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, 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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The Frank O'Connor International
Short Story Fellowship
Now open for applications!
2016 Fellow Zsuzsi Gartner.
The call for submissions for the 2017 Fellowship deadline: 30 September!
The Munster Literature Centre is pleased to announce the establishment of a new initiative aimed at benefiting short story writers: The Frank O’Connor International Short Story Fellowship. The fellowship is made possible through the very generous sponsorship of Cork City Council (the municipal government).
During their twelve week stay the fellow would have contact hours with the creative writing department of University College Cork, and additional time mentoring two Cork writers. They will be welcomed into the literary social life of the city where they will have the opportunity to network with resident established writers. They would present a farewell public reading at the Boole Library of University College Cork. There will be available two Frank O’Connor Mentorship Bursaries which consist of fees-free mentoring by the Frank O’Connor International Fellow.
Read more about the Frank O'Connor International
Short Story Fellowship
Announcing the 2016 winning, shortlisted
and longlisted stories in the Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition:
“The Idyllic Land of the 6’s” by Shauna Mackay (Northumberland, UK)
Shauna Mackay lives in Northumberland with her husband and family. She is a previous recipient of the Andrea Badenoch Award for fiction and has stories published, or forthcoming, at several places online.
View all winning, shortlisted and longlisted authors on the competition page.
Fool For Poetry Chapbook Winners
Congratulations to winners John Mee & Maya Catherine Popa!
Two further chapbooks by Róisín Kelly & Paul McMahon
to be published in our 'New Irish Voices' series
There was a 25% increase in entries to this year's Fool for Poetry competition and the standard was extremely high. We will be posting a list of the 12 shortlistees and the many highly commended on munserlit.ie next week. But we can announce now that the overall winner this year was John Mee from Cork who won the Patrick Kavanagh Award just last year. Runner-up was New York-based Maya Catherine Popa - a previous winner of the Gregory O'Donoghue Prize. Both John and Maya are debutantes and we are very proud to be issuing their first solo publications at the launch of the Cork International Poetry Festival next February. Our chapbook list will be augmented by a 'New Irish Voices' series. In November we will publish debutant chapbooks by Belfast-born, Munster-resident poets Roisin Kelly and Paul McMahon. Thank you to everyone who entered and to James Harpur, Thomas McCarthy, Leanne O'Sullivan and Matthew Sweeney who judged the final 12 manuscripts shortlisted by Patrick Cotter - anonymous all the way.
View the highly commended and shortlisted titles at our Fool For Poetry page.
The Munster Literature Centre is a not-for-profit organisation; all moneys raised from the competition benefits writers and writing.
Previous articles and information available on the Archives page.
The Munster Literature Centre
is a constituent member
of Words Ireland.
Short Story Fellowship
being accepted for
Fool for Poetry
2016 winners announced!
at the MLC
Seán Ó Faoláin
2016 winners announced
Fool For Poetry
& Victor Tapner
Annually in spring.
Short Story Festival
Annually in September
Southword Issue 30
New issue, free to read online.