Tuesday, 30 June 2020



Submissions for the 2020 An Post Irish Book Awards are open and we look forward to seeing all the wonderful Irish writing from the last year.

Eligibility and category information

Along with every other arts project affected by the Covid 19 public health crisis, the awards trustees will continue to review all the planned activities in the coming months. The team will be sure to keep everyone updated with news on this website. The current schedule of dates are as follows:

2020 dates:
Submissions close – 31st August
Shortlist launch – 22nd October – likely to be a virtual event
An Post Irish Book Awards 2020 –Mid-End November – The team are discussing a range of options and possible outcomes with sponsors, key stakeholders and the official media partner: RTÉ.

Submitted titles will be considered by both, a book-industry panel and a second body of critics and reviewers who will assess these in mid-September. Feedback is then combined to select the shortlists.

Successful publishers will be notified confidentially in early October. Due to the volume of submissions we regret that we cannot undertake to notify unsuccessful publishers.

Copies of submitted titles are only required if your titles are shortlisted but NOT at the submissions stage.

The Writing.ie Short Story of the Year is administered by Writing.ie – click here for submissions information

The Listowel Writers’ Week Irish Poem of the Year is administered by Listowel Writers’ Week – click here for submissions information

Love Leabhar Gaeilge Irish Language Book of the Year is administered by Love Leabhar Gaeilge – click here for submissions information

If you have any queries or problems with your submissions please contact bert@agile-ideas.com


Friday, 26 June 2020


2020 Writing Competition

Entry is now open for this year!

This is an open competition for short stories, flash fiction and poems on any subject matter.

The competition is open to people of 16 years and over. See poster for more information.

All entry fees will go to the Michael Mullan Cancer Fund.

Closing Date is 12.00 midnight (GMT) on Thursday 16th July 2020. This competition is also open to international entrants, last year we had entrants from the USA to Australia.

*A longlist of the top 20 submissions in each competition will be listed here in August 2020.

*The top 6 shortlisted in each competition will be listed here in September 2020.

*Winners will be announced and prizes will be awarded at a special event in Naas Library as part of the 2020 Kildare Readers Festival Programme.

*The winning entries in each competition will be published on the Michael Mullan Cancer Fund website and also on the Kildare Library and Arts Service website.

Please read all T&C's.

Short Story Entries

- Entries should not exceed 2,000 words.

- Entry Fee €15, pay fee here or click on the button below.

Short Story Entry

Flash Fiction Entries

- Entries should not exceed 500 words.

- Entry Fee €10, pay fee here or click on the button below.

Flash Fiction Entry

Poetry Entries
Poetry Entry

- Entries should not exceed 40 lines.

- Entry Fee €10, pay fee here or click on the button below.

Email entries to: mmcancerfundwritingcompetition@gmail.com

Meet the Judges




Natasha (085-1941977) or Ciaran (086-4611361)

Wednesday, 24 June 2020


Autumn 2020 – Open for Entries

Prizes: £1,000 first, £500 second, £250 third
(approx. $1,230, $620, $310)
Deadline: 31 August 2020
Entry fee: Choose your own
Judge: David Gaffney

Entries close: 31 August 2020
Judging: September 2020
Longlist announced: 1 October 2020
Winner published: 31 December 2020

After the longlist has been announced, we’ll publish one story each day culminating in the publication of the winning stories at the end of December 2020.

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

The Fiction Desk Looking for Submissions

On the theme of  'Gardens'

Until the end of July, we're looking for short stories on a theme of 'gardens':

"Private gardens, public gardens, or shared gardens. The neighbour's garden, or gardens of the rich and famous. Secret gardens, exotic gardens, well-kept gardens, forgotten gardens, haunted gardens, dangerous gardens, gardens of the past or of the future. What do they mean to us? How do we use them - or not use them? What might happen in them - or not happen?"

You can find out more about this call, or send us your story, on our website right here. (If the theme doesn't grab you, we're also open for general submissions: see here for details.) Meanwhile, I've dug up (ha!) some sources of inspiration from around the Internet, from books to news stories....

