Newbridge Community Library was the venue where the winners and runners up in the Michael Mullan Cancer Fund Writing Competitions were announced on Wednesday evening, 3rd October. With Mario Corrigan in charge as MC, things went like clockwork and a very enjoyable evening was had by a very attentive audience. Six entries in each category – poetry, flash fiction and short story and all were invited to read out a short piece from their entries.
Following a few words from judges Caroline E. Farrell and Martin Malone, he winners in each category were then announced and presented with their prizes.
Short Story Winners
The winning entry in the short story competition was “The Funeral” by Frank McKenna from Limerick. The story deals with the death of a doctor’s best friend who is also his patient.
In second place was “Last Rites” by Teresa Godfrey from Enniskillen. Judge Martin Malone said that the story deals with a theme sadly only too familiar in Irish society – the banishment of an individual just because he did not fit in with what was considered normal in Irish society.
Flash Fiction Winners
In the flash fiction competition, the winner was Helen O’Leary from Naas with a story called “A Turnaround for the Books.” The story deals with the challenges being faced by a mother facing serious challenges in keeping her daughter on the straight and narrow in today’s challenging world for teenagers. In second place was Deryk Payne from Dun Laoghaire with “Our House,” where the chilling story unfolds through the eyes of an unreliable narrator.
In the poetry competition the winning entry was “All the Vagrant Flock” by Emma McKervy from Holywood, Co Down. The poem in the words of the poetry judge, John Mackenna, “has a haunting quality and a great sense of completion.” In second place was Paul O’Brien from Naas with “To a Turner of Wood” which John describes as “a mature and challenging poem” that held his attention through several re-readings.
The Michael Mullan Cancer Fund Committee are delighted with the support from the writer’s community. Entry fees and the very generous contribution from those attending the prize-giving will go directly to the Michael Mullan Cancer Fund to ensure that Michael can continue to remain in the United States to receive life-saving treatment.