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

There are two categories: poetry & short fiction.

The winner in each category will be awarded a  €500 cash prize and the opportunity to read at the 36th annual Cúirt International Festival of Literature which will take place in Galway between Wednesday, 21st and Sunday, 25th April 2021.

This year we are delighted to announce that Poet Stephen Sexton will judge the poetry prize and author Colin Barrett will judge the short Fiction.

The guidelines for all submissions are as follows:

  • Poetry entries must consist of three poems under 50 lines each
  • Short stories should be no longer than 2,000 words.
  • Entries are welcome in English and Irish.
  • Writers submitting work should not have had a collection published in the category in which they enter; this does not include the publication of single poems, stories or chapbooks.
  • 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. Name and contact details must not appear on the stories or poems
  • Entry fees will not be returned if stories are withdrawn after entering.
  • Entry is taken as acceptance of these rules.

Submitting Your Entry

Submissions should be sent to with the subject line ‘CNWP 2021 SUBMISSION – POETRY’ or ‘CNWP 2021 SUBMISSION – FICTION’.

When emailing submissions, please include your name, email address, phone number and the name of the Paypal account holder in the body of the email as entries are judged anonymously.


The entry fee for each separate submission is €10. This can be paid via the Paypal button at the bottom of the page.

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 2021 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, 1 February 2021 at 5pm.
Contact for any further enquiries.

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