Friday, 22 May 2020


You can define what it means to be an author

Stories are being written every single day. By the early morning tweeters and lunch time lyricists, the midnight emailers and all day texters. Authors, hidden in plain sight. Authors, who don't even know they're authors yet. Authors like you.

WriteNow is our award-winning programme which aims to find, nurture and publish new writers from communities under-represented on the nation's bookshelves.

WriteNow gives you the tools, information and access you need to get published.

It starts with just 1,000 words.

How do I apply?

As part of your application we'll ask you to tell us about your book. What's it called? What's it about? What makes it special?

We'll also ask you to send us up to 1,000 words – it could be the opening chapter, or a later section of your book which you’re particularly proud of. It's up to you.

In 250 words, we will also ask you to tell us how you meet our criteria.

Editors from across Penguin will assess your application, considering your writing talent and ability, as well as the originality of your story or idea.

"‘I grew up thinking people like me didn’t belong in books or on the bookshelves. The WriteNow programme was the invitation I needed to believe that voices like mine matter."

Published author and WriteNow alumnus Rashmi Sirdeshpande

Thursday, 21 May 2020

General Short Story Submissions

Our standard submission call, for all types of story.

Theme: various

Deadline: Open now. Deadline 31 July 2020.

Word count: 1,000-20,000 words

Submission fee: standard (see submission guidelines).

Payment and rights: standard (see submission guidelines).

How to submit: Read the submission guidelines, then send us your story through our submission form.

Our 'general' category is our standard, catch-all category, and runs during every submission period. It includes the range of styles and genres that feature in all of our anthologies: literary or general fiction, light supernatural or science fiction, and combinations of those.

If you've read one of our anthologies, you'll know the kind of thing we're looking for. If not, the best way to get a sense of what we publish is to pick up a recent volume. Our latest, Somewhere This Way, is out now.



Two category winners will be presented with a cash prize of €250 and the overall winner will receive the top cash prize of €500.

All three winners will receive a beautiful hand-crafted Write By The Sea Festival 2020 Writing Competition trophy and all three winning pieces will be published on the Write By The Sea website.


There are three competition categories:

1. Fiction Short Story (maximum 3,000 words)
2. Memoir – a factual account of a memorable moment
(maximum 3,000 words)
3. Poetry (maximum 40 lines)

The independent panel of judges will select one winner in each category.

One of the three category winners will be selected as the overall winner.


The competition is open for entries from Monday 16th March 2020.
Entries must be the original and unpublished work of the entrant.
Entries must relate to our Write By The Sea 2020 theme ‘Waves’.
Entries must be typed in Word document format and double-spaced* (see Note A below).
Entries must be submitted via the Online Entry Form on the Competition page of the WBTS website, writebythesea.ie where entrants will upload their names and contact details.
As submissions are judged on an anonymous basis, the author’s name and contact details must not appear anywhere in the text of the writing submission.
Entrants can submit as many entries as they wish at €10 per entry, or €25 for three entries (which can be in any or all of the three categories).
The decision of the judges is final.
No correspondence/contact will be entered into and no feedback will be given to individual entrants.
Entrants should retain copies of their work as entries will NOT be returned.
The closing date for entries is 11.59 pm on Friday 10 July 2020
Committee members and relatives of committee members of the Write By The Sea festival, its agents, contributors or sponsors are not eligible to enter the competition.
All non-winning entries will be deleted from our records after three months from the date of the announcement of the competition results.

Note A: It breaks our hearts when we have to disqualify entrants who break the rules. Sadly, last year we disqualified over 50% of the entries for disregarding simple rules such as not submitting text in double spacing or including their names and addresses in the text of their submissions.

Note B: When you successfully submit an entry to the competition you will receive two emails from us.

The first email is confirmation of the information submitted by you, including a copy of the information you provided and the entry you uploaded.

The second is a receipt of payment of your entry fee from Kilmore Quay Community Development Association CLG.

if you do not receive these emails within 24 hours of submitting your entry, please check your spam folder. If you do not receive both emails, your submission has not been entered in the competition. Please try again.

