Welcome to the Munster
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.
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.
Born 1932, Tuamgraney, Co. Clare. Short story writer, novelist, playwright, screenwriter, Aosdana member. Schooled at the Convent of Mercy in Loughrea, Co. Galway and the Pharmaceutical College of Dublin, O’Brien emigrated at the age of twenty, moving to London in 1952. Eight years later, she published her first novel, The Country Girls, which set the foundation stones for her reputation as a frank, honest, and controversial female writer. Banned in Ireland for their sexuality, her work has gained the praise of critics internationally. Her novels include The Country Girls (London: Hutchinson), The Lonely Girl (London: Jonathan Cape, reprinted as The Girl with the Green Eyes, London: Penguin, 1964, filmed as Girl with the Green Eyes, 1963), Girls in their Married Bliss (London: Jonathan Cape [all banned in Ireland]), August Is a Wicked Month (London: Jonathan Cape), Casualties of Peace (London: Jonathan Cape), A Pagan Place (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson), Zee & Co (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson), Night: A Novel (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson), Johnny I Hardly Knew You (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson); Arabian Days, with photographs by Gerard Klijn (London: Quartet Books), Time and Tide (London: Viking), House of Splendid Isolation (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson), Down by the River (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson) and Wild Decembers (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson). Awarded the European Literature Prize for life’s work, O’Brien has also penned a number of successful short-story collections and plays. She currently resides in London.
Edna O'Brien Biography and Selected Works
Salon.com: Interview with Edna O'Brien
Edna O'Brien Biography (Clare Library)
Edna O'Brien Biography and Links
at the MLC
begins 23 April
Poetry International: Ireland
MLC produces the Irish section
of this prestigious poetry site.
Trevor Joyce, Bríd Ní Mhóráin
& Paul Perry
Read Southword Journal
Issue 23 now online!
Short Story Festival
(annually in September)
Seán Ó Faoláin
Open to entries
May - July
The Cork Spring
Open to entries
Anthologies & Translations
Visit our bookstore here.
Munster Literature Centre
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