Wednesday, 5 August 2020

​The Liberties Press ​Humorous Short Story Competition

First Prize €500

Second Prize €600

Third Prize €1,000

Liberties Press, in conjunction with Irish Pensions & Finance, are delighted to announce the launch of their Humorous Short Story Competition for 2020.

​We’re looking for your funniest original story, real or imagined, from Graham Norton’s red chair to Waiting for Godot - and all points in between. We don’t mind how irreverent or inappropriate you are but there are other rules:

You must be over 16 years of age
You must be an Irish citizen or long-term resident of Ireland
The closing date for submissions is 31st August 2020
Maximum 1500 words per entry
One entry per person
The judges' decision is final
Entry is FREE, so whether you are a published writer who wants to demonstrate their range, an unpublished writer who wants to prove they’re every bit as good as a published one, or simply a chancer looking to make a few bob..…send in that story and give us a laugh; we could do with it.

Entries will be judged by Irish comedian Kevin Gildea and the top ten stories will be published in an Anthology, to be launched early 2021.

Please don’t use real people’s names or copy their stories as they’re liable to get shirty; litigious even.

Entry Form Here

Max file size: 50MB - Please do not include your name on file as entries will be judged anonymously

By entering the competition, you are allowing your story to be used in an anthology to be published by Liberties Press in Spring 2021. By ticking the box below you confirm that you agree to the Terms and Conditions of the competition as outlined above *
I agree

Friday, 24 July 2020

Science-me a Story

Born in 2017, the Society of Spanish Researchers invites talented and original writers to write a 100-word blurb for a hypothetical novel. This might sound really easy, but your blurb has to quickly hook readers and make them want to read more. Open to anyone over 18 anywhere in the world, your real or fictional short story for this competition must be either in English or Spanish and “conceived from the objective of scientific dissemination to primary school” to qualify for the cash prizes: £150, £100 and £50.

Deadline: The 2021 deadline is still TBA.

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Wild Atlantic Words literary - Short Story Festival

Wild Atlantic Words literary festival:
6th – 11th October 2020, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland

“Celebrating the literary tradition of Ireland’s west coast”— WILD ATLANTIC WORDS LITERARY FESTIVAL

Sally Rooney confirmed for this year’s Wild Atlantic Words literary festival in Castlebar

The Wild Atlantic Words literary festival is delighted to announce that Sally Rooney will be taking part in this year’s festival in her home town of Castlebar. The critically acclaimed author of Conversations With Friends and Normal People is the first high profile guest to be revealed on this autumn’s line-up. ‘Conversations with Sally Rooney’ will take place on Friday, October 9th, and full details will be announced in due course.

Founded in 2016, the Wild Atlantic Words literary festival takes place in Castlebar, Co Mayo, every October. The festival aims to celebrate the literary heritage of our rugged coastline over a weekend of readings, recitals, debates and reflection, while also acknowledging our new and emerging writers.

The festival also features a short story competition, judged this year by Lisa McInerney. Click here for details.

Kinsale Literary Festival Short Story Competition

Competitions deadline: 31st July 2020

Words by Water are holding short story and poetry competitions again this year as part of Kinsale Literary Festival.

Short Story Competition

Words By Water: Kinsale Literary Festival is delighted to welcome entries to the Words By Water Short Story Award. Writers are invited to submit a short story of up to 2000 words, on any theme.


1st Prize is €250 plus publication in The Echo.

How to Enter:

Email your entry to :

Payment of €12 per entry.

This is an open competition for a short story on any subject matter.

Terms and Conditions

This is an open competition for a short story on any subject matter.

The competition is open to people of 16 years and older.

Competition is open internationally.

1st Prize is €250 plus publication in The Echo.

Entries must be in English.

Entries must be no more than 2,000 words in length. Longer entries will not be permitted and will be automatically rejected

Entries must be the original work of the author and must not have been previously published either in writing or electronically. Entries which have received awards in other competitions are also ineligible.

The author’s name and details should only appear on the accompanying e-mail. Please ensure that the title is clearly marked at the top of the entry and each page thereafter. The author’s name must NOT appear on the entry submitted, only on the email accompanying the piece.

