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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





southword covers

Southword is a literary journal featuring poems, fiction and reviews and published biannually by the Munster Literature Centre. Current issues are available free to read online, beginning with Issue 16. Back issues in print are available from the online bookstore for purchase. To keep up to date with the publication year-round, like our Facebook page:



Payment & Reviews Policy

Because Southword writers are paid, the amount of articles, poems etc. published is limited by budget. The managing editor has a large panel of reviewers to draw on and cannot consider unsolicited reviews. Publishers should take note that Southword’s limited review space is almost exclusively reserved for books by Munster-born and resident authors and books by other authors cannot be considered. We also regret we cannot guarantee to publish reviews of all Munster-interest books submitted. Munster authors who would like to be reviewed in Southword can email a query letter to reviews editor Patrick Cotter at munsterlit(at)eircom(dot)net. Please do not send in your book until asked to by the editor.

Southword pays contributors €30 per poem and €120 per short story. Payment to writers within the Republic of Ireland is made by cheque. Writers abroad must accept payment through Paypal.


How to Submit to Southword Journal


Submitting via Submittable (formerly Submishmash) is quick, easy and free! The only details you are required to provide is your name and email address. The advantage to using this site is that submitters will now be able to check the status of their submission, seeing easily for themselves whether their work has been accepted or declined. To send poetry or short stories to Southword Journal Online:


           1. Click here to go to Southword's Submittable page.

           2. Click on Poetry, Fiction or Litríocht as Gaeilge taking note of the                submission guidelines (which also appear below). IT IS IMPORTANT                THAT YOU CHOOSE THE CORRECT CATEGORY, otherwise your                submission may not be delived to the correct editor.

           3. Create your profile. (Click 'Create account and continue'.)

           4. Follow the form instructions on attaching your work and creating                your bio / cover letter.

           5. Questions/troubleshooting on Submittable system can be resolved by
               e-mail (support@submittable.com) or by phone: (001) 855.467.8264.



Submission Guidelines

Southword has published the likes of Medbh McGuckian, Helen Ivory, Haruki Murakami, James Lasdun, Tess Gallagher, Colm Toibín and Vona Groarke. if you would like to join their esteemed company carefully read the directions which follow.

1. All manuscripts must be sent via Submittable in the appropriate categories, during open reading times only. Submissions are no longer accepted by post, as Southword is now an online journal. Please do not email your submission to the Munster Literature Centre.

2. Work should be submitted in one of the following file formats: .doc, .docx, .txt, .rtf. If sending multiple poems, please submit each poem in separate documents. (This allows you & the judge to withdraw, reject or accept pieces individually).

There is a strict submission limit of six poems per person or two short fiction pieces of 3000 words each per person. Authors are paid €30 per poem and/or €120 per story published in Southword Journal. If the writer lives outside of Ireland, they will be paid by Paypal. (Information on how to set up a Paypal account: http://www.paypal.com ).

3. If submitting poems and prose simultaneously they will be considered by different editors at different times, so to be sure of a response please submit separately, via the appropriate Submittable category. Please note the Southword Journal is not currently considering unsolicited submissions of non-fiction or memoir.

4. Submittable will prompt you to type a 'cover letter' into a text field. Please include contact details, and an up-to-date biographical note.

Nb: Works of translation where the original author is still in copyright will require the biographical notes of both the original author and the translator. On the Southword Journal contents page, the poem will be listed under the name of the original author, and the translator will be credited on the poem/story's page itself.

5. Poems and prose in English are considered between January and March 15th each year for our summer issue. Everything except for Fiction in English is considered between July and September 15th for our winter issue; fiction writers have an opportunity to submit their work to the Seán Ó Faoláin competition earlier in the year for this issue.

PLEASE NOTE after the close of the submission date the editors will make a selection. Authors will be able to check the status of their submission via their profile on Submittable. Please note that due to the large volume of submissions received, the editor may take up to 8 weeks after the submission deadline to make their decision.

6. Simultaneous submissions, while not encouraged, are not forbidden. If a simultaneously submitted poem or short story is accepted for publication elsewhere, you will need to withdraw the poem or story in the Submittable system. For this reason, we encourage you to submit each poem or story as individual documents (as opposed to one document containing all poems or stories).



Words Ireland

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




The Gregory O'Donoghue
Poetry Competition

Gregory O Donoghue

Deadline: 30 November




Frank O'Connor
Short Story Fellowship

30 November 2017

Marie Helene Bertino
2017 Fellow:
Marie-Helene Bertino




Cork International
Poetry Festival

Cork International Short Story Festival

Annually in spring.




Fool for Poetry


Molly Minturn &
Bernadette McCarthy !


Seán Ó Faoláin
Short Story
Competition 2017

Sean O'Faolain Short Story Competition

Louise Nealon!




Southword Editions

on sale in
our bookstore


including Fool For Poetry
winners, the New Irish
Voices series & more






Read all the latest issues
of Southword journal
online here


Poetry International

Recent additions:

Ceaití Ní Bheildiúin
Kimberly Campanello
Justin Quinn
Brendan Cleary
Eleanor Hooker

& more





The Cork International
Short Story Festival

Cork International Short Story Festival

Annually in September







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