MLC books

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.




Connect with Munster
Literature Centre
on social media

Munster Literature Centre







(Entries from September to November annually


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


More About the Prize

The Judge

Submission Guidelines

Previous Winners

Southword Journal




1st Prize:
- €1000
- a week's residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre
- paid travel expenses (up to €600) and 4 nights accomodation in Cork city during the Cork International Poetry Festival (March 27-30)
- publication in Southword Journal

2nd Prize €500 & publication in Southword

3rd Prize €250 & publication in Southword

Ten runners-up will bee published in Southword and receive €30 publication fee.


Deadline: Friday, 30 November 2019 (midnight). Entries will be accepted from the 1st of August.





Judges rotate annually. Past judges have included Matthew Sweeney, Thomas McCarthy, James Harpur, Leanne O'Sullivan, Mary Noonan and Patrick Cotter. The judge will read each and every entry themselves; There is no preliminary screening process.


Submission Guidelines

How to submit

Email entry

Send to: godcomp@munsterlit.ie
Subject: "GOD entry 2018"

  1. The poems for submission with each poem in a seperate word document. (We cannot accept PDF format). Please use the title of the poem (or the first few words of the title) is the tile of each document. As the competition is judged anonymously, please do not write your name or personal details anywhere on this document as this could lead to disqualification.
  2. A cover letter (separate word document attached to the same email). The cover letter should include
    - Your name
    - Poem titles
    - 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.
  3. Payment of the €25 entry fee can be made through PayPal (see below)

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. Each poem should be printed on a seperate page with no back to back printing.
  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 Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry 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 confirm the receipt of international entries via email.


Paypal will deduct the fee in your own currency.
You do not need a paypal account.
As proof of payment, please include an image of the receipt or quote the transaction ID in your cover letter.

# of Poems

Alternative methods of payment (Postal entries)

  • Bank drafts
  • Other currencies: we can accept cheques and bank drafts in Euro, and in Pounds sterling (£5 for one poem £10 for two, £15 for three and £20 for four or five).
  • Postal order (Republic of Ireland only)
  • Please note that we cannot accept cash payment

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter

Due to the large volume of entries, the judge will not be able to notify the authors of non-winning poems or give individual feedback. A shortlist will be posted on our website in late January and the winners will be announced during the Cork International Poetry Festival. We recommend signing up for the Munster Literature Centre newsletter if you would like to be kept up-to-date with all competition developments directly.

Prize winnings will be subject to exchange rates valid on date payment is issued. The MLC will subvent travel costs for the winner up to €600 and provide hotel accommodation and meals for five days during the Cork International Poetry Festival. The Munster Literature Centre is a not-for-profit institution, an officially registered charity in the Republic of Ireland Charity. No. 12374. All entry fees received in this competition will be disbursed in prize money, judge's fee and to fund services the Centre provides to writers and readers.








Back to the top.




Past winners of the Gregory O'Donoghue
International Poetry Competition

Leila ChattiMark Wagenaar
2016 winner Leila Chatti & 2017 winner Mark Wagenaar

Breda Wall Ryan
Maya Popa
Judith Barrington
2015 winner:
Breda Wall Ryan
2014 winner:
Maya Popa
2013 winner:
Judith Barrington
Suji Kwock Kim
Sandra Ann Winters
John F Deane
2012 winner:
Suji Kwock Kim
2011 winner:
Sandra Ann Winters
2010 winner:
John F. Deane


Click here to view results of past competitions, including runners-up and commendations.







Words Ireland

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


Seán Ó Faoláin
Short Story
Competition 2018
judge Paul McVeigh


2017 Winner:
Louise Nealon

Read the winning story


View images from the Cork
International Poetry Festival


Preperations are underway
for the 2019
Cork International Poetry Festival
March 27-30



The 2018 Fool for Poetry
Chapbook Competition
is now accepting entries.
Deadline 30 June
Find out more.


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


The Gregory O'Donoghue
Poetry Competition

Gregory O Donoghue

This year's winner is Rob Lipton
whose poem will be published
in the next issue of Southword

The competition will reopen
for submissions in
September 2018



Frank O'Connor
Short Story Fellowship

Marie Helene Bertino
2017 Fellow:
Marie-Helene Bertino


Poetry International

Recent additions:

Michelle O'Sullivan
Paddy Bushe
Doireann Ní Gríofa
Paul Casey



The Cork International
Short Story Festival

Cork International Short Story Festival

Wednesday Septmeber 12-
Saturday September 15 2018







The Munster Literature Centre

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

Tel. (353) 021 4312955 Email munsterlit@eircom.net

Irish Registered Charity No.12374