Seán O'Faoláin International

Short Story Competition




Now open for entries






Previous Winners

Playlist of Prize-readings



Word limit: 3,000 words
Closing date: 31st July (midnight)
Entry fee: €19 per story

The competition is open to original, unpublished and unbroadcast short stories in the English language of 3,000 words or fewer. The story 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. Entrants may enter more than one manuscript. 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.


1st Prize
Residency (one week) at Anam Cara Retreat
Featured reading at the Cork International Short Story Festival
Publication in Southword

2nd Prize
Publication in Southword

Four Runners-Up
Publication in Southword





How to Submit

Email entry

Send to:
Subject: "SOF entry"

  • The story for submission (Word document – we cannot accept PDFs). As the competition is judged anonymously, we request that you do not write your name or personal details anywhere on this document.
  • A cover letter (separate word document attached to the same email). The cover letter should include:
    - Your name
    - Story title
    - 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 in the attachment and not in the body of the email.
  • Payment of the €18 entry fee can be made through PayPal:
  • Paypal

    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.

    No. of entries


    Postal entry: Please include

    1. Submission manuscript (typed). To ensure anonymity, please do not write your name or any other personal details on the manuscript.
    2. Cover letter - see details above. Cover letter should be on a separate page to ensure anonymity.
    3. Payment: If you have paid through Paypal, just quote the Paypal transaction ID. Alternatively we accept cheques and bank drafts (see details below)
    4. Send to:
      The Seán O'Faoláin International Short Story 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. We can also confirm the receipt of international entries via email.


    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.


    OTHER PAYMENT METHODS (Postal entries)

    1. Cheques payable to THE MUNSTER LITERATURE CENTRE
    2. Bank drafts
    3. Other currencies: We can also accept cheques and bank drafts in Euro, U.S Dollars or Pounds Sterling at a rate of €18 (Euro), $22 (USD) or £18 (Sterling) for each entry.
    4. Postal order (Republic of Ireland only)
    5. Please note that we cannot accept cash payment


    To ensure that you will be notified when the competition results are released, sign up for our newsletter:

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    More about the competition

    More about the competition
    The Seán O'Faoláin Short Story Competition is an annual short story competition open to writers from around the world, submissions accepted from May 1st to July 31st annually. It is dedicated to one of Ireland’s most accomplished story writers and theorists and is sponsored by the Munster Literature Centre.

    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 additional 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.)

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




    Submit to Southword

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    Fiction 1st Jan - 31 Mar




    2021 Publications

    Liz Houchin

    New Irish Voices no. 6




    Southword 41

    November 2021




    Aneas 2

    November 2021




    Southword 40

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




    Felicity Sheehy

    Fool for Poetry Winner




    Vicky Morris

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    Queer Love

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    O'Faoláin Short Story
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    Prize Reading Playlist




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    Cork Events




    Essays & Blogs




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    is a constituent member of



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

    Tel. (353) 021 4312955, Email:

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