The Frank O'Connor International Festival of the Short Story opens tonight, Wednesday 20 September, at Triskel in Cork with readings from Cork authors Cónal Creedon, Alannah Hopkin and Mary Leland.

The festival will run until Sunday, 24 September, ending with the announcement of the 2006 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award winner.

The €35,000 award is the world's richest prize for the short story form and was established last year in memory of the late Frank O'Connor, Cork native and one of the world's most renowned short story writers.

The winner of the inaugural award was Yiyun Li of China and the United States for her debut collection 'A Thousand Years of Good Prayers' (Random House/ 4th Estate).

The six authors shortlisted for the prize are Philip Ó Ceallaigh, Haruki Murakami, Rachel Sherman, Peter Stamm, Rose Tremain and Samrat Upadhyay. 

Five of the authors will be in attendance at Sunday night's award ceremony, while Haruki Murakami will be represented by his translator Jay Rubin.

Rubin will also take part in a reading from Murukami's O'Connor Award shortlisted title 'Blind Willow Sleeping Woman'.

Other O'Connor Award nominees that will give readings are Nepalese author Samrat Upadhyay, Rachel Sherman and Waterford-born Philip Ó Ceallaigh.

Other events taking place during the five-day festival include the Café Paradiso launch of William Wall's new collection of short stories, the introduction of leading American novelist Richard Ford's new book and the announcement of the Sean O'Faolain Short Story Prize.

More information is available on the Triskel website at:

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