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francis mcmanus

Your lunchtime read: Check out the final shortlist for the RTÉ Short Story Competition 2021

The top three winners will have their stories featured on

WE’RE A NATION of writers, but sometimes it takes a bit of courage to get your work out there.

That’s where a competition like the RTÉ Short Story Competition in honour of Francis McManus comes in, giving newbies a chance to have their work seen by strangers.

For the past few years, The Journal has been featuring the top three winners of the RTÉ Short Story Competition on the site. This year’s competition launched earlier this year, and the organisers (just like in 2020) reported a big boost in entries, perhaps driven by people getting a bit braver during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

This year, there was a whopping 2,800 entries, which ”paint a picture of an anxious, unsettled country, but do so with wit and compassion, imaginative storytelling and nuanced characterisation”, according to judge Declan Hughes. His fellow judges this year were Lisa McInerney and Lucy Caldwell. 

The competition has been a launching pad for writers including Claire Keegan, Molly McCloskey, Anthony Glavin, Danielle McLaughlin and Nuala Ní Chonchúir.

This week, the shortlist for the 2021 competition was announced.

All 10 stories will be broadcast and podcast in a season of new writing as part of Late Date on RTÉ Radio 1, weeknights at 11.20pm, from next Monday 27 September to Friday 8 October inclusive, starting with the winning story.

The winning story will be announced next Monday, with the two other prizewinning stories named on an Arena special programme at 7pm on RTÉ Radio 1. 

The overall winner will receive €3,000, while €2,000 and €1,000 will be awarded to the second and third place prize winners respectively. Plus, the seven runners-up will receive €250 each. 

So if you’re looking for a diverting read this lunchtime, why not check out one of the shortlisted stories? Just click on the title to be brought to the story.

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