“God has specially appointed me to this city, so as though it were a large thoroughbred horse which because of its great size is inclined to be lazy and needs the stimulation of some stinging fly.”
—Plato, The Last Days of Socrates
Mission: To seek out, nurture, publish and promote the very best new writers and new writing.
The Stinging Fly receives Annual Funding from The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon. It receives additional support towards staff and administrative costs from the T.S. Eliot Foundation.
The Stinging Fly Magazine
The Stinging Fly magazine was established in 1997 to seek out, publish and promote the very best new Irish and international writing.
We believe that there is a need for a magazine that, first and foremost, gives new and emerging writers an opportunity to get their work out into the world. We are particularly concerned to provide an outlet for short story writers.
The first issue appeared in March 1998. It was edited by founding editors Aoife Kavanagh and Declan Meade, and consisted of 28 A4 pages with five short stories and about twenty poems. In 2000 we introduced an author interview slot to the magazine, and in 2001 Eabhan Ní Shúileabháin became poetry editor and we incorporated book reviews into the magazine. In 2004 we toyed with the idea of giving it all up, but in 2005 came shuffling back with the first issue of a new volume.
Thomas Morris began working with us in 2011 and was editor of the magazine from 2014 to 2016. Sally Rooney became editor in November 2017, editing our two 2018 issues. Danny Denton took over the role in January 2019. Tom and Sally remain on board as contributing editors.
Over the years The Stinging Fly has published new work by a number of highly acclaimed Irish and international writers: people like Simon Armitage, Kevin Barry, Philip Casey, Evelyn Conlon, Emma Donoghue, Eamon Grennan, Kerry Hardie, Michael Harding, Claire Keegan, James Kelman, A.L. Kennedy, Toby Litt, Colum McCann, Medbh McGuckian, Paula Meehan, Sinéad Morrissey, Paul Murray, Philip Ó Ceallaigh, Sharon Olds, Keith Ridgway and C.K. Stead.
We remain convinced, however, that The Stinging Fly’s lasting contribution will be the opportunities it continues to give to new writers.
For more information on submitting to the magazine please see the Submission Guidelines.
The Stinging Fly Press
The Stinging Fly Press imprint was launched in May 2005 with the publication of our first title, Watermark by Sean O’Reilly. Like the magazine, the imprint is particularly interested in promoting the short story.
In 2007 we published the Rooney Prize-winning short story collection, There Are Little Kingdoms by Kevin Barry, and in 2009, Life in The Universe by Michael J. Farrell. We published The China Factory by Mary Costello in 2012, and Young Skins by Colin Barrett in 2013. In 2014 Young Skins earned Colin the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and the Guardian First Book Award. In 2015 we published Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett and Dinosaurs On Other Planets by Danielle McLaughlin. Over the past couple of years we have reissued The Springs of Affection (stories) and The Long-Winded Lady (essays) by Maeve Brennan. Our most recent books include Levitation by Sean O’Reilly (2017), Sweet Home by Wendy Erskine (2018) and Show Them A Good Time by Nicole Flattery (2019). In addition to these titles, we have published a number of short story anthologies, including Stinging Fly Stories (2018), which brings together 40 short stories from the first 20 years of the magazine.
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Company Information and Governance
As of March 2021, The Stinging Fly is a company limited by guarantee not having a share capital, registered in Dublin, Ireland, with registered company number 691523. It is led by a voluntary board of five directors with Declan Meade, founding editor and publisher, as Chief Executive, leading a highly committed artistic and administrative team.
Amy Herron has a MSc in Publishing and has worked for more than ten years across Irish literature and the arts. She is currently an Account Director at a brand and design agency based in Dublin.
Joe Lawlor is a Chartered Accountant. He currently works as a Finance and Commercial Manager with the ESB and holds a number of different board positions including acting as a Trustee for ESB’s social justice and development fund, ElectricAid.
Bush Moukarzel is co-artistic director of Dead Centre theatre company. He has co-authored and co-directed all of the company’s productions, mostly recently The World is Everything That is the Case, at the Burghteater, Vienna.
Sally Rooney (Chairperson) is a novelist from County Mayo. She is the author of the novels Conversations with Friends and Normal People.
Olivia Smith (Secretary) is co-editor of Winter Papers, an annual anthology for the arts. She previously lectured law for many years at universities in Ireland and the UK. She is a board member of The Model, home of the Niland Collection, Sligo, and she was on the board of the Ballymun Community Law Centre from 2009 to 2017.
Prior to 2021, Declan Meade operated The Stinging Fly as a sole trader. Annual accounts were compiled by Nolan & Associates, Chartered Accountants. The accounts for 2020 are available here.