Annemarie Neary Scoops Award

Newry writer wins 2014 Michael McLaverty Short Story Award, and a cheque for £2,000, with 'Upstairs'  

Belfast's Linen Hall Library has announced that Annemarie Neary, from Newry, has won the 2014 Michael McLaverty Short Story Award and a cheque for £2,000 for her story 'Upstairs', about a family breakdown. It will be published by the library in an anthology along with the stories of the two runners up.

They are Pauline Rooney with 'Counting Strokes', which tackles child abuse, and Kelly Creighton with 'Through the Cracks', about the loss of a child. Their stories are published with Neary’s in an anthology entitled Upstairs and Other Stories available to purchase at the Linen Hall Library. The two also received a year’s complimentary membership of the Library.

John Killen, Linen Hall Librarian, said: 'From a large field of entrants, this year’s Michael McLaverty Short Story Award has once again unearthed new and exciting talent. The uncomfortable concerns and issues of modern life are addressed in beguilingly simple prose, which creates layers of meaning and understanding that haunt the reader long after the process of reading.'

On hearing her name announced as the winner of the biennial literary competition during a daytime ceremony in the Belfast building, Neary declared: 'I am absolutely thrilled.' Neary was a practicing lawyer for many years but started writing 'seriously' six years ago. Originally from Newry, she now lives in London.

The winners of the competition were announced by adjudicators Anne Tannahill, freelance editor, and retired MD of Belfast’s Blackstaff Press; and Bernard MacLaverty, author of Cal, Grace Notes, Lamb and five collections of short stories.

For more information about the Michael McLaverty Short Story Award, and forthcoming events, visit the Linen Hall Library website.