Short Story Competition

2020 Benedict Kiely Short Story Competition Submission Guidelines 

The Benedict Kiely Short Story Competition is open to both published and aspiring writers, from anywhere in the world, and gives you the opportunity to have your work become part of a festival that has hosted some of Ireland’s greatest literary figures.

Submissions should be aimed at adults. There is no set theme. The maximum word count is 2,500 words.

This years Judge is Colin Barrett, author of Young Skins.

Submission Guidelines

Entries are £7. Closing date for entries is 21st August 2020. Early bird entries are open until 1st August 2020 at a reduced entry fee of £5. A maximum of two entries is allowed. Both entries require full payment.

All entry fees go towards funding the competition prize money. Any further money raised from entry fees will go entirely towards funding speakers and performers at the Omagh Literary Festival, organised by the Omagh Arts Committee, a small, voluntary organisation.

Prizes

1st Prize: £300 and publication on The Irish Times Online

2nd Prize: £100

3rd Prize: £50

1st, 2nd and 3rd placed stories will also be published in a chapbook.

Entry Fee

  1. Entry fees should be paid by PayPal to: kiely.submissions@gmail.com

NOTE: Select “send to friend” when sending to avoid incurring fees. Payments should be made in sterling.

  1. You will receive a receipt e-mail from PayPal, confirming the payment. Forward this e-mail, with your entry attached as word document or PDF, to kiely.submissions@gmail.com.
  2. Entries without a related PayPal receipt cannot be accepted. We will confirm the entry of your Short Story via e-mail as soon as possible after receiving it.

All entries must be original and must not have been previously published. We do accept simultaneous submissions, and submissions selected for publication after the competition closing date will still be eligible for consideration. Finalists will be notified at the email address stated in their entry, and competition updates will also be posted on our twitter and Facebook pages.

Your entry can appear in the body of the email or as a Word/PDF attachment and as long as it’s clear and easy to read, we have no other formatting requirements.

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2019 Benedict Kiely Short Story Competition, Results:

2019 has been the third year of the Benedict Kiely Short Story Competition and once again we received a large number of high quality entries from Ireland, the UK, Australia, America and beyond. Congratulations to our winner, Emma Devlin!

Winner: Home, Sisters by Emma Devlin

Second: The Wishes by Huma Qureshi

Third: Un Hôtel Tranquille by Olivia Fitzsimons

Judge’s comments from Sara Baume:

This was an incredibly difficult task, because the stories were so diverse, and it was a slightly disturbing task, because many of them were about people dealing with grief, spiralling into emotional breakdown or confronting harrowing domestic situations. The cruelty of this kind of competition is that it is impossible for any judge to wholly dispense with their nature. For the authors whose stories were not placed in the top three, please take comfort from the fact that a different judge on a different day may have made a completely different decision  I’m afraid this is the reality of being a writer.

Home, Sisters: I very much admired its attention to detail, deft structure and central conceit  that the narrator’s grief has infected the world around her, right down to the puddles and radio waves. I ultimately chose it as the winner because of its restraint.

The Wishes: I could easily have placed this story first. It’s about a woman who embarks upon a lengthy, arduous origami project as an excuse for confronting a painful situation. It’s a heart-rending, irresistible story, elegantly written and paced.

Un Hôtel Tranquille: This story stood out for its humour – it felt immediately refreshing. And yet, making any reader laugh is no mean feat. The writing is nimble; the humour effortless.

Other shortlisted stories, in no particular order, are:

A Comfortable Silence by Frances Copeland

Boiled Frog by Sue Divin

Steam by Jane Lavelle

Leave a Note by Jake Blandford

The Tracks by Cathleen Davies

The Velveteen Noose by Niamh MacCabe

The Bronze Door by Laura-Blaise McDowell

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2019 Benedict Kiely Short Story Competition Submission Guidelines 

The Benedict Kiely Short Story Competition is open to both published and aspiring writers, from anywhere in the world, and gives you the opportunity to have your work become part of, and be associated with, a festival that has hosted some of Ireland’s greatest literary figures.

Submissions should be aimed at adults. There is no set theme, but the word count should be in the region of 2,000 words.

This years Judge is Sara Baume, author of Spill Simmer Falter Wither and A Line Made By Walking.

Submission Guidelines

Entries are £7. Closing date for entries is 22nd August 2019. Early bird entries are open until 1st August 2019 at a reduced entry fee of £5. A maximum of two entries is allowed. Both entries require full payment.

All entry fees go towards funding the competition prize money. Any further money raised from entry fees will go entirely towards funding the Omagh Literary Festival, organised by the Omagh Arts Committee, a small, voluntary organisation.

Prizes

1st Prize: £300 and publication on The Irish Times Online

2nd Prize: £100

3rd Prize: £50

1st, 2nd and 3rd place writers will also receive two weekend passes to the Omagh Literary Festival on the 12-14th October 2019 (attendance not mandatory for entry) as well as being published in the festival Chapbook.

Entry Fee

  1. Entry fees should be paid by PayPal to: kiely.submissions@gmail.com

NOTE: Select “send to friend” when sending to avoid incurring fees. Payments should be made in sterling.

  1. You will receive a receipt e-mail from PayPal, confirming the payment. Forward this e-mail, with your entry attached as word document or PDF, to kiely.submissions@gmail.com.
  2. Entries without a related PayPal receipt cannot be accepted. We will confirm the entry of your Short Story via e-mail as soon as possible after receiving it.

All entries must be original and must not have been previously published. We do accept simultaneous submissions, and submissions selected for publication after the competition closing date will still be eligible for consideration. Finalists will be notified at the email address stated in their entry, and competition updates will also be posted on our twitter and Facebook pages.

Your entry can appear in the body of the email or as a Word/PDF attachment and as long as it’s clear and easy to read, we have no other formatting requirements.