Monday, 24 November 2008

Davy Byrne's Irish Writing Award

This prestigious, big money competition is running again. Last won by Ann Enright, somewhat better known now as last year's Booker winner. 1,110 entries that year. Shortlist included the fabulous Kevin Barry and Philip O'Ceallaigh.

Deadline: postmarked 2nd February 2009
Judge: Richard Ford. (Presumably the entries are filtered by the Stingy Fly) Judged anonymously.
Entry Fee: €10 (You can pay online but still have to post your entry)
Prize:€25,000 1st prize for a short story from an Irish writer. 5 runners up at €1000 each
Rules: Must be citizen of or normally resident in Ireland. Other ones here.

There's no word limit but the competition will be frenetic. It organised by the Stinging Fly in association with the Irish Times so high profile.
Shortlist to be announced late May/early June.

Richard Ford said
What any good judge wishes I suppose I wish for me—to have a brain that’s inquisitive and energetic enough to relish ‘the new;’ to not just prefer stories that are like my own stories, and yet to not shy away from those, either—in other words to recognise excellence in whatever form, style, length, etc. it comes in. I’d like to be won over, for the choice to be easy, for the chosen short story to dictate all the terms of its own brilliance and for me to be just a helpless celebrant. And… I’m not interested in the patented Irishness of any story. If an Irish writer writes it, it’s Irish enough for me—and even that feels a bit confining. In any case, the reader—the story’s charmed intended—can tweeze out what the winning story’s ‘cultural significance’ is, what it’s ‘saying’ about Ireland and history and the future, if indeed it’s saying anything at all.

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