Friday 2nd July

6.45pm for 7pm

Festival Opening and Awards Night

The Awards will be presented in the sequence shown below of the authors, the name of the shortlisted work and biography.

Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award

A. Joseph Black



A. Joseph Black is from Carnlough, County Antrim and writes short stories and flash fictions. Over thirty of his pieces can be found online, in literary magazines, and in print anthologies. His short stories By the Lake and Nora have been published as chapbooks in Australia. He was runner up in the 2018 Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award and his story A Little Cloud was The Irish Times New Irish Writing for January 2020.

Maria Brick


Shortlisted Anthony Cronin International Poetry Award, 2020. Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award 2019. Crime/Thriller short story winner ‘Woman’s Way ‘ 2019. Has featured on R.T.E. Radio ‘Sunday Miscellany.’  Inspirational thoughts/poetry featured on radio and at spoken words events. Maria resides in Killorglin, County Kerry, Ireland.

Elaine Desmond

Big Bertha

Elaine Desmond is an author and researcher based in Mallow, County Cork. She has a doctorate in Sociology and has published a book on Indian politics. Currently working on a short story collection based on her travels, she has been shortlisted for the Fish and Bridport Short Story Prizes and the K Award in Cork City Library.  Her stories have been published in magazines and anthologies and were awarded second prize in both an online Global Short Story contest and the 2019 Colm Tóibín Short Story competition.  Elaine has also written a play which was performed throughout Europe and the United States.  Big Bertha is a tale of love and loss, of growth and remembering.

James Dineen

Tram Stop Conversion

I am currently working on a number of interrelated long-form narratives. The unnamed island on which all of these stories take place exists to the south-west of Ireland and the UK. It comprises part of the fictional Lesser North Atlantic Islands. While studying Classics at NUIG, I developed an interest in the bequest from the ancients, and particularly in the transmission and reception of ideas which could be described as trans-historical. This interest of mine finds its way into much of what I write, and I hope it will be of interest to readers. At the moment, some of my favourite authors are Dostoyevsky, Roberto Bolaño and Simone Weil.


Peter Firth

I studied English at Queen’s University Belfast and was lucky enough to have Seamus Heaney as my tutor. I have always loved writing, particularly short stories. I have been short-listed in the Colm Toibin Award at Wexford Literary Festival three times in the last four years.

I also write plays (mostly comedies) which have been performed locally and at Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The Wizard of Love, a comic musical, was finalist in the National Student Drama Festival and performed at London’s Festival Hall.

I have also written novels, two of which are in print: YORKIE BOYS – about growing up in the 50s, and YORKIE BOYS AND GIRLS – the sequel, where the girls show the boys who is really boss.

I love fishing and spend as much time as possible in the Yorkshire Dales (where I live) and in Ireland. I was recently awarded Honorable Mention in the Robert Traver Award (USA) for a short story about fishing in Ireland. It is on the website of the American Museum of Fly Fishing.

Jupiter Jones



Jupiter Jones grew up on the north-west coasts of Cumberland and Lancashire. The first was wild and secretive, the second trashy and jaded; she loved them both and they haunt her writing. Following a brief spell in London to complete a PhD in Spectatorial Embarrassment at Goldsmiths, she now lives in Wales and writes short and flash fictions. She is the winner of the Colm Tóibín International Prize (2018), and her work has been published by Aesthetica, Brittle Star, Fish, Reflex Press, Scottish Arts Trust, and rejected by many, many others. Her Novella-in-Flash The Death and Life of Mrs Parker will be published by Ad Hoc Fiction later this year.

Mac Cabe

Ghost Cloves and the Fiancée

Niamh Mac Cabe is an award-winning writer, published in many journals and anthologies including Narrative Magazine, The Stinging Fly, Mslexia, Southword, Wasafiri, No Alibis Press, The Irish Independent, The London Magazine,  Aesthetica, The Lonely Crowd, Lighthouse, Structo, Bare Fiction, tears-in-the-fence, and The Bristol Prize Anthology.

She’s been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, selected for the Best British & Irish Flash Fiction list, nominated for Best Small Fictions, and awarded a Tyrone Guthrie Centre residency. 

