ireland). "The Prize"
Jo Mazelis (Swansea, Wales). "The Twice Pricked Heart"
Anne O'Brien (Brussels, Belgium). "These Silver Fish"
John L. O'Donnell (Dublin, Ireland). "Young Woman With Unicorn."
Julia Prendergast (Victoria, Australia). " Everything that matters is silvery white."
Joanna Walsh (Oxford, England). "Two."




First Prize: €2,000

(approx $2153/£1431 in April 2015), 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 more shortlisted entries will be selected for publication
in Southword and receive a publication fee of €120.


The Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition is an annual short story competition open to writers from around the world, submissions accepted from May to July annually. It is dedicated to one of Ireland’s most accomplished story writers and theorists, sponsored by the Munster Literature Centre. If the winner comes to Cork to collect their prize, we will lavish them with hotel accommodation, meals, drinks and VIP access to the literary stars at the Cork International Short Story Festival (23 - 26 September 2015). The Munster Literature Centre is a not-for-profit organisation; all moneys raised from the competition benefits writers and writing.

Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat is again awarding a week-long residency to the first prize winner of the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition. Located just outside the colourful village of Eyeries on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork, Anam Cara is a tranquil spot structured to provide support and sanctuary for people working in the creative arts. It offers private and common working rooms as well as five acres of walking paths, thirty-four nooks and crannies, a river cascades and a river island, gardens, and a labyrinth meadow. Editoral consultation is also available. The prize is valued at €700. (The dates of the residency will be arranged between the writer themselves and Anam Cara, and can be scheduled before or after the week of the Cork International Short Story Festival. Otherwise, the week can be scheduled for another time of the year, at Anam Cara's discretion.)


More about the 2015 Judge Danielle McLaughlin

Danielle McLaughlin


Danielle McLaughlin lives in County Cork. Her stories have appeared in The Stinging Fly, Southword, Long Story, Short, The Irish Times, Boyne Berries, Crannóg, The Burning Bush 2, Inktears, and Hollybough. They have also been published in various anthologies, most recently Willesden Herald New Short Stories 7 (2013), The Salt Anthology of New Writing 2013, Scraps - the NFFD Anthology 2013 and have been broadcast on RTE RadioShe has won a number of prizes for short fiction including the Writing Spirit Award for Fiction 2010, the From the Well Short Story Competition 2012, the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen International Short Story Competition 2012, The Willesden Herald Short Story Competition 2012 - 2013, the Merriman Short Story Competition in memory of Maeve Binchy, and the Dromineer Literary Festival Short Story Competition 2013. She was awarded an Arts Council Bursary in 2013. Her début collection is forthcoming from The Stinging Fly.

Read her story 'The Dinosaurs on Other Planets' in The New Yorker

New Yorker interview with Danielle McLaughlin





Pigs' Feet, White Socks & Hoovers


More information about the Seán Ó Faoláin Prize print anthology here, containing the winning stories from the first 10 years of the competition.






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Words Ireland

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




Writing Workshops
at the MLC

Leanne O'Sullivan

Poetry with
Leanne O'Sullivan
begins 21 October




O'Donoghue Poetry

Sean O'Faolain Short Story Competition

Now open
for entries.




Cork International
Poetry Festival

Cork International Short Story Festival

10 - 13 February




Southword Issue 28

Southword Journal

New issue, free to read online.




Southword Publications

Victoria Kennefick

Newest books:

Fool For Poetry
chapbooks by
Victoria Kennefik
& Virginia Astley



Poetry International

Recent additions:

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




Fool for Poetry


Now closed.
Thanks to those
who entered!



The Cork International
Short Story Festival

Cork International Short Story Festival




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

Now closed!
Thank you to
everyone who

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