Entries will be accepted between March 1 and July 31, 2020. Entries received after this date will not be considered.

The judge’s decision is final and Kinsale Literary Festival will not enter into correspondence concerning the judging or merits awarded. The onus is on the author to ensure that their entry complies with the rules of the competition

Entries should be submitted electronically only, by email to Hard copies are not admissible.

Shortlisted writers will be invited to attend the award ceremony in October, however all expenses incurred will be the writer’s own. The shortlist will be sent to all entrants and announced publicly one month before the festival.

While copyright of the short story will remain with the author, Kinsale Literary Festival reserves the right to arrange the first publication and broadcast of the selected works. The right to use the stories to further publicise this award is also retained by Kinsale Literary Festival. The winning author will agree to have their photograph taken and used for publicity purposes by Kinsale Literary Festival

The entry fee of €12 must be paid via our online payment system at, using the entrant’s name as the reference.

The John Hewitt Society

2020 Red Line Book Festival Poetry Competition

Red Line Book Festival are calling on aspiring poets to submit their work for the 2020 Red Line Book Festival poetry competition.

Now in its eighth year, the prestigious competition attracts hundreds of entries from all across the island of Ireland annually. The 2019 winner was Rory Duffy for his poem A Guide to the Items Recovered from the Stomach of the Last Wild Whale.

The winning poet will win a cash prize of €300. There is also a cash prize of €200 for second place and €100 for third place. Shortlisted poets will be invited to read their poem as part of the 2020 Red Line Book Festival, which runs 12th - 18th October.

This year, Red Line Book Festival are honoured to have award-winning poet Peter Sirr judge the competition entries.

The closing date for entries is Monday 24th August 2020 and entries will only be accepted by email. The shortlist will be announced on Monday 21st September 2020, with the winner announced during this year’s Red Line Book Festival.

The 2020 Red Line Book Festival Poetry Competition rules can be downloaded here.

The 2020 Red Line Book Festival Poetry Competition application form can be downloaded here.


THE RED LINE BOOK FESTIVAL is an initiative of South Dublin County Council. Held in October each year, the festival celebrates the very best in local, national and international writing. Taking place in venues across South County Dublin, the Red Line Book Festival provides a programme of events and workshops that appeals to people of all ages and interests, from children to adults, casual readers to bookworms. The 2020 festival runs October 12th - 18th.

PETER SIRR has published ten poetry collections, of which the most recent are The Gravity Wave (2019), a Poetry Book Society recommendation and Sway (2016), versions of poems from the troubadour tradition. The Rooms (2014) was shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award and the Pigott Poetry Prize. The Thing Is (2009), was awarded the Michael Hartnett Prize in 2011. His novel for children, Black Wreath, was published in 2014. His radio dramas are broadcast on RTE, the national broadcaster. He teaches literary translation in the Centre for Literary and Cultural Translation, Trinity College and is a member of Aosdána.

Monday, 13 July 2020



in association with the Costa Book Awards TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF ENTRY Please read all terms and conditions carefully before submitting an entry. Please note that the only email address from which individual queries will be answered is We will respond where possible but we are sorry that we cannot guarantee a response to all emails. Emails sent to any other address found on the Costa Book Awards (the “CBA”) website will not receive a response. All relevant updates will be posted on and via Twitter (@CostaBookAwards). Please note that unsuccessful entrants will not be contacted individually. Submission of an entry is taken as acceptance of all the terms and conditions of entry. Incomplete entry forms and short stories not submitted in accordance with these terms and conditions will not be eligible for consideration. Note: Proof of any of the following conditions of eligibility may be requested from entrants at any time and will be checked at shortlist stage. 1 ELIGIBILITY a) The Costa Short Story Award (the “CSSA”) is for a single, previously-unpublished short story of up to 4,000 words by an author aged 18 years or over on 1 January 2020 whose primary residence (ie resident for over six months of the year) has been in the United Kingdom or Ireland since 1 November 2017. UK or Irish nationality is not a requirement. 

