On Learning (and Stealing) from Joyce

—By Andrew Fox


I once read an essay by Joseph O’Connor in which the novelist describes how he learned to write by imitation. It begins:

The first short story I wrote was a work of genius. It was austere and lovely, full of elegant sentences and sharp insights. Any reviewer would have called it tremendously impressive. Because the first short story I wrote was by John McGahern.

Editorial Statement: A Tingling Pleasure


by new editor Thomas Morris


My attitude towards manifestos is the same as it is towards birthday parties: I like attending other people’s, but I’m not that keen on organising my own.

Davy Byrnes Short Story Award - We're Open for Entries


The Details

The competition is open to Irish citizens and to writers who are resident or were born in the thirty-two counties.  

Wordcount: 15,000 words max. One story per entrant. The story must be unpublished.

Entry fee: €10, payable online or by cheque/postal order. 

Deadline: Feb 3, 2014. Winners announced in June.

Read essays and reviews from Issue 26

For your webbing delight, we've made the following essays and reviews (from our latest issue) available to read online:


Editorials - Summer 2013 translation issue

Editorial notes from Declan Meade and issue co-editor, Nora Mahony, from Parkbench Publishing Services

Travel broadens the mind. The idea to dedicate an issue of The Stinging Fly to new writing in translation was borne out of a trip to Romania in December 2011 to attend the Bucharest International Festival of Literature. While there, I participated in a panel discussion on the short story and the question of translation came up—or rather a number of questions came up.

Editorial - Spring 2013 issue

We've just brought out our Spring 2013 issue. Here's the editorial wot I wrote:

It’s February and we are accepting submissions this month, which means that in the corner of the office there is a mounting pile of envelopes. It isn’t a very big pile yet. Today is only the 12th; the rush is likely to come towards the end of the month. Within the next few days, however—with this issue safely gone to print—I’ll start opening those envelopes and taking out the poems and short stories they contain. The process of producing another edition of The Stinging Fly will have begun.

A Most Shameful Inspiration — by Leona Lee Cully

‘Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.’
— Franz Kafka

But what if your obsessions are strange in that they are mundane, or rather you are obsessed by mundane things? Like shopping centres. They inspire me. I have no idea why. I do know that they must not be new...

Not Prolific, Just Creative — by Nuala Ní Chonchúir

People often ask me why I write poetry and short fiction and novels. The implication is that one form should be enough for anyone. And maybe it is for some people. Journalists and critics seem to have a hard time defining the multiple genre writer. When my novel came out they wrote, ‘Poet writes novel!’, which irritated me — can’t I just be ‘writer’ and let that be enough?