Award Publications 2020

Billy Roche International Short Play Award

Winner 2020: Ciara Cassoni

Ciara has just won the Eamon Keane full length play Award at Listowel Writers Week for her play Giddyup’s Way’ this June 2020. Her first play ‘Dope’ won the best new Playwright award and Ciara won the Best Actress Award at The Cork Arts Theatre’s Writers Week in 2014.  She has had a professional reading in the New Theatre Dublin and in 2019, she was accepted onto the Abbey Theatre’s ‘Abbey Begins’ programme.  Ciara works as a Drama Therapist and Drama Teacher in Dublin and Meath

Thick As Thieves

Second Place 2020: David McCall

David McCall is a man who has wasted many hours gazing out the window, dreaming and thinking “what if ……?”   He eventually climbed down from inside his head and joined the Haulbowline Theatre Group in Cork. Since then, David has been involved as an actor, musician, director, stage hand, lighting/sound technician and set designer. More recently he has also enjoyed success as a writer. He has had his plays performed at many amateur drama festivals, as well as the Dublin Fringe Festival and on Off Off Broadway locations in New York. He was short-listed for the RTE P.J. O’Connor radio drama awards.

Third Place: Michael Yale

Michael trained as an actor at LAMDA and has worked extensively in theatre, film and television. In recent years he has discovered a passion for writing and directing.

Michael wrote as well as directed This Little Life of Mine at Park Theatre which received multi award nominations from Broadway World and The Off West End Awards, including Best New Production and Best Director.

He went on to direct the critically acclaimed Late Company at The Finborough and Trafalgar Studios (Terrific’ – The Times / “Utterly transfixing” – The Telegraph). The show was shortlisted for Best New Play at the Broadway World Awards and was a finalist at the Offies.

Other writing includes In the Thrice Ninth Kingdom at Soho and Tristan Bates and an adaptation of Brieux’s Maternity at Riverside Studios. His work focusses on intimate stories on universal themes that instantly resonate with modern audiences.

Michael is currently developing his first screen play, Hush Baby, offering a very personal and unique insight into the emotionally charged world of adoption.


Anthony Cronin International Poetry Award

Winner 2020: Derek Sellen

Derek Sellen is from Canterbury, UK. His writing has won many awards over the years including first prizes in Poets Meet Politics, Poetry Pulse, Rhyme International, Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year and O’Bheal Five Words. It has also won prizes in Poetry on the Lake, Bristol International Short Story Award and the National Poetry Competition among others. 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 collection ‘The Other Guernica’ was published by Cultured Llama Publishing in 2018 and has been favourably reviewed  – ‘This is a work of outstanding richness and variety, imagination, thought, storytelling …’ Professor Janet Montefiore

Details of the collection can be found at:

Second Place 2020: Natalie Holborow

Natalie Ann Holborow is a Swansea-born writer and winner of both the Terry Hetherington Award and Robin Reeves Prize in 2015. She has been shortlisted and commended for various other awards including the Bridport Prize, the National Poetry Competition and the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine. Her debut collection, ‘And Suddenly You Find Yourself’ (Parthian, 2017) was listed as one of Wales Arts Review’s ‘Best of 2017’. Her second poetry collection, ‘Small’, is to be published by Parthian in 2020.

Snowflakes in the Longrass, the last letter from Sylvia Welter to JD Salinger

Third Place 2020: Steve Denehan

Steve Denehan lives in Kildare, Ireland with his wife Eimear and daughter Robin. He is the author of two chapbooks and one collection with several collections forthcoming including “A Chandelier of Beating Hearts” from Salmon Poetry. Twice winner of Irish Times’ New Irish Writing, his numerous publication credits include Poetry Ireland Review, Acumen, Westerly and Into The Void. He has been nominated for Best of the Net, Best New Poet and has been twice nominated for The Pushcart Prize

Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award

Winner 2020: Amanda Huggins

Amanda Huggins is the author of four collections of short fiction and poetry. She was a runner-up in the Costa Short Story Award 2018, and her prize-winning story, ‘Red’, features in her latest collection, Scratched Enamel Heart. Her poetry chapbook, The Collective Nouns for Birds won the Saboteur Award for Best Poetry Pamphlet in 2020. Amanda grew up on the North Yorkshire coast, moved to London in the 1990s, and now lives in West Yorkshire.

Second Place: Emma Flynn

Emma Flynn is a Kerry writer based in Germany. Her fiction, non-fiction, reviews and essays have appeared in Banshee, Vox, The Cardiff Review, The Stinging Fly, The Irish Times and others. She was longlisted for the 2019 Berlin International Writing Award and shortlisted for the 2018 New Irish Writing in Germany Awards. She is working on her debut novel.

A Touch Of Affection

Third Place: James Lawless

James Lawless was born in Dublin and is the author of the well-received novels Peeling Oranges, For Love of AnnaThe AvenueFinding Penelope and Knowing Women, and an acclaimed study of modern poetry Clearing The Tangled Wood: Poetry as a way of seeing the world for which he received an arts’ bursary. He is also the author of a highly praised children’s collection of stories The Adventures of Jo Jo and a prose and poetic meditation on noise Noise & Sound Reflections. Awards he has won include the Scintilla Welsh Open Poetry Competition, the Cecil Day Lewis Award, the Sunday Tribune/Hennessy and 

Willesden Herald award nominations, the WOW Award and a Biscuit International Prize for short stories. A collection of his poems Rus in Urbe was published in 2012 and he was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize for fiction in 2014. Many of his works have been translated into several languages. He divides his time between County Kildare and West Cork. You can read more about the author at