Francis MacManus 
Short Story Competition

Francis MacManus Short Story Competition

Monday - Friday, 11.20 pm

Shortlist 2013

The Francis MacManus Short Story Competition

The competition was founded in memory of Francis MacManus, 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 Claire Keegan, Molly McCloskey, Anthony Glavin and Nuala Ní Chonchúir.

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

Each of the 26 shortlisted stories will be recorded by a professional reader.  The judges, who this year are Sarah Davis-Goff, Anthony Glavin and Lia Mills, listen to these recordings and read the stories before selecting the winning entries.  The names of the authors are not known until the judging process has taken place.

2017 shortlist: broadcast schedule 

Many thanks to the almost 500 writers who submitted stories to the competition this year, and congratulations to everyone who has been shortlisted. And now to announce our three top prizewinners: 

First Prize Winner: Colin Walsh - 'The Flare Carves Itself Through The Dark'

Colin grew up in the West of Ireland and began writing fiction in 2016. Two of his stories will be published this autumn including ‘Seen/Unseen’, which was shortlisted for the Bath Short Story Award 2017.

About the story:
On the eve of his departure for university, a small-town teenager works his final shift in the local cinema. As he gets ready for a new life beyond the Cineplex, he encounters local characters that promise to shape his future, for better or worse.

What the judges said:
"Great short stories have to be great on a sentence level and great on a structural level, and the best achieve even more – they grab you, then surprise you. The Flare Carves Itself Through the Dark  achieves everything that a great story should. The observations ('see-sawing shoulders') are honest and creative, the characters and town sparingly but well-drawn, and the ending a revelation."

Second Prize Winner: Barbara Leahy -- Stones That Might Be Diamonds

Barbara Leahy, from Cork, was previously shortlisted for the Francis MacManus competition in 2014. Her stories have appeared in various anthologies and journals, and have won awards including the 2017 RTÉ Guide/Penguin Ireland short story competition.

About the story:

A young girl seeks power in an adult world.

Third Prize Winner: Felipe Deakin -- Flashing Lights

Originally from Uruguay, Felipe has lived in Ireland for 15 years. He has been a film critic for Totally Dublin and currently works in a vegetarian café near his house, while also working on a tragicomic novel that is "nowhere near completion."

About the story:

In love for the first time, a young woman struggles to reconcile her romantic notions about her new boyfriend with the terror she feels after witnessing him have an epileptic fit during a late-night taxi ride. 

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 Caitríona Ní Mhurchú – 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 Caitríona Ní Mhurchú – 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 Caitríona Ní Mhurchú – 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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