Michael McLaverty Short Story Award Returns

Linen Hall Library launch the biennial competition offering writers the chance to win one of Irish literature's top prizes

Belfast's Linen Hall Library has announced the launch of the 2016 Michael McLaverty Short Story Award. The prestigious award, which has run biennially since 2006, was set up to foster and encourage the tradition of the Irish short story.

With a cash prize of £2,000, the competition is open to entrants aged 18 or above and born in either Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.

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

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

David Park said: '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.'

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Samantha McCombe, Linen Hall librarian, added: '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.'

Previous 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, and Mandy Taggart (2012) has published The Man of the House. Penguin imprint Hutchinson recently published Siren, the second novel and first thriller by 2014 winner Annemarie Neary.

Click here to read Forbes' 2010 winning entry, Scandal, adjudicated by writer Glenn Patterson and freelance editor and former Blackstaff Press MD Anne Tannahill.

The theme for this year is 'Lost Fields' and the deadline for entries is midnight Thursday, June 30.

For more information about the award and a full list of entry guidelines visit www.linenhall.com.