RTÉ Opens Short Story Competition

RTÉ have launched their annual short story writting competition for 2021. The RTÉ Short Story Competition 2021 is in honour of Francis MacManus. The closing date for entries is the 7th of May, 2021. Writers Lisa McInerney, Declan Hughes and Lucy Caldwell will judge the entries. The competition is now in its 35th year. The top price is €3,000. 10 stories will be short listed and broadcast on Radio 1. Last year saw 4000 entries. Shane Tivenan won last year with his story Flower Wild.

You can listen and read last years winner on RTÉ's website. Flower Wild tells the story of the Irish woman who shot Il Duce.

The shortlist will be announced in September 2021, with the winning entry announced on RTÉ's arts show Arena some weeks later. The 10 shortlisted entries will also be aired on RTÉ Radio 1.

Judge for 2021, Lisa McInerney, says: “I’m delighted to join the judging panel for this competition, not least because it acknowledges the short story as oral as well as written tradition. One of the reasons Irish people have such an affinity for the short story, I think, is our lively, playful vernacular, our love of timing and tall tales, and commanding the attention of an audience. What I love to find in a short story is a fresh twist in the telling, whether through a  clever turn of phrase, or special clarity of character. And all the better if we can hear the heart beating in every sentence.” 

Fellow judge, Lucy Caldwell says: “When you’re writing your story for the RTÉ Short Story Competition, you are writing for the listener, even more than for the reader.  I still think it’s a kind of magic, that a stranger’s voice can travel over that mysterious thing called airwaves, and reach us, enter us, disarm or distract or maybe even change us.  These are your super powers.  Use them wisely – use them well.  I can’t wait to hear your stories.” 

And Declan Hughes says“The Irish short story is in rude health, with a vigorous infrastructure of literary journals and magazines, awards and independent publishers providing opportunities for writers at every level to place new work, produce collections and win prizes. I read a lot of work in progress and can testify to the seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy and talent out there. I’m very much looking forward to reading the submissions for RTÉ’s Francis MacManus Short Story award, which has played an important role in the development of Irish short fiction for over 30 years.”