The Cúirt New Writing Prize, kindly sponsored by Tigh Neachtain in memory of Lena McGuire, is now open for submissions.

There are three categories: poetry, short fiction, and short fiction and poetry in Irish.

This year we are delighted to announce Sara Baume as the short fiction judge, Elaine Feeney as the poetry judge, and Doireann Ní Ghríofa as the Irish language poetry and short fiction judge.

The winner in each category will be awarded a €500 cash prize and the opportunity to read at the 39th annual Cúirt International Festival of Literature which will take place in Galway between 23rd – 28th April 2024.

Over the past few years we have noticed the high calibre of entries in Irish to the Cúirt New Writing Prize, and we wanted to carve out space within the prize exclusively for these entries. Last year was the inaugural year for this category and we were thrilled to receive so many entries. This year we are delighted to have A Ghost in the Throat author Doireann Ní Ghríofa as the judge for the second year of this prize, and she will pick one winner from the poetry and short fiction we receive.

Sara Baume is the author of three novels that have received multiple awards, such as the Rooney Prize for Literature and a Lannan Literary Fellowship, and been widely translated. Her first book of non-fiction, handiwork, was shortlisted for the 2021 Rathbones Folio Prize, and her most recent novel, Seven Steeples, was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and the International Dylan Thomas Prize. In 2023 she was named one of Granta magazines’s ‘Best Young British Novelists.’ She lives in West Cork.

Elaine Feeney writes poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. She has published three poetry collections including The Radio was Gospel and Rise and a new poetry collection All the Good Things You Deserve is forthcoming in 2024 with Penguin Random House. She has published in The Paris Review, The Stinging Fly, The Moth, Poetry Review and The Guardian. Her multi-award-winning debut novel As You Were was published in 2020 and her second novel How to Build a Boat, published in 2023, was longlisted for The Booker Prize.

Is scríbhneoir dátheangach í Doireann Ní Ghríofa. Scríobhadh ‘A Ghost in the Throat’ ar díon carrchlóis i gCorcaigh, leabhar a bhuaigh Leabhar na Bliana ag Gradaim Leabhar na hÉireann, maraon le Duais James Tait Black. Is é ‘To Star the Dark’ an leabhar filíochta is déanaí óna peann. Doireann Ní Ghríofa is a bilingual writer. Written on the rooftop of a free car-park, her prose début A Ghost in the Throat went on to win the James Tait Black Prize and Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards, while the US edition was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and a New York Times Notable Book of 2021. Her most recent book of poems is To Star the Dark.


Cúirt New Writing Prize Guidelines for Entry

  • Poetry entries must consist of three poems under 50 lines each

  • Short stories should be no longer than 2,000 words.

  • Entry costs €10 in total which covers one story or up to three poems.

  • Writers submitting work should not have had a full collection or work published in the category in which they enter (novel or short collection for fiction, poetry collection for poetry); this does not include the publication of single poems, stories, self publishing or chapbooks. If you have had single poems or stories published, you are still eligible to submit.

  • The story or poems submitted should not have been accepted for publication elsewhere.

  • There is no restriction on theme or style.

  • The judges’ verdict is final.

  • Stories cannot be altered or substituted once they have been entered.

  • Judging is anonymous. Please DO NOT include your name or contact details within the body or title of your submission.

  • Entries should be submitted as follows:

    • In a single document

    • In .doc or .docx format

    • Double spaced, in 12 pt font

    • Please title your submission in the following format ‘TITLE _CATEGORY’, for example ‘The Shift_SHORT FICTION’.

  • Entries in the body of an email will not be accepted.

  • International writers can enter the competition, but we are unable to  provide travel expenses to attend the 2024 festival, should they be successful.

  • Entries submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.

  • Entry fees will not be returned if stories are withdrawn after entering.

  • Entry is taken as acceptance of these rules.

Submitting Your Entry

Submissions will be accepted through Google Forms only this year. You can submit your work and details through the link here


The entry fee for each separate submission is €10. This can be paid through the Stripe link here

It is important to us that the prize is accessible to as many writers as possible from all backgrounds around the world. Because of this, we are offering a limited number of subsidised entries. We are offering a limited number of 35 subsidised entries for the 2024 prize.  If you would like to be considered for this, please contact as to why you require a subsidised entry (up to 200 words).

Closing Date

All entries for Cúirt New Writing Prize must be submitted by Monday, 29th January 2024 at 5pm.
Contact for any further enquiries.

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