Here are our competition SHORTLISTS for 2019 in no particular order. Shortlisted writers are invited to our prize-giving ceremony on Culture Night – next Friday 20th @ 19.30 in Bray Town Hall where the 3 winners in each category will be announced.

Flash Fiction:

  1. Inside by Joe Sweeney
  2. Fox by Mark Flynn
  3. Blood Sapphire by Joe Cattaneo
  4. My Mr Shakespeare by Pauline Clooney
  5. The Glass Mosquito by Jasper Stone
  6. Sacred Streams of Balaji Dham by Conor Montague


  1. Vegas Epithalamion by Mark Ward
  2. Level Crossing by Michael Farry
  3. his spine my abacus by Catherine Ann Cullen
  4. Reflection by Catherine Ann Cullen
  5. I’m Ready for my Close-up by Evan Costigan
  6. Come Night by Estelle Price



Here are our competition longlists for 2019. Shortlists will be published on Friday 13th September.

FLASH longlist:

25. Inside

50. Pink Lemonade

53. The Fearful Contents of the Polka-dot Envelope

82. At Granny’s

85. Fox

91. Sacred Streams of Balaji Dham

93. My Mr Shakespeare

94. The Glass Mosquito

105. Skin

107. Blood Sapphire

108. Saving Adam

109. Tangerine Dream

115. Second-floor Window

116. Riverwater Cistern

128. The Caliph’s New Rolls Royce


POETRY Longlist:

6 ‘Vegas Epithalamion’

34 ‘Poems in the Park’

55 ‘Leviathan’

60 ‘Level Crossing’

67 ‘My First Corpse’

68 ‘Sky Burial on a Peckham High-Rise’

187 ‘his spine my abacus’

189 ‘Reflection’

190 ‘Passage’

192 ‘I’m Ready for my Close-up’

215 ‘Come Night’



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Our 2019 competitions will be open for submissions between May 1st – July 31st. Please find submission guidelines below. For queries, email:

€700 in PRIZES
Prizes in each category:
Winner €300
Runner-up €50 + Weekend Festival Pass
Third Prize: Weekend Festival Pass

We are delighted to announce that this year’s judges are:

Poetry: Nessa O’ Mahony, author of the collections: Bar Talk, Trapping a Ghost, In Sight of Home and Her Father’s Daughter. Also the historical crime novel The Branchman.

Flash Fiction: Tanya Farrelly, author of the award-winning short story collection When Black Dogs Sing, as well as the novels The Girl Behind the Lens and When Your Eyes Close.

1. The competition is open to authors of any nationality writing in English.
2. The word limit is 500 for flash fiction, 40 lines for poems.
3. Work submitted should not have been previously published nor have won a prize in another competition.
4. Entries must be typed, on A4 paper, single sided only. Please email entries to:
5. There is no entry form. Please complete a separate cover sheet including all your contact details, titles of entries and your PayPal receipt number. Do not write your name or provide any other form of identification on the entries.
6. Please do not enter more than one poem or flash fiction on a single page.
7. Entry fees are €5 for a single entry, €10 for three entries. These may be to either category, ie, categories can be mixed. Please pay via our PayPal link on our competitions page on the website:
8. Work will only be accepted if accompanied by a cover sheet and proof of payment.
9. Entries must be received no later than midnight on July 31st 2019. We regret that we cannot accept entries received after this date.
10. Manuscripts cannot be altered after submission.
11. The judges’ decision is final. No correspondence or discussion concerning the judges’ decision will be entered into.
12. The copyright will remain with the winning authors.
13. Winners and runners-up in each category will be invited to read at the prize-giving event in the Town Hall, Bray, on Culture Night, Friday Sept 20th.
14. Shortlisted authors will be notified by email and will be invited to the prize-giving event.
15. A shortlist will be published on the Bray Literary Festival website in early September 2019.
16. Manuscripts will not be returned.
17. The entry fee is non-refundable.

