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 prose and poetry in Irish.

Cúirt is delighted to announce that we now have a dedicated prize for prose and poetry in Irish. 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. Áine Ní Ghlinn will act as the inaugural judge for this category and pick one winner from the poetry and prose we receive.

The winner in each category will be awarded a  €500 cash prize and the opportunity to read at the 38th annual Cúirt International Festival of Literature which will take place in Galway between 17th – 23rd April 2023.

This year we are delighted to announce Donal Ryan as the prose judge, Seán Hewitt as the poetry judge, and Áine NÍ Ghlinn will judge the Irish poetry/prose.

Donal Ryan is the author of six number one-bestselling novels and a short story collection. He has won several awards for his fiction, including the European Union Prize for Literature, the Guardian First Book Award and four Irish Book Awards, and has been shortlisted for several more, including the Costa Book Award and the Dublin International Literary Award. He was nominated for the Booker Prize in 2013 for his debut novel, The Spinning Heart, and again in 2018, for his fourth novel, From A Low and Quiet Sea. In 2021 he became the first Irish writer to be awarded the Jean Monnet Prize for European Literature. His work has been adapted for stage and screen and translated into over twenty languages. He lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Limerick. 

Seán Hewitt’s debut collection, Tongues of Fire, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2020. It won The Laurel Prize in 2021, and was shortlisted for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize, a Dalkey Literary Award. In 2020, he was chosen by The Sunday Times as one of their “30 under 30” artists in Ireland. His memoir, All Down Darkness Wide, was published in 2022. He is a Poetry Critic for The Irish Times and teaches Modern British & Irish Literature at Trinity College Dublin.

File agus scríbhneoir do dhaoine óga í Áine Ní Ghlinn, agus Laureate na nÓg 2020 – 2023. Tá 35 leabhar foilsithe aici, idir fhilíocht, dhrámaí, úrscéalta agus scéalta do dhaoine óga. I measc na nduaiseanna atá buaite aici, tá Gradam Reics Carló Leabhar na Bliana (2014, 2016, 2019 do na húrscéalta Daideo, Hata Zú Mhamó & Boscadán), Gradam Ficsin, Leabhair Pháistí Éireann & Gradam Leabhar na Bliana, Cumann Litearthachta na hÉireann (Daideo, 2015). Bronnadh Comhaltacht Patrick Kavanagh uirthi i 2019 agus tá go leor duaiseanna filíochta buaite aici ag Seachtain na Scríbhneoirí Lios Tuathail, Féile Filíochta Bhéal na mBuillí agus Oireachtas na Gaeilge. 

Áine Ní Ghlinn is a poet and children’s writer and is Laureate na nÓg, 2020-2023. She has 35 books published. Awards include Gradam Reics Carló Children’s Book of the Year on three occasions, LAI Book of the Year, CBI Fiction Honour award, Patrick Kavanagh Fellowship (2019) and a range of other awards (Oireachtas/ Listowel Writers’ Week/Strokestown Poetry Festival + others). 


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 2023 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. There is capacity for 35 subsidised entries for the 2023 prize. If you would like to avail of subsidised entry, please contact Subsidised entries should be accompanied by an explanation of the entrant’s need for subsidised entry (up to 200 words).

Closing Date

The closing date for submissions is Monday, 30th January 2023 at 5pm.
Contact for any further enquiries.

Read Next