If there is any issue about whether or not you qualify as a UK resident, please check with the organisers before submitting your entry. b) Entries must be submitted in English. Translations of short stories originally published in languages other than English are not eligible. c) Entries will not be eligible where the author is a member of the judging panel, anyone involved in the management/administration of the CSSA or a close family relative of any such person. d) The submitted story must not have been previously published in print or online or broadcast. e) A story published posthumously will not be eligible if the author died prior to 1 January 2020. f) Authors currently serving a term of imprisonment are ineligible for the CSSA. This is for practical purposes - when an author is shortlisted/wins, the organisers need direct and speedy access to the author. 2 ENTRY a) Entries may only be submitted online via the specific entry form on the CBA website ( Entries submitted in any other form will not be accepted. b) Entries for the CSSA can be submitted at from Wednesday 1st July 2020. Submission of entries will be acknowledged automatically with an on-screen message when the Submit Story button has been pressed. There will be no separate acknowledgement by email. The closing date for entries to be submitted is 5pm on Monday 3rd August 2020 and entries submitted after this date will not be accepted. A message will then appear on to confirm that entry for the CSSA is closed and entries submitted after that time will not be accepted. c) Entries may be submitted by the author, their publisher or their agent. d) Although the entries will be assessed anonymously, they must be submitted in the author’s own name. e) The submission of an author’s work by the publisher/agent will be taken as agreement by the author that they are willing for the submitted work to be considered and to comply with these terms and conditions. f) No more than one story per author may be submitted. It is the responsibility of the author to ensure that no more than one of their stories is submitted in total. If more than one story is submitted, only the first story received will be considered. g) Authors may only enter individually and not as part of a team. h) The story submitted must be a separate, standalone, original story and not a chapter of a book or ongoing work. h) The story submitted must be (and by submission of this form is warranted by the author and accepted by the CBA to be) original, fictional, and entirely the author’s own work. It must not infringe the copyright or any other rights of any third party and not be libellous, unlawful or defamatory of any living person or corporate body. The author is entirely responsible for any potential copyright or other legal issues in their story. 3 THE SHORT STORY a) The story must not exceed 4,000 (four thousand) words. Please note: 4,000 is the maximum word count but not a specific target. b) If the story has already been submitted to other competitions or publications, please ensure that it is given a different title before being submitted to the CSSA. This is because, if it has already been commended elsewhere, this would then compromise the anonymity of its author, particularly if it is shortlisted. c) There is no set theme to the story, but we encourage all entrants to submit entries that are bold, different and original in order for them to stand out from the rest. d) The format of the story must adhere to these following rules, and the CBA management team will change all shortlisted/Highly Commended stories to this format to ensure that they are all the same: i) PDF format ii) Typed in Arial 12 pt black font iii) Double-spaced iv) Hard returns between paragraphs (NO indentations anywhere please and NO page numbers) v) The name of the author must not appear anywhere within the story vi) The name of the story and word count to be included within the header on every page. 4 JUDGING a) Entries will be judged anonymously; in other words, the name and other personal details of the author will not be linked to the story/made available to either the initial readers or the judges. b) The judges of the CSSA will be looking for what they think is the best entry on the basis of quality and originality of prose, narrative voice and storyline. c) All entries will be initially read by a team of readers who will select a smaller number of stories for the judging panel to read. This is not deemed to be an official longlist (as each story will have been selected at this stage by one reader rather than as a result of collective discussion and agreement), and authors of these stories will not therefore be advised that their stories have been selected for submission to the judging panel. d) A judging panel will read the short stories selected by the team of readers and will draw up a shortlist of three stories plus an additional list of up to six Highly Commended stories. e) The three shortlisted stories (which will remain anonymous) will be made available on the CBA website between mid-November 2020 and mid-January 2021, and the public will be asked to vote for their favourite. f) The identity of the authors of the three shortlisted stories will be announced after voting has closed. At the same time, the authors of the Highly Commended stories will be announced. All shortlisted/Highly