For full details of Bray Literary Festival, running Friday Sept 27th to Sunday 29th, see:

Here are our COMPETITIONS 2018 SHORTLISTS. Winners will be announced at our Culture Night event this Friday 21st in Bray Town Hall @ 7.30pm


135. Ophelia – A.M Cousins
156. The Loss of Yellowhammers – John D. Kelly
171. The Fifth Season – Partridge Boswell
72. Bach’s Cello – Eithne Lannon
30. Driftwood – Diarmuid Fitzgerald
108. The Rag Tree – Eilish Fisher
169. Ode to the Umbrella – Partridge Boswell
119. Crystal Point – Ria Collins


11. How to repair your liver after long term cirrhosis of the heart – Olivia Fitzsimons
13. Photomechanical Reproduction of a Market Girl in a Senegalese Town – Olivia Fitzsimons
42. Dead Uncle – Niamh McCabe
45. Monster – Joan Thorpe
48. Entropy Held – Alison Wells
60. Man on a Tractor – Frank O’ Connor
69. Larceny, then mass murder – Aingeala Flannery
96. Rooted – Zandra Carrington

Big congrats to all of our shortlistees. We hope that you can join us for the announcement of the winning poems and stories on Culture Night where the top three in each category will be asked to read their work.

Announcing our longlists for our 2018 competitions:

FLASH FICTION titles (in no particular order)

1.      How to repair your liver after long term cirrhosis of the heart
2.      Photomechanical Reproduction of a Market Girl in a Senegalese Town
3.      Birch Tree
4.      The Weekend Girl
5.      Meeting Mikey Mac
6.      Fishing for Music
7.      One Thousand Years
8.      Dead Uncle 
9.      Monster
10.     Entropy Held
11.     Belief
12.     Adam’s Apple
13.     Man on a Tractor
14.     The Tibetan Book Of The Dead
15.     Larceny, then mass murder
16.     Jetsam
17.     Bella Isola
18.     Superstition
19.     Rooted
20.     Leave no trace

POETRY (in no particular order)

  1. Bach’s Cello
  2. Driftwood
  3. Return
  4. What Freedom Remains
  5. Ploughland
  6. The Rag Tree
  7. Crystal Point
  8. Now That You Are Gone
  9. Striders
  10. Search Party
  11. Sentience
  12. Ophelia
  13. Sestina for Maggie
  14. The Loss of Yellowhammers
  15. During the Siege
  16. Upon Mistaking “pressure” for “pleasure” in a Poem by Anne Carson
  17. Ode to the Umbrella
  18. The Fifth Season
  19. In this Life
  20. Prelapsarian

SHORTLISTS will be published here next Sunday 16th September!

This Friday 31st August at 5pm is the cut-off point for receipt of entries! As we are passing the entries to the judges next weekend, there can be no exceptions to this! Don’t wait, get them in now… 🙂


Here are the winners and shortlistees for the 2017 competitions…

Flash Fiction Competition:

1st Prize – Ronan Keenan

Runner-Up – Niamh MacCabe

Poetry Competition:

1st Prize – A.M. Cousins

Runner-up – Simon Lewis

Hearty congrats to all and huge thanks to Catherine Dunne and Breda Wall Ryan for judging. And to Brian Kirk for his whittling down. 🙂

Flash Fiction Shortlist 2017

Carol Caffrey – The sea that has cost them.
Ronan Keenan – Granda
Niamh McCabe  – House
Averil Meehan – Exiled
Kevin Hora – Envoi
Chris Connolly – It is Isn’t it Yes it is

Poetry Shortlist 2017

A.M. Cousins – Brooch
A.M. Cousins  – Phone Box
A.M. Cousins –  The Royal Hospital, Gloucester
Eilish Fisher – Domestic
Simon Lewis – An Irish Girl Meets Melody Hobson in the Foyer of the Kimpton Hotel, Chicago
Simon Lewis – Supermarket Line

Here is the LONGLIST of the Bray Literary Festival FLASH fiction 2017 competition. We will release the shortlist together with names of those shortlisted on Friday 15th September. Congrats to all and many thanks to Catherine Dunne for judging!

The Sea That Has Cost Them
After Dinner
From Scratch
Falling Man
The Nightingale is a Brown Bird
Look Towards Sky
Genus Pan
Find Me
For I am fearfully and wonderfully made
Masaje! Masaje!
The Walk
Summer Rain
It Is Isn’t It Yes It Is

Here is the LONGLIST of the Bray Literary Festival POETRY 2017 competition. We will release the shortlist together with names of those shortlisted on Friday 15th September. Congrats to all and many thanks to Breda Wall Ryan for judging!! The flash fiction result will follow soon.

Another Quiet Evening at Home
At Sea
Saving Turf
A Boy Standing on a Terrace
The Royal Hospital, Gloucester, 1953
Running Roar
An Irish Girl Meets Mellody Hobson in the Foyer of the Kimpton Hotel, Chicago
There was no Funeral
Supermarket Line
Phone Box
Autumn Day
Sailing in the Florida Keys