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 The story must be unpublished.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.

Prize: €15,000 for the best short story, plus five runner-up prizes of €1,000.

The Judges

Anne Enright is a short-story writer and novelist. Her short story collection, The Portable Virgin, was published in 1991, and won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. Two collections of stories, Taking Pictures and Yesterday’s Weather were published in 2008. Her novels are The Wig My Father Wore, What Are You Like?, The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch, The Gathering and The Forgotten Waltz. The Gathering won the 2007 Man Booker Prize. Anne is editor of The Granta Book of The Irish Short Story.

Yiyun Li’s debut short story collection A Thousand Years of Good Prayers won the 2005 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, and Guardian First Book Award. Her debut novel The Vagrants was shortlisted for the 2011 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. She is a MacArthur Foundation fellow, and was named as one of the 20 best writers under 40 by The New Yorker. She served as a judge for 2011-2013 Man Booker International Prize.

Jon McGregor is the author of one short story collection and three novels. A winner of the 2011 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for his novel Even The Dogs, John has also won the Betty Trask Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award. He is writer in residence at the University of Nottingham, where he edits The Letters Page, a literary journal. He lives in Nottingham, England, and divides his time.

The Prize

The award is sponsored by Davy Byrnes and organised by The Stinging Fly in association with Dublin UNESCO City of Literature.

The Davy Byrnes Short Story Award has been held twice before: in 2004 as part of the Bloomsday centenary celebrations and again in 2009. The judges in 2004 were AL Kennedy, the late Caroline Walsh and Tobias Wolff. Richard Ford judged the 2009 competition, which was won by Claire Keegan with ‘Foster’. We published the six shortlisted stories from 2009 in the collection Davy Byrnes Stories.

More information about the award, what the judges are looking for, and the T&Cs can be found here on our website.

Richard Bausch on getting that first draft written:

“Write something. Anything. Say it out, whatever occurs to you. Say it until it starts to provide; and it always will. You must learn to trust that. Write one line, not necessarily Hemingway’s ‘one true sentence.’ Just say a sentence, any sentence, and that alone predicates another one. “God help me, I hate Brother Nicholas,” begins a wonderful story of John Gardner’s. That sentence cannot exist in a vacuum; it predicates the next sentence, as does that next one for the next. And so, on to whatever the sentences will lead to. That gets a draft written, that you then look at and study and work with, and about which you become a little smarter, each time through. You can trust this like the sun coming up. So let go of worrying about the whole thing, and just set it, however minutely, into motion. Give it room to become itself, separate from you, though of you in the same way your voice and the color of your eyes are of you.”

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