Molly Keane Creative Writing Award 2024 | Magazine | Writing Competitions
Molly Keane
Competition deadline: 14th June 2024


Since 1998 the Arts Office has been running this national annual Creative Writing Award to celebrate the rich literary life of the late Molly Keane.

Molly, pictured here in front of the Ardmore Round Tower, lived in Ardmore, Co. Waterford until she died in 1996. She started writing at a young age to ‘supplement her dress allowance’. Her first ten novels and four plays were published under the pseudonym M.J. Farrell.

She married into the Keane family of West Waterford but sadly her husband died at the age of 36. Molly ceased writing until 1981 when ‘Good Behaviour’ was published under her real name. It became a publishing sensation and was well received as a masterpiece of black comedy for which she was short-listed for the prestigious Booker Prize in 1981.

The Arts Office, Waterford City & County Council by kind permission of the Keane family is now inviting entries for a previously unpublished short story for this year’s award.


This is an open competition for people resident on the island of Ireland for a short story. The selection process will be from entries which have been previously unpublished or printed. Entries, which have received awards in other competitions are ineligible. It is highly advisable that entries are not currently submitted elsewhere for consideration.
Only short stories will be accepted. 
Poetry is ineligible.
Online submission only via Waterford Submit platform. Please click on the blue ‘APPLY’ button. You will be asked to register as a new user. This is a very straightforward process (video instructions: ) and once done, just follow the application process steps. Remember to hit 'Submit' at the end.
All entries should be typed, saved in PDF or Word document format and uploaded onto Waterford Submit platform.
The limit for each piece is 2000 words. 
The exact word count should be typed at the end of the final page.
There is no entry fee. 
There is no age limit.
Previous winners of the award are ineligible to enter.
The author’s details are to be given on the official online entry form. None of these details are to appear on the work being submitted.
No more than one entry can be submitted by any individual. Persons using pseudonyms to enter with different email addresses will have all their entries deemed ineligible.
The closing date for receipt of entries is Friday 14th June at 12 noon. Late submissions will not be accepted by the online system.
The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding their decision.

While copyright will remain with the competitor, the Arts Office reserves the right to arrange the first publication and broadcast of the selected works. The right to use the stories to further publicise this award is also retained.

The winning story will be announced at an online Culture Night event in September 2024.


The winner will be awarded €250 cash plus a course under the auspices of the Molly Keane Writers Retreat, Ardmore to the value of €300 in 2025. The writing course prize is non transferrable and there is no cash alternative.

Submission of a written piece implies the author’s acceptance of the rules and conditions.
Arts Office – Waterford City & County Council
Oifig Ealaíon Comhairle Cathrach & Contae Phort Láirge
For enquiries please contact Margaret Organ by email:

See here for further information.

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