About the festival:

The Munster Literature Centre


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. Following continued growth and additional funding, the Cork City - 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. 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 in order to present fresh learning opportunities to local writers, bringing new energy to the local literary scene.

In 2002, the Munster Literature Centre introduced the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize, an annual short story competition dedicated to one of Ireland's most accomplished story writers and theorists. This too is presented during the short story festival. The centre also hosts the Cork Spring Poetry Festival each year.









Copyright Mike Hannon

Photo © Mike Hannon



7 - 10 September daily, 9.30am - 12.30pm


Venues TBA, but will be a city-centre location. All venues will be determined by number of participants and mobility considerations. Please notify us of any accessibilty requirements upon registration.




Five Things You Absolutely Positively Must Do To Write A Great Story: a class for beginning or emerging writers by Alan Heathcock

No prerequisite to register. Class maximum: 10. Price: €160

"In twenty-one years as a writer and professor, I've given careful study to all the traits that mark a powerful story. I've considered every book I've read, every movie and play I've seen, stories I've told and have been told, the truths of human communication, all to understand the root-qualities of the most potent stories. In this presentation, you'll have these five concepts delivered in a multi-media presentation suitable for both beginners and experienced writers alike."

Alan HeathcockAlan Heathcock's fiction has been published in many of America’s top magazines and journals, including Zoetrope: All-Story, Kenyon Review, VQR, Five Chapters, Storyville, and the Harvard Review. His stories have won the National Magazine Award in fiction, and have been selected for inclusion in The Best American Mystery Stories anthology. Volt, a collection of stories published by Graywolf Press, was a “Best Book 2011" selection from numerous newspapers and magazines. Heathcock has won the GLCA New Writers Award, has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and is currently a Literature Fellow for the state of Idaho. A native of Chicago, he teaches fiction writing at Boise State University.




The DNA of Short Fiction & other considerations
A master class by Zsuzsi Gartner

Student prerequisite: one story published in a professional literary journal. Class maximum: 15. Price: €180.

During this intensive four-morning workshop, we’ll explore some of contemporary short fiction’s delightful, startling, and seemingly endless possibilities. The emphasis will be on the vital mechanics of the form (including structure, point of view, time-frame/tense choices, and narrative momentum, as well as the more elusive, but all-important, issue of voice), right down to the genetic level – the paragraph, the sentence, and the word. We’ll look hard at how to put language at the service of your stories, and how to make your stories worthy of all that language allows us. 

There will be a number of in-session writing exercises, as well as the opportunity to have others comment on your work and a chance to do a substantial revision of a short piece. Handouts include a take-home DNA Workshop Course Pack and a comprehensive reading list of contemporary short story collections.

Session 1:  POV & Voice

Session 2: Beginnings & The Geometry of Short Fiction

Session 3:  The Use of Time (& Tense), Movement, and The Art of Revision: (Part One)

Session 4: Endings & The Art of Revision (Part Two)

Please scroll down for more information on how to book a place on this master class.

Zsuzsi GartnerVancouver writer Zsuzsi Gartner is the author of the acclaimed and bestselling story collection All the Anxious Girls on Earth and editor of Darwin’s Bastards: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow, , and was creative director for five years of Vancouver Review’s “Blueprint BC Fiction Series.”Her most recent book, Better Living through Plastic Explosives was a finalist for the prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize. Zsuzsi has won numerous awards for magazine journalism and National Magazine Awards for Fiction and her stories have been widely anthologized and broadcast on CBC in Canada and NPR in the U.S. She is the founder and director of Writers Adventure Camp at the Point in Whistler, BC, and the inaugural Frank O’Connor International Short Story Fellow in Cork.



Cancellation Policy (Please read carefully.)

After you have paid for the workshop, should you have to cancel for any reason, we will exercise our best efforts to find a participant to replace you. If we can do so, we will refund your tuition payment. If we cannot replace you, we will not refund your tuition payment. The later the cancellation date, the more difficult it is for staff to find a qualified participant. Though we do recognize that emergencies happen, and we will do our best to help you, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to replace you in the event of a cancellation.

Mobility Requirements: Most of the venues have wheelchair access but not all. If you have limited mobility every effort will be made to accommodate you, but best chance is through an early booking.

Your workshop place will be secured only after full payment. Every effort will be made to make sure that the programme proceeds as advertised but the Munster Literature Centre accepts no responsibility for changes made due to circumstances beyond our control. Refunds will be given only if a workshop is cancelled.

As workshops sell out notification of such will be posted on this page.

How to Book

Phone + 353 (021)4312955
Email info(AT)munsterlit(DOT)ie
In person at The Munster Literature Centre, Frank O’Connor House, 84
Douglas Street, Cork

Payment will be accepted by cheque/postal order (made payable to the Munster Literature Centre) or by credit card via Paypal (link provided on registration).





Seán Ó Faoláin  International Short Story Competition

Have you entered the Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition?