The John O’Connor Writing School Short Story Competition 2018
“The world of John O’Connor is a world of the freshly snedded turnip, the new-sawn plank, the sod shining under the plough. His gift is to render the life of the Mill Row in Armagh as deftly and definitively as Steinbeck renders Cannery Row or Bob Dylan Desolate Row” – Paul Muldoon
The festival, sponsored and supported by internationally renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Paul Muldoon, has a two-fold purpose. It aims to to celebrate and commemorate the life and works of John O’Connor as well as offering practical guidance and assistance to aspiring writers through its workshops and master classes in the various literary genres and writing for commercial purposes.
Entries are currently invited from aspiring writers for the third John O’Connor Short Story Competition. It is being held to commemorate the Armagh born writer whose impressive literary legacy includes a collection of short stories which still retain a timeless appeal.
The prize winner will be awarded a full bursary to attend the John O’ Connor Writing School and Literary Arts Festival which will be held in Armagh from 1st to 4th November, 2018, plus a cash prize of £250. The bursary prize allows the recipient to enjoy all events in the John O’Connor Writing School and Literary Festival 2018, and to attend one class in the writing genre of his/her choice. The winner will be notified by 2 October.
The winning entrant will be formally announced at the opening of the Writing school on Friday 2nd November, and will have the opportunity to read at an event on Sunday 4th November 2018. Single room accommodation will be available free of charge to the winning entrant.
Ts & Cs
The competition is open to those 16 years and over. Short stories must be the original work of the author and not previously published or have received awards in other competitions. Entries must be in English and between 1,800 and 2,000 words in length. There is an entry fee of £10. One entry per person. Submit your entry online by 12.00 noon on 28 August 2018.
Find full terms and conditions, and online entry form on thejohnoconnorwritingschool.com
A word from previous winner Louise Kennedy:
“I won the inaugural John O’Connor Short Story Competition in 2016, the news delivered to me via a lovely phone call from Cathy McCullough, a personal touch which is one of the things that makes the weekend so special. I had started writing in 2014, and the win gave me a sense of validation that is so nourishing and necessary for a new writer. That year I attended Bernie McGill’s brilliant prose workshops, which generated an idea for a novel, and Stewart Neville’s masterclass. Last year Martina Devlin facilitated the prose workshops, and again I went away full of ideas for new work. The win also gave me opportunities to read my own work in public, a prospect I once found appalling which I now actually enjoy. My stories have won other prizes, but the John O’Connor win is the one that keeps on giving. “ – Louise Kennedy, 2016 winner
“Thanks to the JOCWS I have made contact with an agent who is willing to read it [her novel] when it is ready… I hope all goes as well this year as last and I will certainly be coming along to the writing workshops again. I found them really useful. “ – Roisin Maguire, 2017 winner
Deadline for applications (online) is: 12.00 noon on the 28th August 2018