The Munster Literature Centre in an average year receives approximately 80% of its funding from the Irish taxpayer. In the extraordinary year of 2021, when Irish artists have faced unprecedented obstacles to reaching audiences and accessing income-generating opportunities, we have decided to dedicate the overwhelming majority of this year’s festival programme to Irish writers, to those living at home and those living as far apart as Canada and Romania. Any international winners of the Seán O’Faoláin Prize of 2020 and 2021 will also feature.
In 2000, the Munster Literature Centre organised the first Frank O'Connor International Short Story Festival, an event dedicated to the celebration of the short story and named for one of Cork's most beloved authors. The festival showcases readings, literary forums and workshops.
In 2003, the Munster Literature Centre introduced the Seán O’Faoláin International Short Story Prize, an annual international short story competition dedicated to one of Ireland's most accomplished story writers and theorists.
Following continued growth and additional funding, the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award was introduced in 2005, coinciding with Cork's designation as that year's European Capital of Culture. The award was recognised as the single biggest prize for a short story collection in the world.
In 2011, the festival took the new name of the Cork International Short Story Festival. Click here to read about why the name changed.
While the O'Connor Award was discontinued in 2016, the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Fellowship was introduced in its place. The Fellowship aims to bring a talented and accomplished international writer to Cork to present fresh learning opportunities to local writers, bringing new energy to the local literary scene. This year's fellow, chosen from Munster residents, will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Cork International Short Story Festival is brought to you by the Munster Literature Centre, 84 Douglas Street, Cork, Republic of Ireland. The festival director regrets that deficiencies in budget and time-slots mean that he cannot programme even all the writers he admires already and consequently cannot consider unsolicited requests to partake in the festival line-up. However, he does welcome writers sending him new books to the above address so that he can get acquainted with their work.
The Munster Literature Centre also produces the Cork International Poetry Festival each year.
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