She lives with her sons in rural Leitrim, Ireland.

Mc Cusker


Illusion In The Flow of Dreams

Patrick has won several short story prizes. He has also published a book on nature conservation through a London publisher. Two of Patrick’s novels are out on Amazon. Patrick took Creative Writing and Journalism at the University of Florida. An Irishma, who now lives in Delgany, Co. Wicklow.


O' Riordan

Cois Trá

Eamon O’Riordan lives in Greenwood, Ontario with his wife, Melissa. He grew up in County Cork. He has had two pieces of short fiction published online by The Honest Ulsterman and The Galway Review.

O' Toole


I am a former newspaper sub-editor in London now working as a freelancer, and I am married with three grown-up daughters. I have lived in Mexico and have published several non-fiction books about Latin America. 

Politics Latin America:

The Reinvention of Mexico:

Environmental Politics in Latin America and the Caribbean volume 1:

Environmental Politics in Latin America and the Caribbean volume 2:

Environmental Security in Latin America:

Che in Verse:

Billy Roche International Short Play Award


Caught In The Spotlight

Joe has been involved in amateur theatre for over forty years as both actor and director. In recent years he has started writing and many of his short plays have been performed at numerous Short+Sweet festivals around the world; Dubai, Canberra, Manilla, Hollywood and Sydney.  His play “Interplay” won best script at the Claremorris Fringe festival in 2018.  He is currently recording a podcast drama series “Fractured” with Down at Heel Productions which he co-wrote with three other Kildare based writers about the Irish war of independence in north Kildare.



A Stranger to Love

Eamann Breen is an Irish born London based playwright and storyteller. His play Shin-AID was a 2019 Druid Theatre Debut at the Galway International Arts Festival. Eamann’s short story When He Told Her has just been published by Liberties Press Dublin in an anthology called Brevity is the Soul. Last year The Hessian Bag was shortlisted for the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award and his play The Two Dolls was long listed for the Billy Roche International Short Play Award. He is currently finishing work on a collection of short stories and a play called Never Forget. In June 2021 his monologue The Lucky Escape as performed by Lou Kendon-Ross debuted on the Player Playwrights Showcase YouTube channel –

Carmel Codd Leen

Lookin' For The Babby

I am a native of Enniscorthy, presently “stranded” in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, due to Covid travel restrictions.  I have a Masters in Creative Writing from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. 

I’ve been writing all my life and never submitting, until that inhibition was broken in 2018. Then, because I love my hometown and its people so much, I resolved to support the Wexford Literary Festival in every way I could. To that end, I submitted a short play to The Billy Roche Short Play competition for the years 2018-2021. In those four years I have been shortlisted each year. My plays are all set in a small country town in Wexford, and relate to its society and culture. I am presently redrafting a novel, which — of course — has Wexford setting.

Eamonn Dolan

and Lucy

I came to writing in my late fifties. I thought I had left it too late but to the contrary. I have enjoyed seeing my short plays being performed on stage and met a new circle of friends with similar interests. I am now retired and I am so glad that I write. Competitions like The Wexford Literary Festival are my lifeblood.


Painter Joe and
Holy Mary

Derek Flynn is an author and playwright living in Tramore, Co. Waterford. He is the author of several novels – including the Detective John Ryan series – and his plays have been performed in Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford, and Smock Alley, Dublin, amongst other venues.

Bridgid Galvin



Bridgid Galvin has had a number of stage plays produced in Cork as well as winning several literary competitions, amongst them, Listowel Writers Week Originals and New Cork Writers’ One Act Play Competition. She was one of three playwrights selected for mentoring for Scripts Playwriting Festival 2017. She was chosen as one of 30 playwrights to take part in Fishamble Theatre Co. A Play for Ireland in 2018. In 2019 she won The Billy Roche International Short Play Competition. In 2020, she had her work chosen by Fishamble as part of Online Tiny Plays, was shortlisted for Scripts 2020 on line and had her writing chosen for performance as part on the Abbey Theatre online Dear Ireland Continues programme in Summer 2020.



Empty Nest

Mary Irving lives in Dublin and is currently completing a Masters in Creative Writing in UCD. She had a play performed in the Dublin Short and Sweet Competition in 2019 and another one in the Perth Short and Sweet Competition earlier this year. She was recently shortlisted for the Fish Memoir Prize and is over the moon to be shortlisted for the Billy Roche International Short Play Competition. Good luck to all!

Mc Cleland


(Playwright) —  Mr. McCleland is a New York City based playwright who grew up in a small mill town in New England in the US which inspires much of his work.  Mr. McCleland’s play THE GOOD LIFE was produced by both the Quaigh Theater (NYC) and The Image Theater (NYC).  It was also the recipient of the Summer Solstice Theatre Conference Award.  His one-act HARDBALL was a 2016 Heideman Award finalist at the Actors Theatre of Louisville.    His one-act play CONNECTIONS was produced at The Secret Theatre (NYC ) and also won second prize in the FirstStageLA One-Act Play Festival (Los Angeles, CA).  His play THE KNIGHTS OF DOOM was performed at Cornell University Theatre in celebration of Cornell’s 150th Anniversary.  He has written for several revues including:  7-ELEVEN (The Barrow Theatre, NYC), MODEST PROPOSALS (The Miranda Theatre, NYC);  FROM RAUNCH TO RUIN (The Mint Theater, NYC); LOVE AND WORK (The New Group Theatre, NYC);  and  MINT CONDITION (The Mint Theater, NYC).  His one-act plays MAKING IT and BUSINESS AS USUAL were produced as part of the Ensemble Studio Theater (NYC) Octoberfest.  His play SUMMER OF THE BLOOD MOON was a finalist at Growing Stages Theatre Contest (Netcong, NJ).  He has written many radio plays for both Olde Tyme Radio Hour (New Orleans, LA) and Whiskey Radio Hour (Chicago, IL).  He was a co-founder of the Playwrights Unit of the New Group Theatre (NYC).  His other plays include:  ROCK AND ROLL DIARIES:  ELEPHANTS, SCRATCH, OIL CITY JIG.  Mr. McCleland is also a musician and guitarist and has performed professionally.  He is an alumnus of the Lehman Engel/BMI Musical Theatre Workshop (Librettists) and THE WORKSHOP musical theatre program.  He is a member of the Dramatists Guild.   He and his wife Elizabeth Campbell live in New York City.

O' Byrne

The Long And The Light

After moving to Copenhagen 4 years ago, O’Byrne met Ian Burns, the Artistic Director of That-Theatre Company, who asked to stage Fergal’s entire “Location Trilogy”. The first play, Extremophiles, received its world premiere in October 2020 in the Krudttønden Theatre, Copenhagen. He is a two-time winner of the Eamon Keane Playwrighting Award in 2013 (A Dragon’s Tale) and 2018 (Extremophiles).

Among O’Byrne’s work in TV and film includes the sitcom Hipsterverse. Short films include the award-winning Eyes Wide Open (2017 Silver Screen Award Nevada, Miami, Berlin Festivals) Ribeye (2016 Semi-Finalist PAGE International Screenwriting Awards, Filmbase/RTE Award 2018), Bio (2016 Official Selection Miami, Los Angeles, Antwerp and Dublin Film Festivals) and Glass Ceiling (2014 Quarter-Finalist PAGE International Screenwriting Awards).

He has also written four radio plays broadcast by RTE Radio. His debut novel, Trolley Ride in Manhattan, was published in 2000. O’Byrne regularly works alongside friend and collaborator, William Morgan. Fergal is a member of Danske Dramatikere.


Tiny, Secret Notes

A resident of Miami Beach, Florida, USA is the Regional Rep for the Dramatists Guild – Florida Region. She is also a member of the New Play Exchange, Honor Roll and the International Center for Women Playwrights. Her work has been seen in 30 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, Great Britain, Scotland, Hong Kong and Seoul, S. Korea. She has had 51 different plays produced in multiple theatresnumerous readings and of course, many rejections.  A published playwright and mother of two grown sons, Marj is a proud member of Actors Equity and SAG-AFTRA.



Amongst other things, I have had published two non-fiction books and two novels. I have adapted the James Stephens novel The Crock of Gold for the screen and am currently seeking a production company to produce it as a feature film.