If you have any concerns or questions, please get in touch with us via competitions@writebythesea.ie


Thursday, 16 April 2020

Fish Publishing - Lockdown Prize

Lockdown Prize

Closing: 15 June 2020

30% of all entry fees will be donated to OXFAM for their Coronavirus aid programme.

Theme: Coronavirus – the writer’s response to the strange times of 2020.

We are looking for responses of all kinds – the funny, the sad, the imaginative, the surprising, the mundane, the beautiful.

POEMS (max 19 lines)

POCKET PROSE (max 100 Words)


Entry is €10.00 (£9, US$11) 30% goes to OXFAM

Nine pieces (three from each genre) will be published in the Fish Anthology 2020.

Short-listed entries will be published on the Fish website.


Adam Wyeth

Mary-Jane Holmes,

Clem Cairns



Friday, 3 April 2020

V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize

V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize

This prize was founded by the RSL at the beginning of the new millennium to commemorate the centenary of an author widely regarded as the finest English short-story writer of the 20th century, and to preserve a tradition encompassing Pritchett’s mastery of narrative.

The annual prize of £1,000 goes to the best unpublished short story of the year. The winning entry is also published in Prospect magazine and the RSL Review.

The short story, my father once wrote, is ‘exquisitely difficult’. For the author, that is. All the same, I hope that many, many people will enter this competition in his memory. And if they want encouragement and inspiration they may find it in one of his own short stories. There are so many to choose from, but I would particularly recommend ‘The Evils of Spain’, one of my favourites, from the very beginning of his amazingly long writing career, or the wonderful ‘Cocky Olly’, written more than half a century later.

Oliver Pritchett
The 2020 Prize – open for entries

We are delighted to announce that the V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize, for best unpublished short story, is open for its twenty-first year. The winner will receive £1,000 and the winning entry will be published in Prospect online and in the RSL Review.
Stories must be written in English and be between 2,000 and 4,000 words.
Entrants must be resident in the UK, Republic of Ireland or Commonwealth (see list of countries here) and likely to be available for a prize-giving event in autumn 2020
Stories entered for the competition must not have been published previously (including online) or broadcast in any other medium
Multiple entries to this competition are permitted but must be submitted and paid for individually (the fee is £7.50 per entry to cover administration costs)
Entrants must be over 18 at the time of submission

Click below to read the full entry guidelines and submit your story via our Submittable site:

To submit by post, please send your story (enclosing a completed entry form and cheque or postal order for £7.50) to:

VSP, The Royal Society of Literature
Somerset House, Strand
London, WC2R 1LA

Closing date for entries: Friday 3 July, midnight 2020 (BST).
Entries for low-income writers

The RSL is committed to increasing accessibility and supporting writers of all incomes. As such, we are offering 50 free entries to low-income writers based in the UK.

To apply for a free entry to this year’s prize please e-mail jessica.allee@rsliterature.org using the subject ‘Free VSP Entry Application’ and in the body of the email include your name, postcode and up to 200 words on why you are eligible for a free entry, along with supporting documentation as proof of financial eligibility such as: Jobseeker’s Allowance, Disability Benefit, Income Support; Working Tax Credit; proof of being a full-time student; Housing Benefit; proof of being a full-time carer. All details will be kept in the strictest confidence and have no bearing on your Prize entry. Applications with no supporting evidence will not be accepted.

Applicants have until 5pm on 19 June to apply for a free entry. However, we recommend applying earlier as these entries are offered on a first come, first served basis. You will be informed by email as to whether you have been accepted and then given instructions on how to enter. Please do not send your story to us prior to this. Successful applicants will have until midnight on Friday 3 July (the same as the general entry deadline) to submit their story to the competition. Please note, if successful you can only submit one free entry into the competition. Additional stories will need to submitted via the general submission portal at the bottom of this page (£7.50 per entry).

We are grateful to to Prospect Magazine for publishing the winning entry online.

If you have any media enquiries, please contact Annette Brook, Communications Manager: annette.brook@rsliterature.org or call 020 7845 4680.


SUBMISSIONS 2020 Submissions for the 2020 An Post Irish Book Awards are open and we look forward to seeing all the wonderful Irish writing ...