Commended authors will be contacted by the CBA management team before this announcement. g) A winner and two runners-up will be announced in January 2021. h) The winner will receive prize money of £3,500. The author in second place will receive £1,000 whilst that in third place will receive £500. i) Costa Limited ("Costa Coffee") reserves the right to increase or reduce the numbers of entries selected for the judges to read and for the shortlist at its sole discretion. j) The judging will be fair and independent. The judging panel will be appointed by the Director of the Costa Book Awards. The decisions of the judges are final. Neither discussion nor correspondence concerning any decision will be entered into. 5 SHORTLIST AND WINNER a) All three shortlisted writers will be contacted personally by email or by telephone using the details provided at the time of entry. Unsuccessful entrants will NOT be contacted. The three shortlisted stories will be published on the CBA website during November 2020. The overall winner and two runners-up will be announced at the CBA presentation in January 2021. b) For the purposes of fairness to all three shortlisted authors, their anonymity must be maintained throughout the voting period. If there is any evidence that any of the authors have told anyone that their story is shortlisted (eg by comments made on the internet which have been found after a brief search), Costa Coffee reserves the right to withdraw that author’s short story from the competition immediately. c) The winner will receive a cheque for £3,500. The author in second place will receive a cheque for £1,000 whilst that in third place will receive a cheque for £500. d) By submitting a story, the entrant agrees to (or if the entrant is the author’s publisher or agent it confirms that it has secured the author’s agreement that the author will BA in the event of being shortlisted and, in the event of winning, to undertake a mutually acceptable programme of activities to promote the CSSA particularly immediately after the announcement of the winner has been made. For the avoidance of doubt, any publisher or agent who submits an entry on behalf of its author shall be responsible for inviting and ensuring their author’s attendance at the Awards ceremony and any further activity agreed. f) It is a condition of entry that the authors of all the Highly Commended/shortlisted stories must cooperate with the CBA management team in all publicity and promotion opportunities surrounding the CSSA. g) By submitting an entry, writers of all winning, shortlisted or Highly Commended entries agree to ensure that in the event that any winning, shortlisted or Highly Commended entry is published, including in any anthology publications, it will carry approved Costa Book Awards credits if requested to do so and provided all materials bearing such approved credits, logos or trademarks are pre-approved by the CBA management team. Such accreditation if required will be provided to the winning, shortlisted and Highly Commended authors. 6 COPYRIGHT AND TERMS OF USE a) Entrants retain the copyright in their entries, but by submitting a story into the CSSA, entrants acknowledge and agree that each shortlisted entrant: i) grants to Costa Coffee, its affiliates, licensees, successors and assigns a worldwide sub-licensable, perpetual, transferable, non-exclusive royalty-free licence to use in any way whatsoever including but not limited to public performance, public display, publishing, reproduction, broadcasting, amendment or modification of the entry or any part of the entry on and through the website or any website associated with Costa Coffee in its different present and future forms - for example newsprint, Braille, talking book, podcast, audio download, electronic databases, e-paper, mobile device application, electronic media or website including mobile form or any other facsimile or derivative versions in any medium; and ii) without prejudice to the above, grants Costa Coffee a non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free licence to publish the first three paragraphs of the winning entry and runners-up on the Costa Coffee and Costa Book Awards website ( b) All entrants (whether author, publisher, agent) will be deemed to have granted the rights for publication and distribution in paper, e-paper, e-Book, downloadable format, talking book, podcast, mobile device application, electronic media or website including mobile form or in any other present or future form of publication, and they or their agents will clear the necessary rights for such publication and distribution. The rights for publication will be nonexclusive, with no bar on publication rights elsewhere. 