The Seán Dunne Poetry Award 2024 | Magazine | Writing Competitions
Sean Dunne Poetry Award


Competition deadline: 12th May 2024

The Seán Dunne Poetry Award has been established to honor the work of the late Waterford poet Seán Dunne and his literary legacy. This Inaugural Seán Dunne Poetry Award, 2024, commemorates the 10th anniversary of the commencement of the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens in Tramore and will form part of the Seán Dunne Literary Weekend at the Gardens from the 28th – 30th June 2024.

A close affiliation between Seán Dunne and the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens was established on the discovery of his poem “A Shrine to Lafcadio Hearn”, while the final garden “Journey’s End” was being designed. Dunne’s lines “Afterwards, he was a story still told, set firmly as rocks in a Zen garden” inspired the design which translated into the reality that exists today. This award therefore celebrates two masters of literature who at formative periods in their youth spent time in the environs of Tramore.

The Seán Dunne Literary Weekend will take place from the 28th to the 30th of June 2024 at the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens Tramore, Co. Waterford. ( This is the 2nd Sean Dunne Literary Weekend and this year’s event will comprise of a ‘Book Launch’ on Friday evening 28th June with readings and music. Workshops will be held on the mornings of Saturday (29th) Sunday (30th).  The very popular return of the Writer’s Gathering will take place Saturday afternoon (29th). The event culminating with the Seán Dunne Poetry Award, featuringinterviews and readings of the winning poets with Judge and Writer Thomas McCarthy on the Sunday afternoon. Full details of all events will be available on website at the end of April.


THEME: There is no set theme for this competition.

POETRY COMPETITION JUDGE: THOMAS McCARTHY (Renowned Poet and Friend of Seán Dunne)

COMPETITION is open to poets, born in the island of Ireland, or of Irish nationality, or resident in Ireland.

ENTRIES must be in the English language and be the original work of the entrant and should not have been previously published in any format, online or print, self-published or paid.


5 Highly Commended Prizes of €50 each

5 Commended Prizes of €25 each.


Pay Entry:                           Cost: €5 (1 poem) €10 (3 poems). Payment Link through Website:          

Submission:                       Email Entry to

Subject:                              Seán Dunne Poetry Entry

Poets name should not appear on the Poem/Poems
(please ensure your payment reference number is at the top of the page)

  • Three poems are the maximum number of poems to be submitted in a single file as an attachment.
  • All poems should be in standard font size (usually 12-point) and single-spaced.
  • Poems submitted must be no more than 40 lines each.Each poem should commence on a new page.
  • Screen shot of payment or payment reference number should be included in your email.

Please attach a COVER LETTER (this can be in the body of the email or attached separately) The cover letter should include:

  • Your name
  • Poem title(s)
  • Phone number
  • Postal address
  • Image of payment Transaction or Transaction Number
  • A brief bio (40 words max)
  • ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BY MIDNIGHT 12th MAY 2024 (entries received after this will be ineligible).

A Prize Giving Event will take place on 30th June 2024 at 2pm in Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens, Tramore.
All prizewinners will be invited to give a reading of their work. We are unable to cover travel costs, either nationally or internationally.  If you are unable to attend we will arrange for your poem to be read by one of our speakers. Prize winners if in attendance should be available for photographs after the event and be available to speak to the press.


  • These Terms and Conditions are additional to the official Submission Guidelines which must be followed for each submission.
  • Competition is open to poets, born in the island of Ireland, or of Irish nationality, or resident in Ireland.
  • All entries must be in English.
  • Entries must be the original work of the entrant and should not have been previously published in any format, online or print, self-published or paid.
  • 1 Poem (€5) 3 Poems (€10). 3 poems are maximum to be submitted per email submission.
  • Should your entry win a prize or be published elsewhere, please let us know so that we can remove it from the Sean Dunne Poetry Award Competition.
  • Entrants should retain copies of their work as entries will NOT be returned.
  • Committee members and relatives of committee members who are organisers of the Sean Dunne Award, its agents, contributors or sponsors are not eligible to enter the competition. Management and Staff of the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens are also not eligible to enter the competition.
  • The decision of the judge is final and no correspondence/contact will be entered into and no feedback will be given to individual entrants.
  • All non-winning entries will be deleted from our records after three months from the date of the announcement of the competition results.

See here for further information.

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