Friday, 15 February 2008

Molly Keane Award

This short story competition is free to enter so all you have to lose is some time when your story isn't being sent out somewhere else. On the negative side, there is only one prize. Now I entered this for 3 or 4 years in a row and each year I was told I was shortlisted in the top ten. But I never won. They sent me a list of names so I presume this was the case and it wasn't a wind up, but after 4 years, enough was enough. Always the bridesmaid. I was hanging up my peach nylon dresss. Actually I've only been a bridesmaid once, for my uncle when I was six. I wore a blue velvet dress and a white headpiece and I looked the picture of innocence.

Anyway here are the details of the competition:

Free to enter
Short story under 2,000 words. They like fairly literate stories.
Prize is 650 Euro presented during the IMMRAMA Literary Festival in Lismore, Co. Waterford (June 12th - 15th 2008).
Download the entry form here
Deadline: Friday 4th April 2008

Now 2,000 max is quite short but it's a good exercise to cut your longer stories to suit. You can often learn more about what your story is actually about by editing and cutting like Edward Scissorhands at his most ruthless. In fact, try cutting it some more. Try telling the same story in 25 words. Then in 50.


Women Rule Writer said...

You say they like fairly 'literate' stories. I've always thought they like kind of old-fashioned or 'twee' stuff. Is that the same thing?

Emerging Writer said...


Nom not twee, but no sexy stuff or wacky fantasy drug induced haze deleriums. Good writing, good story. Think Richard Ford in an Irish setting rather than Stinging Fly sort of stuff.

yona said...

hi there

do you know if the shortlist is out for this years Molly Keane award?

Emerging Writer said...

You need to watch the Waterford Website. the winner announcement isn't til June.

Emerging Writer said...

Wondering who won?

This year the award was presented to Susan Knight from Dublin with her story ‘It’s hard to die in Springtime’.

Susan Knight is a novelist, prize-winning playwright and short story writer. She won the James Plunkett Memorial Award in 2004 and the Bryan McMahon Award 2007 at Listowel Writers’ Week among others.
She has also (self)published three novels, her most recent being Gomorrah (Fairground Press 2007). A non-fiction book, Where the Grass is Greener: Interviews with Immigrant Women Living in Ireland was published in 2001 (Oaktree Press). She has featured on RTỂ Radio One’s Sunday Miscellany and the Quiet Quarter on Lyric FM and has over twelve years experience as a facilitator in creative writing workshops. She received an award of €650 plus a commemorative scroll from Waterford County Council.

Sally Phipps, Molly Keane’s daughter who was one of this years judging panel said that the story was well structured and poignant and a deserved winner of the award in the memory of her late mother.

Richard said...

Hey. I wrote to you at the end of March about your Sunday Miscellany piece regarding your family. Anyway, I was advising you to send in to Molly Keane again seeing as you keep making the shortlist. I claimed it was an act of madness if you didn't, given that it's a free comp and you keep getting acknowledged. Your response was that you didn't have a piece ready. Anyway, I must've got your spot on the shortlist this year coz I got a little package in the post with a book of literature by Waterford scribes and Susan Knight's winning entry just last week, with a letter indicating I'd made the top 10. Winner's very good, a nice warm piece, but I prefer some of the other stories on her website. She's a great writer. Have you had a chance to listen to the Francis McManus series this year? You said you'd give it a listen, and I'm (rather selfishly) wondering if you got the opportunity to listen to my piece. Great blog, as ever. All the best.

Emerging Writer said...

Hi Richard, That's good news all right. You're on a roll there - I'm green with envy. I'll do a session listening to the Francis MacManus when I'm thinking about stories for this year.