In 2000, the Munster Literature Centre organised the first Frank O'Connor International Short Story Festival, an event dedicated to the celebration of the short story and named for one of Cork's most beloved authors. The festival showcases readings, literary forums and workshops.
In 2003, the Munster Literature Centre introduced the Seán O’Faoláin International Short Story Prize, an annual international short story competition dedicated to one of Ireland's most accomplished story writers and theorists. This year's winning story will be presented during the festival on Saturday 28th.
Following continued growth and additional funding, the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award was introduced in 2005, coinciding with Cork's designation as that year's European Capital of Culture. The award was recognised as the single biggest prize for a short story collection in the world.
In 2011, the festival took the new name of the Cork International Short Story Festival. Click here to read about why the name changed.
While the O'Connor Award was discontinued in 2016, the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Fellowship was introduced in its place. The Fellowship aims to bring a talented and accomplished international writer to Cork to present fresh learning opportunities to local writers, bringing new energy to the local literary scene. This year the fellow is Sara Maitland, who will be reading on Wednesday 25th and leading a writing workshop as part of the festival.
2018 saw the establishment of the Southword Fiction Chapbook Prize, which will be an annual competition with two winners: Best Irish Entry and Best International Entry. The winning chapbooks are published by Southword Editions and the Southword Fiction Chapbook Launch is now part of our festival.
The Cork International Short Story Festival is brought to you by the Munster Literature Centre, 84 Douglas Street, Cork, Republic of Ireland. The festival director regrets that deficiencies in budget and time-slots mean that he cannot programme even all the writers he admires already and consequently cannot consider unsolicited requests to partake in the festival line-up. However, he does welcome writers sending him new books to the above address so that he can get acquainted with their work.
The Munster Literature Centre also produces the Cork International Poetry Festival each year.
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