The Cúirt Festival of International Literature is delighted to announce the winners of The Cúirt New Writing Prize and to welcome the writers to this year’s festival in April.

This prize is kindly sponsored by Tigh Neachtain in memory of Lena McGuire.

The winners will read at the New Writing Showcase on Thursday 20 April | 14:30 |

Free | An Taibhdhearc 

This year we were honoured to have Donal Ryan as the prose judge, Seán Hewitt as the poetry judge, and Áine NÍ Ghlinn as the Irish poetry/prose judge.

The Winning Submission for the Poetry category is:
Lauren O’Donovan – winner – poetry – The Scene on Repeat in my mind for the Past Ten Years
A poem of real skill and restraint, written with a haunting clarity, I found the scene it describes repeating in my mind for days after I read it. Balancing narrative flow with precise and moving imagery, the poem finds its power not only in the unflinching and brave way that it holds its gaze, but also in the small, heart-breaking possibilities it documents:the possibility of a phone call or a text, the memories held in paintings, the image of the father at the end as both a young boy and a shooting star. It is only a writer of genuine skill who could allow this direct address to the heart and never once slip into cliche.This poem is one I will think about for a long time.
Highly Commended
Caitlin Jones – highly commended – poetry – Impala
There is so much brilliance on show here. ‘Impala’ achieves in its short space more than most poems, and it manages this through surreal imagery, transfiguring a tragedy into a thing of love-lit beauty that takes the readers’s breath. The young girl in it, “too fast and far too bright” has a secong life here, and it is a real gift.
Edel Burke – highly commended – poetry – Breathing Room
Some poems strike you immediately and others unfold over time and many readings.This poem does both, doing justice to difficult subject matter through a hard-won experimentalism and a percise attention to sound, time, suspence and of course, the breath.
The Winning Submission for the Short Fiction category is:
Jess Raymon – winner – short fiction – Latch
A beautiful piece of work; unexpected, elliptical, dark but with a wonderful, dreamlike quality. It reveals new layers on each reading, the language is sublime and the imagery stark and startling.
Highly Commended
Miriam Needham – highly commended – short fiction – Poor Creatures
A wry, funny and wonderfully observed snapshot of a one-sided bout of gossip backgrounded and illuminated by a brilliant pantomime of storefront mannequins.
Sean Coffey – highly commended – short fiction – Turning back the Clock
Beautiful, aching story of loss and discovery, with a fabulously rendered adolescent voice.
Mattie Brennan – highly commended – short fiction – Somewhere beyond Fanore
A brutal, shocking story, expertly composed and unbearably tense.
Michael McKimm – highly commended – short fiction – Legend
A gorgeously wrought, triumphant portrait of self-possession and defiance.
The Winning Submission for the Irish Language category is:
Liam Ó’Páircín – winner – Irish language – Rian Barraicíní
An-chuid dánta agus scéalta sa chomórtas seo. Léígh mé le cúram iad arís agus arís eile. Ardchaighdeán ag baint leo ach bhí iarratais áirithe a d’fhan liom agus sílim go bhfanfaidh siad liom go ceann i bhfad. Tá línte ón dán seo fós mar a bheadh macalla i mo chloigeann. Dán rithimiúil, ceolmhar é a bhfuil draíocht ar leith ag baint leis. Comhghairdeachas leis an bhfile.
Highly Commended
Sibéal Ní Chonghaile – highly commended – Irish language – Éalú
Chuaigh an scéal seo i bhfeidhm go mór orm. Scéal corraitheach faoin bhforéigean agus faoi drochíde sa teaghlach.
Seán Ó Muireagáin – highly commended – Irish language – Codladh Deireanach
Dán cumhachtach faoin mbás. Dóchas aisteach, álainn ag baint leis an mbuanchodladh socair, sámh sa dán seo.

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