INCREASE IN PRIZE FUND FOR TOP THREE STORIES
The RTÉ Short Story Competition 2022 in honour of Francis MacManus is now open for entries and writers have until Friday 13th May to submit their short story to the competition.
This year’s entries will be judged by writers Lisa McInerney, Ferdia McAnna and Éilis Ní Dhuibhne.
Since its inception over 35 years ago, the RTÉ Short Story Competition has been a critically important launch pad for new and emerging writers in Ireland. Set up in 1986 to honour writer and broadcaster Francis MacManus, the competition recognises and rewards the best new Irish fiction writing for radio. The competition is free to enter and attracts thousands of entries every year.
This year, the top prize has increased to €5,000, while the second and third placed writers will receive €4,000 and €3,000 respectively. A further seven runners-up will receive €250 each.
A shortlist of ten stories will be announced in September, and the top prize-winners will be announced on an Arena special programme later in the autumn. All 10 shortlisted stories will be published on rte.ie/culture and broadcast in a season of new writing on RTÉ Radio 1 in the autumn.
You can listen to and read last year’s 10 shortlisted stories here.
Judge for the second year running, Lisa McInerney, says: “I’m honoured to be back again as a judge for the RTÉ Short Story Competition, and am hoping for a repeat of what proved in 2021 to be an uplifting and inspiring experience. Reading the entries last year, I was struck by how we use stories to make sense of the world around us, to throw light on dark places, or to understand the lives of others. I’m excited to discover what’s in store for us in 2022.”
Judge, Ferdia McAnna says: “In a short story there should be nowhere to hide. Like a screenplay, every word and each sentence should earn its keep. It should bring the listener on a journey before leaving them home almost intact. All I can say for certain is I want to enter a human vision and for a little while, feel mesmerised, uplifted, surprised and transported. Beir Bua.”
Judge, Éilis Ní Dhuibhne says: “The short story has everything. It’s dramatic, it’s lyrical, it’s deep, it’s economical. It has always been my favourite genre, to write and to read – and obviously to listen to. I’m looking forward to reading your stories.”
The RTÉ Short Story Competition has been championing new talent for decades; past winners and shortlisted writers include Claire Keegan, Danielle McLaughlin, Anthony Glavin, Chris Binchy, Nuala O’Connor, Liz Nugent, Colin Walsh and Sarah Gilmartin. Last year’s winner was Kevin Donnellan for his short story, The Third Day.
All shortlisted stories are produced for radio and voiced by some of Ireland’s most talented actors. In recent years these have included Cathy Belton, Eamon Morrissey, Ali White, Ingrid Craigie, Janet Moran, Kathy Rose O’Brien, Emmet Kirwan and Andrew Bennett.
Series producer Sarah Binchy says: “At 35, the competition now happily inhabits both the digital and the analogue world – you can enter online or by post, and we podcast and publish all the shortlisted stories online, as well as broadcasting them on RTÉ Radio 1. But it continues to do what our colleagues who set it up in 1986 in honour of Francis MacManus intended: to discover and share some of the best new Irish fiction writing for radio each year. I’d encourage anyone who’s serious about their writing to enter, and I’m looking forward to what this year’s writers have in store for us.”
For competition rules, information on how to enter, and to read and listen to past winning stories, see www.rte.ie/writing.
About This Year’s Judges
Lisa McInerney is the author of three novels: The Glorious Heresies, The Blood Miracles and The Rules of Revelation. She has won the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Desmond Elliott Prize, the RSL Encore Award and the Premio Edoardo Kihlgren for European literature. Her work has featured in Winter Papers, The Stinging Fly, Granta, The Guardian, Le Monde, Vogue CS, The Irish Times, BBC Radio 4 and numerous anthologies. She is published in 11 languages.
Ferdia Mac Anna
Ferdia Mac Anna works as a novelist, film director, screenwriter and lecturer. In 1996, his novel, The Last of the High Kings was made into a Hollywood movie starring Jared Leto, Gabriel Byrne and Christina Ricci. His latest feature film Danny Boy received an international release in January.
Éilís Ní Dhuibhne
Éilís Ní Dhuibhne is the author of 25 books, including novels, collections of short stories, several books for children, plays and non-fiction works. She writes in Irish and English. In 2015 she was awarded the Irish PEN award for an outstanding contribution to Irish literature, and in 2016 a Hennessy Hall of Fame award for lifetime achievement. She is a member of Aosdána and President of the Folklore of Ireland Society (An Cumann le Béaloideas Éireann).