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2016 Michael McLaverty Short Story Award Announced

04 March 2016


Calling All Short Story Writers!

International 2016 Michael McLaverty Short Story Competition Announced

The Linen Hall Library in Belfast, Northern Ireland, has announced the launch of the 2016 Michael McLaverty Short Story Award. This prestigious award, which has run biennially since 2006, was set up to foster and encourage the tradition of the Irish short story. Entrants must have been born in, or are citizens of, or resident in Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland, and be over 18 years of age. The prize is £2,000.

Michael McLaverty (1904 – 1992) was one of the foremost proponents of the Irish short story. His archive was donated to the Library by his Literary Executors in 2005.

Adjudicators for this year’s competition are Patsy Horton, Managing Editor of Northern Ireland’s Blackstaff Press, and multi award-winning writer David Park (The Big Snow, The Truth Commissioner, Gods and Angels).

David Park says: “I am delighted to be judging the Michael McLaverty Short Story Award. I have a long-held admiration for the work of Michael McLaverty, a fellow school teacher writer, and his short stories played their part in my early development as a writer. I know the competition will attract a quality entry and anticipate with pleasure the prospect of finding a story worthy of this prestigious award.”

Samantha McCombe, Linen Hall Librarian, says: “It is part of the ethos of the Linen Hall Library to protect, encourage and promote Irish writing. The McLaverty Short Story Award is one of the very significant ways we encourage new writing talent.”

The inaugural competition in 2006 was won by Patrick O’Hanlon. Subsequent winners of the award have gone on to publish further works. Aiden O’Reilly (2008) has published Greetings, Hero; Michèle Forbes (2010) has published the acclaimed debut novel Ghost Moth; Mandy Taggart (2012) has published The Man of the House; and Annemarie Neary (2014) has recently published her second novel and first thriller Siren.

The winner will receive £2,000, and the winning entry, with those placed second and third, will be published in an anthology.

The theme for this year is ‘Lost Fields’ and the deadline for entries is midnight Thursday 30 June 2016.

For more information about the award and a full list of entry details please see: Entry Guidelines.

Editor’s Notes:

Patsy Horton:
Patsy Horton is Managing Editor of Blackstaff Press. She has worked in publishing for over fifteen years, and has worked closely with authors on their writing for almost all of that time. She has a PhD in English Literature from Queen's University Belfast and an MA in French and English from Glasgow University. She is an adviser to Words Ireland, an all-Ireland grouping that provides professional development and resource services to the literature sector, and is an Artistic Assessor for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. In 2014-15, she was President of Publishing Ireland.

David Park:
David has written nine previous books including The Big Snow, The Truth Commissioner (currently the subject of a film adaptation), The Light of Amsterdam which was shortlisted for the 2014 International IMPAC Prize, and most recently The Poet’s Wives which was selected as Belfast’s choice for One City One Book 2014. He has won the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award, the Bass Ireland Arts Award for Literature, the Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize, the American Ireland Fund Literary Award and the University of Ulster’s McCrea Literary Award three times. He has received a Major Artist Award from the Arts Council and been shortlisted for the Irish Novel of the Year three times. In 2014 he was long listed for The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. A collection of his short stories called Gods and Angels will be published in May.

The Linen Hall Library is an historic, subscription library holding world renowned collections. It is open free to the public: Monday – Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm and Saturday 9.30am – 4.00pm. For more information contact Rachel Wetherall, PR and Marketing Officer, on 028 9032 1707 or