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.

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Listen: RTÉ Arena marks the launch of the RTÉ Short Story Competition 2022 with judges Éilis Ní Dhuibhne, Ferdia Mac Anna and Lisa McInerney

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 a RTÉ Arena special programme on RTÉ Radio 1 later in the autumn. All 10 shortlisted stories will be published here on RTÉ Culture and broadcast in a season of new writing on RTÉ Radio 1. You can listen to and read last year's 10 shortlisted stories here.

Judges Lisa McInerney, Éilis Ní Dhuibhne and Ferdia Mac Anna

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."

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.

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Listen to RTÉ Short Story Competition winner 2021, Kevin Donnellan's The Third Day.

Series producer Sarah Binchy says: "The competition is going from strength to strength, and we're delighted to be able to increase the top prizes this year to 5000, 4000 and 3000 Euros, making this a really significant annual competition in the Irish literary calendar. We're gratified to see many of our shortlisted and prizewinning authors in recent years going on to pick up agent representation and publishing contracts. I’d encourage anyone who is serious about their fiction writing, whether they’re a long term practitioner or someone just starting out, to enter a story this year. It’s free to enter, and you have the chance for your work to reach a wide audience on RTÉ Culture, on Arena and on Late Date on RTÉ Radio 1."

Go here for competition rules, information on how to enter, and to read and listen to past winning stories.