2018 Writing Contests


Thank you to everyone who submitted entries to the 2018 Irish Arts & Writers Festival writing contests.

Congratulations to Zoë Comyns, winner of the 2018 Short Story Contest.

Zoë Comyns is an award winning Independent Radio Producer working across live radio, documentary and drama in Ireland.

She produces The Book Show on RTE Radio 1, and has produced numerous documentaries for radio.

Read Zoë’s winning entry Plastic People here


Congratulations to Susan Sample, winner of the 2018 Shirley McClure Poetry Contest.

Susan is writer-in-residence at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital in Salt Lake City where she guides patients and their families, doctors and nurses in writing about their experiences.

She is also a faculty member in the University of Utah School of Medicine, teaching reflective writing and narrative to medical students, residents, and physicians.

Susan’s poetry has appeared in several literary journals.

Susan’s winning poem Famine Cottage can be read here


Sincere thanks to our judges Paul Muldoon, Delcan Meade, Caroline Bracken, Ethel Rohan, Jessica Traynor and Sally Ashton.


2018 Shirley McClure Poetry Contest Shortlist:

Self-portrait as the space between us
Trace DePass

Famine Cottage
Susan Sample

Exact Wrong Thing
Eric Berlin

Setting the Pace
Joshua Plack

In the Dog Kitchen
Ann Leahy

Circles in Donegal
Sighle Meehan

Philip Arnold


2018 Short Story Contest Shortlist:

Duncan Murrell

Some Haircuts I Have Had
Donncha Mac Cóil

Gerard McKeown

Turning One Thing Into Another
Gareth Fox

Plastic People
Zoë Comyns

A Mother’s Son
Seán Ó Súilleabhaín

‘Death Duties’
Fiona Ennis

The Wake
Alan Murrin



2017 contests

2016 contests