The unweekly herding: midsummer motivation

If you can tear yourself away from getting a suntan – unless you live in Cork, in which case you’re more likely to be sheltering from the rain this week – there are a few competitions and publication opportunities around that are worth checking.


Dalkey Creates

You could have a literary date with Dalkey, Co Dublin

The Dalkey Creates Short Story Competition is part of the Dalkey Creates Festival in Co Dublin, which takes place October 19-22. This year’s judge is Unravelling Oliver author Liz Nugent, with a first prize of €1,000 up for grabs. The closing date for submissions is September 1, and the entry fee is €15 for short stories of max 2,000 words.

While the competition is open to international entries, one important rule to note is that the winner ‘must be available to travel to the opening night of Dalkey Creates on Thursday 12th October 2017, at their own expense, to receive their prize. The winner will be informed one week before the festival.​’ So don’t enter if that’s your annual spa break getaway time with the girls/boys.


Bare Fiction Prize

Entries are now open for the Bare Fiction Prize 2017, which has three categories. Flash fiction should be a maximum of 500 words, short stories 3,000 words and poetry max 40 lines. In each category, 1st prize is £500, 2nd prize £200, 3rd prize £100, while two highly commended stories will be awarded £25. The 1st, 2nd & 3rd prize winners will also be published in the Spring 2018 issue of Bare Fiction magazine and online. The competition is open internationally, with a deadline of October 31. The entry fee is £5 for poetry, £6 for flash fiction and £8 for short story.


The housing issue

stinging-flyIf you’re feeling ambitious, prestigious literary journal The Stinging Fly has put out a call for submissions. Their Winter 2017 issue will focus on the issue of housing – more specifically, on the current shortage of affordable housing in Ireland. International submissions are invited of poetry, fiction and non-fiction pieces that explore different aspects of the ongoing crises in housing and its knock-on effect on homelessness figures. You can submit until July 12. Check out the website for guidelines.


 24 stories for Grenfell

Positivity, community, unity and hope are more important than ever

One of the most shocking and enduring images from 2017 will surely be the burnt-out husk of Grenfell Tower in London, scene of the catastrophic fire in which a horrifying and still unconfirmed number of people lost their lives. One of the many goodwill projects that has sprung up to help survivors and relatives of the deceased is a proposed flash fiction anthology. The organisers (using only the initials R and P) are inviting short stories of between 750-3,000 words on the theme of positivity/community/unity/hope, and say that the funds raised will go towards ‘the PTSD-related needs of those affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy’. The anthology will comprise 24 stories, a mix of selected submissions and original stories by published authors.

Stories must be previously unpublished, neatly typed Word documents or PDFs. You can email them to with ‘Submission to twenty4stories’ as the subject title. As this has been put together rather hastily there’s no website, but you can find out more through their Twitter account @twenty4stories or the Facebook page. The closing date for submissions is July 31. Be warned, there has already been a huge reaction to this so your acceptance chances are probably fairly slim. Still, it would be nice to be able to do something to help, wouldn’t it? Thanks to the very lovely Claire Murphy for alerting me to this.


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