RTÉ Radio 1 is delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s Francis Mac Manus Short Story Competition 2015 is Eleanor O’Reilly for her story ‘Stoppin’ the Silence’.
Dolores Walshe has been awarded 2nd prize for her story ‘Small Yellow Sun’ and Kathryn Burke’s story ‘Irish Gothic: Waiting For Samhain’ has won 3rd prize.
Winner of the Francis Mac Manus Short Story Competition 2015
Eleanor O’Reilly teaches English and Classical Studies at The Community School in Gorey, Co. Wexford. She began writing one morning, three years ago, over a bowl of porridge, while on maternity leave. Since then she has won a number of awards and commendations, including winning the Trevor/Bowen International Short Story Award 2013, the Writing4Autism 2014 and being shortlisted for the James Plunkett Literary Award 2013 and the Fish Short Story Award 2014. She is currently studying for a Master’s in Creative Writing and is half way through her first novel, as part of the Master’s programme.
She lives in Arklow, Co. Wicklow with her husband and daughter and their two dogs.
The judges described ‘Stoppin’ the Silence’ as a ‘stand-out’ story, which managed to be ‘very funny, very sad and very clever’. They praised the author’s skill in using a child’s voice to deal with very tricky subject matter.
The winner of the 2nd prize is Dolores Walshe for her story ‘Small Yellow Sun’.
The judges described this story as ‘deeply affecting’, told in a voice that really drew the reader in. They were impressed by how well the author succeeded in conjuring up a whole world.
The winner of the 3rd prize is Kathryn Burke for her story ‘Irish Gothic: Waiting For Samhain’
Commenting on this story , the judges said that they admired the story’s set-up, and how it revelled in its use of genre. They praised the sense of foreboding in the tale, along with the use of humour.
About The Francis Mac Manus Short Story Competition
The competition for original short stories for radio was established in 1986 in memory of the RTÉ Radio broadcaster and novelist Francis Mac Manus (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, Katy Hayes and Cormac Kinsella.
There were almost 700 entries for the 2015 competition and the judges commented that this year’s shortlist featured ‘an eclectic range of styles and voices’ and was of ‘an exceptionally high standard’.
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.
All twenty- five shortlisted stories will be broadcast over five weeks on RTÉ Radio 1 beginning with the winning story on Monday, October 5th at 11.10pm.
The 2014 short-listed entries can be heard on the RTÉ Player at www.rte.ie/radio1/francis-macmanus-short-story/