Dingle Lit Short Story Competition Winners 2024

Short Story Winners Announced

6:59pm | Wed 15 May 2024

After careful consideration by the judging panel, the winners of the inaugural Dingle Lit Short Story Competition, in partnership with Dingle Distillery, have been announced.

The overall winner in the Irish language category is Tracey Ní Mhaonaigh, with Brian Ó Donnchadha in second place and Úna Nic Cárthaigh taking third. Ní Mhaonaigh will receive a week’s writing retreat in the West Kerry Gaeltacht as her prize. 


Tracey Ní Mhaonaigh

On receiving news of her win, Dr Tracey Ní Mhaonaigh said, “Tá an-áthas go deo orm gur bhuaigh scéal de mo chuidse an comórtas gearrscéalaíochta. Is iontach an rud é go bhfuil comórtais den chineál seo againn sa Ghaeilge a thugann idir spreagadh agus mhisneach do scríbhneoirí idir shean agus nua!”

The winner of the English language category is Pauline Clooney, with second and third place going to Miriam Needham and Claire O’Reilly, respectively. Clooney will receive a week’s writing retreat at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig.

Pauline Clooney winner Dingle Lit Short Story Competition 2024

Pauline Clooney

“It is an honour and a privilege, and a wonderful affirmation as a writer to be the winner of the Dingle Literary Festival Short Story competition. My heartfelt thanks to the judges and to the festival team; I look forward to the time and space to write that this prize affords me, in the beautiful surroundings of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig,” said Pauline Clooney, winner of the English competition.

Each runner up will receive €250 and a place on a Dingle Lit writing workshop in 2024, and the thirdprize for each category is €100 and a place on a Dingle Lit writing workshop in 2024. The winners will also be invited to read from their work during next year’s Dingle Lit Festival.  

“It was an absolute pleasure to read the submissions for the Dingle Short Story Competition,” said author Nicole Flattery, one of the judges, who is herself an award-winning short story writer. “The three winning stories are not only technically accomplished but full of voice and humour. I can’t wait to read what these writers do next.”

“What an honour it has been to judge the inaugural Dingle Short Story competition, and what incredible riches we had to choose from,” says literary agent Anna Stein. “The winning story, The Last Smoking Wedding in the Country, was as good as its excellent title promised – sympathetic characters, plot development, emotional stakes – this is an accomplished story by an exciting new Irish talent.”

Commenting on the winning Irish language story, Áine sa Phríomhchathair, judge Cathal Póirtéir said, “Tá an scéal truacánta seo sochreidthe, sothuigthe agus cumhachtach. Téann eachtraí an scéil go croí an léitheora chomh maith le croí an phríomhcharachtéir ar shlí ata cumasach agus ealaíonta.”

“Dingle Distillery are delighted to work alongside the Dingle Literary Festival on this short story competition. This competition gives people the opportunity to express themselves in literary form, as Gaeilge and in English, in a unique way that we are proud to support,” said Elliot Hughes, Managing Director of Dingle Distillery.

“We are pleased to recognise the exceptional talent showcased in this year’s Short Story Competition,” said Festival Director Sheila O’Reilly. “The winning entries exemplify the diversity and depth of storytelling in Ireland, and we are excited to celebrate the achievements of these talented writers. We look forward to organising more literary events in the near future.”

Download and read the winning short stories:

The judging panel:

Nicole Flattery is the author of Nothing Special (2023), and short story anthology Show Them a Good Time (2019). She has won an An Post Irish Book Award, the Kate O’Brien Prize, the London Magazine Prize for Debut Fiction, and the White Review Short Story Prize.   

Writer and broadcaster Cathal Póirtéir works in both Irish and English. He has been a producer and presenter on RTÉ radio for over 30 years and holds an MA in Irish Folklore from UCD. His latest book is An Tiarna George Hill agus Pobal Ghaoth Dobhair.  

Anna Stein is a literary agent at Creative Artists Agency. Her clients include Hanya Yanagihara, Ben Lerner, Douglas Stuart, and Miranda Heller. She represents Irish writers such as Claire Keegan, Kevin Barry, and Roddy Doyle in North America. She works “in” New York and London—remotely from North Cork. 

Camilla Dinkel is one of the founders of the Dingle Literary Festival and former owner of the Dingle Bookshop 

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