Winning Stories & Shortlist 2013

Francis MacManus Short Story Competition Winners Announced

Dubliner Chris Connolly has been announced as the first place winner of the 2016 Francis MacManus Short Story Competition. The 33 year old impressed the judges with his submission, The Speed of Light and How It Cannot Help Us.  The story explores the complicated nature of unconditional love, in particular the love of a mother for her son, and how far that love can be stretched before it finally reaches breaking point.

 Chris Connolly says: “I'm delighted to have won the competition. The Francis MacManus award has been top of my list for some time now, and having been shortlisted twice before it's an amazing feeling to finally win it. I know from previous years how consistently high the standard of the shortlist is, and for my story to be judged as anywhere near the best is a huge validation, and extremely encouraging.”

In second place is Lisa Frank’s An Spidéal Road, a story that sees a man tormented by a recent breakup travel the vast, narrow roads of Connemara to take back what's his.

In third place, Chalk and Cheese by Mark Evans sees an elderly man wallow in his own company, happy to exist on a diet of Inspector Morse and cheap cheese. But when the supermarket runs out of his favourite food, a good deed from an unexpected source triggers a chain of events.

The Sleeping Giant by Catherine Donnelly was placed fourth and received a special commendation.

The Francis MacManus Competition for original short stories for radio was established in 1986 in memory of the RTÉ Radio broadcaster and novelist Francis MacManus (1909-1965). Since then, it has been a source of encouragement and support for new and emerging writers. Previous winners include Claire Keegan, Ciarán Folan, Ivy Bannister, Nuala Ní Chonchúir and Martin Malone.

The judges for this year’s competition were Evelyn Conlon, Mary Morrissy and Declan Meade.

There were over 800 entries for the 2016 competition and from these 24 stories were shortlisted.

All 24 shortlisted stories will be broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1, beginning with Chris Connolly’s winning story. The Francis MacManus Short Story Competition broadcasts begin on Monday 3rd October at 11.20pm (in the Book on One slot) and will continue for five weeks.

The full shortlist can be seen on the Francis MacManus website:

The author of the overall winning story receives €3,000. Prizes of €2,000 (2nd prize) and €1,000 (3rd prize) are awarded to the authors of the second and third winning stories.

About the competition:

The competition was founded in memory of Francis Mac Manus, the Kilkenny born novelist, biographer and former Head of Talks and Features at Radio Éireann.  Since its establishment in 1986, the competition has been a launching pad for several new and emerging writers who have subsequently received national and international acclaim.  They include Molly McCloskey, Anthony Glavin, Claire Keegan and Nuala Ní Chonchúir.

The winner of the overall prize will receive €3,000 and prizes of €2,000 and €1,000 will be awarded to the second and third prize winners.

Each of the 25 short-listed stories is recorded being read by a professional reader. The judges listen to these recordings and read the stories to consider their broadcasting and short story qualities before they select the winning entries. The entire shortlist is broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 following the announcement of the competition winners. 

The judges for this year are Evelyn Conlon, Declan Meade and Mary Morrissey.

1st Prize - Uncle Ned by Mike MacDomhnaill, Caislean Nua, Co. Luimnigh read by Andrew Bennett – broadcast date 24/06/13  Listen

2nd Prize - Dark Secret by James Alfred Simpson, Bushmills, Co. Antrim read by Pat Kinevane – broadcast date 25/06/13 Listen

3rd Prize - Ending it by Sean Kenny. Blanchardstown, Dublin read by Aaron Monaghan – broadcast date 26/06/13 Listen

- Ruler of the Roost by Steve Wade, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin read by Aaron Monaghan – broadcast date 27/06/13 Listen

- Hey Presto! by Clare O’Reilly, Maynooth, Co. Kildare read by Caitriona Ni Mhurchu – broadcast date 28/06/13 Listen

-The Crawlspace by Sean Flynn, Bandon, Co. Cork read by Pat Kinevane – broadcast date 01/07/13 Listen

- After the Rhododendrons by Paul McMichael, London, UK read by Gary Murphy – broadcast date 02/07/13 Listen

- Parknasilla by Silke O’Reilly, Rosscarbery, Co. Cork read by Ingrid Craigie – broadcast date 03/07/13 Listen

- Come here to me and tell me a story by Antoinette McCarthy, Gowran, Co. Kilkenny read by Andrew Bennett – broadcast date 04/07/13 Listen

- Narcissus by Colm Reynor, Tallaght, Dublin read by Barbara Bergin – broadcast date 05/07/13 Listen

- Lovebirds by Chris Connolly, Booterstown, Co. Dublin read by Angela Harding – broadcast date 08/07/13 Listen

- Floater by Alan Weadick, Goatstown, Dublin read by Gary Murphy – broadcast date 09/07/13 Listen

- Long Live Clutter by Una Wolf-Brennan, Lake Lucerne, Switzerland read by Ingrid Craigie – broadcast date 10/07/13 Listen

- To the Tea Rooms by Danielle McLaughlin, Donoughmore, Co. Cork read by Noelle Browne – broadcast date 11/07/13 Listen

- Balance by Fiona Cunnane, Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow read by Caitriona Ni Mhurchu – broadcast date 12/07/13 Listen

- We’re closed Happy Christmas by Eamon Murphy, Coolcotts, Wexford read by Noelle Browne – broadcast date 15/07/13 Listen

- An answer for the Pope by Maurice Maguire, Belfast, Co. Antrim  read by Lalor Roddy – broadcast date 16/07/13 Listen

- Intercession by Wayne O’Keeffe, Butlerstown, Co. Waterford read by Gary Murphy – broadcast date 17/07/13 Listen

- Washi by Alastair O’Liathain, Rathfarnham, Dublin read by Brendan Laird – broadcast date 18/07/13 Listen

- Hairdo by Ellen Kelly, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin read by Noelle Browne – broadcast date 19/07/13 Listen

- The Promised Land by Cliona Campbell, Model Farm Road, Cork read by Noelle Browne – broadcast date 22/07/13 Listen

- Bull Wall by Fiona Gartland, Drumcondra, Dublin read by Caitriona Ni Mhurchu – broadcast date 23/07/13 Listen

- We all fall down by Brendan Killeen, Copenhagen, Denmark read by Emmet Kirwan – broadcast date 24/07/13 Listen

- Solar System by Jenny Roche, Moycullen, Co. Galway read by Keith Hanna – broadcast date 25/07/13 Listen

- The Books, they cry by Elizabeth Rose Murray, Schull, West Cork read by Gary Murphy – broadcast date 26/07/13 Listen



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