Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award

Colm Tóibín International Short Story 


Winning story will be published by Wexford Bohemian in the fourth Edition :
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David Butler

The Witch
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Grainne Daly

Little Jerome
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Fergal O'Bryne


Artist Bios


Recipient of the 2022 Fish Flash Fiction Prize, Partridge Boswell is author of the Grolier Award-winning collection Some Far Country. His poems have recently found homes in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Southword and The Moth. Co-founder of Bookstock Literary Festival, he teaches at Vallum Society for Education in Arts & Letters in Montreal and troubadours widely with the poetry/music group Los Lorcas, whose debut release Last Night in America is available on Thunder Ridge Records.

Shortlisted for the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award in 2022, 2021 and 2019. Shortlisted Anthony Cronin International Poetry Award 2020. Crime Short Story winner ‘Woman’s Way ‘ 2019. Has featured on R.T.E. Radio ‘Sunday Miscellany.’ Inspirational thoughts/Poetry featured on radio/spoken words events. Maria resides in Killorglin, County Kerry, Ireland.

David Butler's most recent publications are the short story collection, Fugitive (Arlen House) and poetry collection, Liffey Sequence (Doire Press), both 2021. His novel City of Dis (New Island) was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year, 2015.

I am a native of Enniscorthy, born in 1934 and “stranded” in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the Covid travel restrictions but with my family and late husband (2021), originally from Co. Kerry. I received my Master of Arts,major in literature, in 2006. 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 a Wexford setting. I did not have time to complete my play for 2022, so I decided to submit a short story and am delighted it has been shortlisted. My play “The Boat Train” (2018) has been selected by Judge, Billy Roche International Short Play Award, Carol Long, as worthy of performance and is being premiered at the Wexford Literary Arts Festival, 2022.

Niall Crowley is an independent specialist and believer in equality and human rights, working in Ireland and places across Europe. He is part of a prose collective which is supported by Cork County Council, a space that has stimulated and shaped his writing. He is author of ‘Empty Promises: Bringing the Equality Authority to Heel’, A&A Farmar, 2010. His short stories have been published by The Galway Review, CafeLit, The Writers Club, Pure Slush, and Spillwords Press. He was shortlisted for the From The Well short story competition of Cork County Council Library and Arts Service in 2021 and 2022.

Gráinne Daly is a writer based in Tallaght. Winner of the UCD Maeve Binchy Award 2019, she was longlisted for the An Post Irish Book Awards Short Story of the Year Award 2021. Her writing has been published in numerous publications. Sport in Irish literature is her key interest.

Fergal’s debut novel Trolley Ride in Manhattan (Mentor Books, 2000) has become a cult classic. His short story, Silvercup, was shortlisted for a previous Colm Tóibin International Short Story Award and another Ribeye was Longlisted for the Alpine Fellowship 2020. In 2020 Fergal’s award winning play Extremophiles received its world premiere in Copenhagen by That Theatre Company. This was followed by Rub-a-dub-dub which premiered in early 2022, also in Copenhagen. The third play of the trilogy, Same Shit Different Planet, will be produced in early 2023. His previous stage work has garnered multiple awards, including; A Dragon's Tale (Eamon Keane Award 2013), Folie-a-Deux (Listowel 2015) and Extremophiles (Eamon Keane Award 2018, Papatango 2018 and NEWvember Festival 2017). Award winning movie credits include Eyes Wide Open (2017 Silver Screen Award Nevada, Miami, Berlin Festivals) Ribeye (2016 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards), Bio (2016 Miami, Los Angeles, Antwerp and Dublin Film Festivals) and Glass Ceiling (2014 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards).

Adam O’Keeffe is an emerging writer from Cork who is based in Kerry. Previously, he has had fiction pieces shortlisted for the 2019 Colm Tobin Short Story Award, the 2019 Wild Atlantic Words Literary Competition, the 2020 Dalkey Creates Short Story Award and the 2021 Fish Publishing Short Story Award. Since 2018, his award-winning short film work has been featured in over fifty national and international festivals such as the Cork International Film Festival, Richard Harris International Film Festival, Foyle Film Festival, Liverpool Film Festival among many others.

My interest in writing began back in 2001 after playing the video game, SILENT HILL It told the story of a man drawn to the town of Silent Hill seeking a reunion with his wife who had died three years ago of a fatal illness. The masterful way the story was told not only roped me in to keep playing, but also inspired me to write stories myself. I like to read all kinds of stories but the ones I enjoy reading are thrillers.
Name of Book
A Safe Home for Sally
Little Jerome
Pretty Flamingo
Small World Sweetpea
Sweet Not Bitter
The Breakup: A Love Letter
The Loser
The Witch
Third Age Rebels
Small World
Thank you to all authors for submitting your works in 2022! If you are disappointed that your story is not listed, remember your entry in another competition could be the “winner” … so keep writing, and keep entering competitions. All the best!

No authors are acknowledged yet as this is a “blind” competition to ensure no bias.

Story titles are in alphabetical order, except those starting with “The” are under “t” and are:

First place prize: €700
Second place prize:€500
Third place prize:€300
Certificates for shortlisted attendees

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for Colm Tobin competition 


Entries must be in English.

Word Count

Entries must be between 1,800 and 2,200 words in length . Entries outside this word count will not be permitted and will be automatically rejected and be formatted: 12pt, double-spaced or 1.5 spaces, Times New Roman.


Entries must be the original work of the author and must not have been previously published either in writing or electronically. Entries which have received awards in other competitions are also ineligible.


Only short stories will be accepted. Poetry and prose entries are inadmissible.


The author’s name and details should only appear on the accompanying e-mail. Please ensure that the title is clearly marked at the top of the entry and each page thereafter. The author’s name must NOT appear on the entry submitted, only on the e-mail accompanying the piece.


Entries will be accepted until midnight 1 MAY. Entries received after this date will not be considered. 


The judges’ decision is final and Wexford Literary Festival will not enter into correspondence concerning the judging or merits awarded. The onus is on the author to ensure that their entry complies with the rules of the competition


Entries should be submitted electronically only. Hard copies will not be admissible


Shortlisted writers will be invited to attend the award ceremony on Friday 3rd July 2020 , however all expenses incurred will be the writer’s own.


While copyright of the shortlisted story will remain with the author, Wexford Literary Festival reserves the right to arrange the first publication and broadcast of the selected works. The right to use the stories to further publicise this award is also retained by Wexford Literary Festival. Shortlisted authors will agree to have their photograph taken and used for publicity purposes by Wexford Literary Festival.


The entry fee of €10 must be paid via our online payment system. If it is not in your entry name, in your email with your story state the name of the person or the organisation/business that is paying so that accounts can be reconciled.