I have also written a number of plays, both short and full-length, including An Incorrigible Irishman, about Sir Roger Casement, which was performed at the Belfast Festival. Two of my short plays were performed and shortlisted for the Playwright of the Year award at the Cork Arts Theatre in two consecutive years. I am currently writing a full-length play, set in Belfast. His books and play are available at:

Anthony Cronin International Short Poem Award

Steve Denehan


The Carpenter and The Crocodiles

Empty of Fireworks

Fishing Line

Steve Denehan lives in Kildare, Ireland with his wife Eimear and daughter Robin. He is the author of two chapbooks and three poetry collections. Twice winner of Irish Times’ New Irish Writing, his numerous publication credits include Poetry Ireland Review, Acumen, Prairie Fire, Westerly and Into the Void.

Of Thunder, Pearls and Birdsong (Fowlpox Press – 2018) –
Miles of Sky Above Us, Miles of Earth Below (Cajun Mutt Press – 2019) –

Living in the Core of an Apple (Analog Submission Press – 2019) – Limited Edition – Sold Out
The Streets, Like Flowers, Come Alive in the Rain (Potter’s Grove Press – 2021) –

Breda Joyce

Visiting Rites

Breda Joyce grew up in Co. Galway and taught at second-level in Kenya and in Cahir, Co. Tipperary. On retiring from teaching, Breda studied creative writing in UCC where she won her first poetry prize and graduated with an MA in 2020. Her work has been twice shortlisted for the Anthony Cronin and the Over the Edge Awards. She has been shortlisted for the Fish Lockdown prize 2020 and the Desmond O’ Grady prize 2021. Her short collections have been highly commended in the Fool for Poetry Chapbook competition 2019 and 2020. Her poetry appears in various publications, anthologies and literary journals, the most recent being Poems for Pandemia and The Best New British and Irish Poets Anthology 2019-2021.

‘Reshaping the Light’ just published by Chaffinch Press is her first poetry collection and can be purchased at .

Elisabeth Kelly

Faded Books Near The Window

Elisabeth Kelly began writing poetry in March 2020. She has gone on to be published, or has work forthcoming in/with HybridDreich, Dreich Magazine, Hedgehog Poetry Anthologies, Forest Publishing, Eyeflash Poetry, Foxglove Journal, Green Ink, Dawntreader, Fragmented Voices, The Honest Ulsterman, One Hand Clapping, Dodging the Rain, and Selcouth Station. She was shortlisted for the Anthony Cronin International Poetry Award in 2020. She has a Slim micro pamphlet Mind Mathematics published by HybridDreich in June 2021, and a poetry pamphlet due out in 2021 with Hedgehog Poetry Press. She also has a flash-memoir/poetry chapbook being published by Selcouth Station in 2022.  She loves chocolate pudding, the change of seasons, and helping people see the connections in our world. She tweets @eekelly22 and more information can be found at

Jackie Lynam

Precious Cargo

Jackie Lynam is from Dublin where she still lives and works. She has been writing poetry since 2017 and has been published in the Banger Literary Journal, Honest Ulsterman, Boyne Berries and North West Words. Her poems have been shortlisted for the Bangor Poetry Competition and Write by the Sea Competition. She has also written non-fiction pieces for the Irish Independent and has had essays broadcast on Sunday Miscellany on RTÉ Radio One.

Angela Patten


The Longest Running Show

Angela Patten’s publications include four poetry collections, The Oriole & the Ovenbird (Kelsay Books), In Praise of Usefulness (Wind Ridge Books), Reliquaries (Salmon Poetry, Ireland) and Still Listening (Salmon Poetry, Ireland), and a prose memoir, High Tea at a Low Table: Stories From An Irish Childhood (Wind Ridge Books). Her work has appeared in many literary journals and anthologies. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, she now lives in Burlington, Vermont, where she is a Senior Lecturer Emeritus at the University of Vermont.

