Shortlist 2018


Over 4000 entries received; shortlist to be announced early September

  "We Irish have an obsessive need to tell stories" – Madeleine Keane

"You're looking for someone who can make an entire world in 2,000 words" – Vincent Woods

"The familiar world around us suddenly looked very strange"– Danielle McLaughlin

RTÉ has received over 4000 entries, a record number, to this year’s RTÉ Short Story Competition, one of Ireland’s longest established and most significant literary prizes, in honour of Francis MacManus. 

The panel of three judges  met on Friday 3 July to begin the process of shortlisting the stories to a final 10 nominees which will be produced for radio, and announced in early September. A virtual awards ceremony in RTÉ will follow later in September, where the top three prize winners will be announced.

This year’s judges are editor, lecturer and journalist, Madeleine Keane; award-winning short story writer and previous prize-winner of the RTÉ Short Story Competition, Danielle McLaughlin; and writer and broadcaster Vincent Woods.

Previous prizewinner and judge for 2020, Danielle McLaughlin, says: "This competition offers writers a great opportunity to reach such a large audience. And at a time when the familiar world around us suddenly looked very strange and inspired so many people to write stories, it really is wonderful for those writers to think that the story they have written at the kitchen table, maybe over several months, and invested so much in has the opportunity to be listened to by so many people all over the country."

The overall winner will receive €3,000, while €2,000 and €1,000 will be awarded to the second and third place prize winners respectively. A further seven runners-up will receive €250 each. All 10 short stories in the shortlist will be broadcast in a season of new writing on RTÉ Radio 1 in the autumn and will feature in an RTÉ podcast. The top three prizewinning stories will also be published on, and all 10 stories will subsequently be published on

Francis MacManus Short Story Competition 2018 – Broadcast dates

1st Prize: ‘Ashes ’ by Claire Zwaartman read by Andrew Bennett to be broadcast Monday 17 September 2018 

2nd Prize: ‘The New Place’ by Peter McNamara read by Peter Coonan to be broadcast Tuesday 18th September 2018

3rd Prize: ‘Have You Seen Her Legs, and Other Stories from Fat Land’ by Claire Mulligan read by Janet Moran to be broadcast Wednesday 19th September 2018

'In Madness and In Feathers’ by Méabh deBrún read by Jane Brennan to be broadcast Thursday 20th September 2018

'Kamikaze’ by Aingeala Flannery read by Kathy Rose O'Brien to be broadcast Friday 21th September 2018

'Sunday Lunch’ by Sarah Gilmartin read by Caitríona Ní Mhurchú to be broadcast Monday 24th September 2018

'The Widower’ by Nora Pyne read by Peter Hanly to be broadcast Tuesday 25th September 2018

'The House Guest’ by Aisling Flynn read by Maeve Fitzgerald to be broadcast Wednesday 26th September 2018

'Shelter’ by Sarah Togher read by Cathy Belton to be broadcast Thursday 27th September 2018

'Dog Days’ by Sean Coffey read by Helen Norton to be broadcast Friday 28th September 2018



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Producer: Sarah Binchy

Broadcast Co-Ordinator: Carolyn Dempsey


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