Competition deadline: 6th May 2020
RTÉ is inviting short story submissions for one of Ireland’s longest established and most significant literary prizes, the RTÉ Short Story Competition in honour of Francis MacManus.
Writers have until Friday 8th May to submit their short story which will be judged by a panel of three judges: editor, lecturer and journalist, Madeleine Keane; award-winning short story writer and previous prize-winner of the RTÉ Short Story Competition, Danielle McLaughlin; and writer and broadcaster, Vincent Woods.
Since its inception in 1986, the RTÉ Short Story Competition has been a critically important launchpad for new and emerging writers in Ireland.
Previous winner Danielle McLaughlin is one of this year’s judges
Previous prize-winner and judge for 2020, Danielle McLaughlin, says: “I’ll never get tired of the thrill of hearing somebody read one of my stories on the radio. A story told over the radio carries a particular intimacy, a sense that the telling of the story is a private thing between narrator and the individual listener. For the writer of the story, of course, there’s the wonder of realising that the story you wrote at the kitchen table, or in a café, is being heard by thousands. I still remember the joy of getting the phone call telling me I’d been shortlisted for the competition! So for anybody who has a story they’d like to get out into the world: get your entry in. You’ve got nothing to lose and wonderful things might happen.”
The shortlist of 10 stories will be announced by early September, while the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in RTÉ later in September (final date TBC).
The overall winner will receive €3,000, while €2,000 and €1,000 will be awarded to the second and third place prize winners respectively. A further seven runners-up will receive €250 each, and all 10 short stories will be broadcast in a season of new writing on RTÉ Radio 1 in the autumn. The top three prizewinning stories will also be published on thejournal.ie.
The RTÉ Short Story Competition has been championing new talent for decades with the winning and shortlisted short stories being produced for radio broadcast and voiced by some of Ireland’s most talented actors of the stage and screen. In recent years these have included Peter Hanly, Ali White, Emmet Kirwan, Cathy Belton, Ingrid Craigie, Denis Conway, Andrew Bennett, Caitríona Ní Mhurchú, Kathy-Rose O’Brien, and many more.
Terms and Conditions
1. The competition is open to people over 18 years of age who are Irish,
or resident in Ireland.
2. Only one entry per person is allowed.
3. Entries, in Irish or English, must be the original work of the author.
Entries must not be under consideration elsewhere, and must not have
been previously broadcast or published (including online).
4. Stories must be between 1,800 and 2,000 words in length. Please
indicate word length under the title.
5. Entries should be written in the knowledge that each of the shortlisted
stories will be read on air. Please avoid excessive use of strong
6. Do not quote from copyrighted material e.g. song lyrics, literature,
poetry, scripts, in your story.
7. Entries may be submitted by post only and must be accompanied by
a competition entry form. You can download the form from the website
rte.ie/writing, email email@example.com, or phone (01) 208 3277
with your name, phone number and postal address and request to be
sent a printed entry form.
8. Each entry should be typed, double-spaced on one side only of A4
paper, with pages numbered, and each page ending on a full stop. The
author is advised to retain a copy of their entry as RTÉ cannot return
9. The author’s name and contact details should only appear on the
accompanying postal entry form.
10. Entries will be accepted by post or by hand only up to 5pm on the
competition closing date, Friday 8 May, 2020. The shortlist will be
announced by early September.
11. The winners of the top three winning stories will receive prizes of
€3000, €2000 and €1000 respectively, and will be broadcast in the
autumn on RTÉ Radio 1, along with the seven other stories in the shortlist,
whose writers will each receive a runner-up prize of €250.
12. By submitting an entry for the competition, the author hereby
acknowledges and agrees that the winning entries and any other
shortlisted entry will be read out and reproduced and broadcast (in
whole or in part) on RTÉ’s radio services and via the RTÉ website and
online services (including RTÉ Radio Player) as well as featured in an RTÉ
podcast available for download.
13. The author also acknowledges that the winning entries may also be
used by RTÉ for publicity purposes around the competition and
published in full or as an extract in print or online (including without
limitation RTÉ Guide, RTÉ website and other third party platforms). Entry
to the competition constitutes acceptance of these terms. If an entry
makes the top 10 shortlist, then the author will be asked to sign a
contract and RTÉ will not broadcast the entry until that contract has
been executed by both the author and RTÉ.
14. The judges’ decision is final. RTÉ will not enter into correspondence
concerning any entry. RTÉ will not acknowledge receipt of entries and
does not accept any responsibility for late, lost or damaged entries.
Proof of sending is not proof of receipt.
15. Entrants must provide their name, email address, telephone number
and postal address. RTÉ will only ever use personal details for the
purposes of the competition.
16. Employees of RTÉ are not eligible to enter the competition.
17. Submissions, enclosed in an A4 envelope and accompanied by an
entry form, should be delivered by post or by hand only, to:
RTÉ Short Story Competition,
See here for further information.