With such an array of literary talent living in Longford at the moment, it wouldn't come as a surpris if there are a few prize-winners in our midst.
With that in mind, RTÉ Radio 1 is now accepting short story submissions for one of Ireland’s longest established and most significant literary prizes, the RTÉ Radio 1 Short Story Competition in honour of Francis MacManus.
The top prize is €3,000, writers of the second and third placed stories will receive 2,000 and 1,000 euro respectively.
All three top prizewinners plus seven other shortlisted entrants will have their stories produced for national broadcast in a two-week season of new writing on RTÉ Radio 1 in the Autumn, voiced by some of Ireland’s most talented actors of the stage and screen.
The closing date for the competition is Friday June 8th and the shortlist and winners will be announced by the end of September.
The RTÉ Radio 1 Short Story Competition has been a critically important launch pad for new and emerging writers since its inception in 1986, with a wide ranging appeal including young aspiring authors in Ireland.
A competition for original short stories for radio was first established in 1986 in honour of the RTÉ Radio head of features, and acclaimed novelist, Francis MacManus (1909-1965).
Since then, it has been a source of encouragement and recognition for new, emerging writers as well as established names.
Past winners have gone on to receive national and international acclaim, including Claire Keegan, Molly McCloskey, Ivy Bannister, Anthony Glavin and Nuala O’Connor.
Judging the entries this year are writer and former finalist in the competition, Danielle McLaughlin; RTÉ’s Arts and Media correspondent and author Sinéad Crowley; and books and arts publicist, Cormac Kinsella.
On becoming a judge for the competition, Sinéad said: “Reading a well-written short story is one of the most satisfying experiences a reader can have and I was thrilled and honored to be asked to judge a prize as prestigious as this one.
“I'm also a keen listener to audio books and am very much looking forward to having these entries accompany me on my commute.
“To be a Francis MacManus finalist is a huge achievement for any writer and I can't wait to see what the competition has in store for us this year.”
Speaking this morning on his return as a judge, Cormac Kinsella said, “I’m honoured to be asked back to judge this great award.
“I was so impressed by the range and quality of the stories in 2015 – it was very difficult to pick a winner. The judging process was also incredibly rewarding and I’m really looking forward to discussing this year’s stories with Danielle and Sinead – both very different writers that I really admire.
“Awards can be a great stepping stone in any writer’s life and I’m delighted to play a part in the process.”
This year, not only can you hear the winning short story and runners up on RTÉ Radio 1’s Book on One slot and download them as podcasts, you can also read the short stories as they will be published on TheJournal.ie following broadcast.
For all details on how to enter, see rte.ie/writing.