7 ADMINISTRATION a) The competition will be administered by the CBA management team. b) All announcements in relation to the CSSA will be published on and via the CBA Twitterfeed (@CostaBookAwards). c) Entrants must provide their name, email address, telephone number and postal address on the initial entry form. We will make use of this data, and other information we may collect about you, for the purposes of administering the CSSA and promoting the CSSA. For more information on how we use your data, and your rights, please see our privacy policy at d) Entrants must supply full details as required above, and comply with all rules to be eligible for the CSSA. Ineligible, obscene or fraudulent entries will be automatically disqualified. e) The CBA management team reserves the right to refuse any entry for any reason at its absolute discretion, and reserves the right to vary the Terms and Conditions of Entry, and alter the published programme, as may be deemed necessary to ensure the proper administration and integrity of the CSSA and where required for reasons beyond its control. Any amendments will be published on f) The CBA management team reserves the right to cancel, modify or supersede the CSSA (including altering prizes) at any stage, if deemed necessary in its opinion to ensure the proper administration and integrity of the CSSA, or if circumstances arise outside of its control. g) By entering, all eligible entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and to agree to be bound by each and all of these Terms and Conditions. Costa Coffee reserves the right to exclude entrants and withhold prizes for violating any of these Terms and Conditions. h) The submission of an author’s work by a publisher or agent will be taken as agreement by the author that they are willing for the submitted work to be considered and that they consent to and approve of all terms and conditions contained herein and as agreement by the publisher or agent to guarantee and procure the author’s compliance with these Terms and Conditions. If such publisher or agent fails to do the foregoing, Costa Coffee may at its sole discretion disqualify the entry and/or reclaim any Award and/or associated prize money and revise the shortlist and (if applicable) winning entries. Any author who submits an entry warrants that they have obtained all necessary publisher and/or agent consents required to submit an entry in accordance with these Terms and Conditions. i) All entrants will indemnify Costa Coffee and the CBA management team against loss or damage (including any legal costs or expenses and any compensation costs and disbursements paid by Costa Coffee and the CBA management team on the advice of legal counsel to compromise or settle any claim) occasioned to Costa Coffee or the CBA management team in consequence of any breach of these Terms and Conditions by the entrant or arising out of any claim alleging that the submitted entry constitutes an infringement of copyright or contains libellous, obscene, defamatory or otherwise unlawful matter. j) There is no alternative to the prizes stated and the prizes are not transferable, and no part or parts of any prize may be substituted for other benefits, items or additions. k) Costa Coffee and the CBA management team will not be liable for any failure of receipt of entries. Costa Coffee and the CBA management team have no responsibility for any entries which are lost, delayed, illegible, damaged, incomplete or otherwise invalid. If the CBA management team is unable to contact a shortlisted author despite making reasonable attempts to do so, the judges will be entitled to shortlist another entry. Other than death or personal injury arising from the acts or omissions of Costa Coffee, the CBA management team or their employees, Costa Coffee and the CBA management team will not be liable for any loss or damage arising out of participation in the CSSA or the award of a prize. l) The promoter of this award is Costa Coffee Limited, Costa House, Houghton Hall Business Park, Porz Avenue, Dunstable, Bedfordshire LU5 5YG. m) These Terms and Conditions are governed by the laws of England and Wales and entrants submit all matters arising in relation to these Terms and Conditions or the CSSA (including all non-contractual disputes) to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales provided that if you are a resident of Scotland, you may also bring proceedings in Scotland, if you are a resident of Northern Ireland, you may also bring proceedings in Northern Ireland, and if you are resident of Ireland you may also bring proceedings in Ireland. Nothing contained in this clause shall limit the right of Costa Coffee, its affiliates or subsidiaries, successors or assigns, to bring a claim in any other jurisdiction.


In our quest to offer authors a stage for their work, we are hosting our Summer Short Story Competition.

Short story: 3,000 words maximum, no minimum. The title is not included in the word count.

The competition is open to writers of any nationality writing in English, 16 years old and over at the time of the closing date.

Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and by submitting you are confirming that the work is your own. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification.

Entries must not, at the time of entering, have won any other national or international competition prizes.
All entries are judged anonymously.

Entries may be in the following genres: fiction including science fiction or non-fiction (e.g. biography, memoir, true story).

Entrants may submit any number of stories.

Entrants may withdraw entries from the competition by notification in writing. Entry fees will not be refunded.

Entries will be disqualified if they exceed the word count.

Multiple entries are allowed.

​The Liberties Press ​Humorous Short Story Competition

First Prize €500 Second Prize €600 Third Prize €1,000 Liberties Press, in conjunction with Irish Pensions & Finance, are del...