Francis MacManus 
Short Story Competition

Francis MacManus Short Story Competition

Monday - Friday, 11.20 pm

Winning Stories & Shortlist 2012

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 - It's All a Cod by Phil Kearney Byrne, Mohill, Co Leitrim, read by Pat Laffan and broadcast on Monday 18 June 2012 Listen

2nd Prize - The Glass by John Austin Connolly, Booterstown, Co Dublin, Read by Joe Taylor and broadcast on Tuesday 19 June 2012  Listen

3rd Prize - At The Ranch by Dorene Groocock, Goatstown, Dublin 14, read by Ingrid Craigie and broadcast on Wednesday 20 June 2012 (3rd prize winner) Listen

·The Lottery Tickets by Maire P. Crowley, Malahide, Co Dublin, read by Angela Harding and broadcast on Thursday 21 June 2012 Listen

·Departed by Barbara Tarrant, Blackrock, Co Dublin, read by Angela Harding and broadcast on Friday 22 June 2012 Listen

·All Nine Colours by Annemarie Neary, Clapham Common, London, read by Caitríóna Ní Mhurchú and broadcast on Monday 25 June 2012 Listen

·No Candles for Jamie by Jim McGowan, Kilmacud, Dublin 14, read by Joan Sheehy and broadcast on Tuesday 26 June 2012  Listen

·Haunted by a Rock Band by Frances Macken, Whitehall, Dublin 9, read by Pat Kinevane and broadcast on Wednesday 27 June 2012 Listen

·Portrait by Justin MacCarthy, Sandymount, Dublin 4, read by Cathy Belton and broadcast on Thursday 28 June 2012 Listen

·Omissions by Wayne O’Keeffe, Butlerstown, Co Waterford, read by Jonathan White and broadcast on Friday 29 June 2012 Listen

·Remembering the Big Field by Bill Coen, read by Pat Laffan and broadcast on Monday 2 July 2012 Listen

·You by Nollaig Rowan, Ranelagh, Dublin 6, read by Caitríona Ní Mhurchú and broadcast on Tuesday 3 July 2012 Listen

·The Pond by Richard Cotter, Carrigaline, Co Cork, read by Pat Laffan and broadcast on Wednesday 4 July 2012 Listen

·Falling is Just Flying Downwards by Ilija Cvetic, Ballinteer, Dublin 16, read by Pat Kinevane and broadcast on Thursday 5 July 2012 Listen

·Idling by Aideen Henry, Claddagh, Galway City, read by Pat Kinevane and broadcast on Friday 6 July 2012 Listen

·A Rest on the Stave by Marianne O’Rourke, Ranelagh, Dublin 6, read by Jonathan White and broadcast on Monday 9 July 2012 Listen

·Orange and Brown by Angela Finn, Stillorgan, Co Dublin, read by Barbara Bergin and broadcast on Tuesday 10 July 2012 Listen

·The Creek by Chris Connolly, Booterstown, Co Dublin, read by Hope Brown and broadcast on Wednesday 11 July 2012 Listen

·Hold The Line by Eileen Lynch, Dundalk, Co Louth, read by Joan Sheehy and broadcast on Thursday 12 July 2012 Listen

·Friend Me? by Peter McCarthy, Gardiner’s Hill, Co Cork, read by Cathy Belton and broadcast on Friday 13 July 2012 Listen

·The Praeger and The Mohican by Áine Ryan, Westport, Co Mayo, read by Caitríona Ní Mhurchú and broadcast on Monday 16 July 2012 Listen

·Five Days to Polling Day by Danielle McLaughlin, Donoughmore, Co Cork, read by Caitríona Ní Mhurchú and broadcast on Tuesday 17 July 2012 Listen

·Operation Glasnost by William Kennedy, Dún Laoghaire, read by Joe Taylor and broadcast on Wednesday 18 July 2012 Listen

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