My publications. All of them are available on my author page at Angela Patten

My most recent collection, “The Oriole & the Ovenbird,” is also available from the publisher, Kelsay Books at:  The Oriole & the Ovenbird

My second poetry collection is also available from Salmon Poetry: | Reliquaries by Angela Patten

Derek Sellen


Crivelli's Fly

Derek Sellen is from Canterbury, UK. His work has won many awards over the years, including first prizes in several international competitions. He has written on a wide range of subjects from Indian cave-paintings to the myth of the Minotaur, from a Chinese street-seller to Spanish art. His poems are widely published in various places including PEN and Arts Council anthologies.

His second collection ‘The Other Guernica’ was published by Cultured Llama Publishing in 2018 and was a finalist in the Poetry Book Awards 2020. The collection has been favourably reviewed  – ‘This is a work of outstanding richness and variety, imagination, thought, storytelling …’ Professor Janet Montefiore

He is the judge of this year’s Segora International Poetry Competition.

Details of the collection can be found at:

Mary Anne Smith Sellen

Four White Buttons

Mary Anne Smith Sellen’s work has been recognised in both national and international competitions, including first prizes for the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry competition and for O Bheal Five Words, and also widely published in magazines and anthologies. She regularly reads at poetry events and literary festivals in Kent, and is currently working towards her first full collection.  For further details visit: 

Jean Tuomey

Close The Warm Kitchen

Jean Tuomey lives in Castlebar. Co Mayo. She is published in many Irish literary journals and came 2nd in Fish 2011. She was short listed in Fish, Over the Edge, Poems for Patience, Jonathan Swift, Anthony Cronin, Hungry Hill and I Yeats poetry competitions. Her chapbook, Swept Back, was commended in Fools for Poetry 2018 and Blue Nib chapbook 37, 2019.    A former teacher, she trained as a writing facilitator with the National Association for Poetry Therapy in the US.

Eoin Colfer Inaugural International Short Children's Stor Award

Caroline Coyle

Inaugural WINNER


Caroline Coyle is a recently retired headteacher who lives in Stockport, England with her husband. She studied Creative Writing at Manchester University and went on to attain a post graduate qualification in teaching. For over twenty years, she has taught children, aged between seven and eleven years of age, how to write. Now, she is thoroughly enjoying having the time to dedicate to her own writing.

Álanna Hammel

Chatty Cathy FM

Álanna Hammel’s work is majorly memoir, recalling her memories throughout childhood being surrounded by storytellers; living in a small coffee shop beside the sea. She lives in Wexford and is currently studying Commerce International in University College Dublin. Álanna recently started her own podcast ‘The Art of Conversation’ where she interviews friends about art, books and music. These days she spends her time editing her debut novel ‘The Future of Farming’ about four small farmers who start to grow illegal substances. You can read more of her work at 

Brendan McDonald

Good Knight Girl

Brendan McDonald is a debut author from the Laois/Carlow Border. He self-published his debut Children’s Book ‘Elephant on the Farm’ in December 2020. The book tells a beautiful story of friendship, diversity & inclusion and follows Edward the Elephant who meets Olive the Owl, and Edward’s journey from being totally different to acceptance as one of the Farm gang. 

A solicitor by profession, Brendan now works as the South East Regional Manager with IDA Ireland. Brendan is from a farming background in south Laois and completed the book, aimed at children aged 0-6, during the first lockdown.

Brendan is very proud of the fact that his debut book is written, illustrated and printed in Ireland – the book having been illustrated by Martin Becket based in Donegal and printed by Modern Printers, Kilkenny.  Available at:

Jamie Sinnott

The All-Knowing Giant

I haven’t got many accolades in life, so instead, I’ll just tell you about me. For a long time, I didn’t have much direction in my life. The only thing I knew was that a traditional job, just wasn’t for me. I didn’t care about money, I didn’t care about anything really. Spending time working in creative outlets, was always something I enjoyed doing. So, I decided to dive head first into my passion. And things got better for a while. After four years of hard work, that questioned my resolve and aspiration to become an artist. I left college with an honours degree in Art. But, it wasn’t the happy ending I was hoping for. There was many ups and downs. I even gave up for a while. Now, there’s still such a long way to go. To become a better writer, a better artist, a better person. But I’ve decided, I can’t give up now, because that’s who I am.