Want to impress me with a short story or a piece of memoir? Would you like to win €500? Get writing then – 2,000 words or less!
There’s a catch of course – you must have an authentic connection to County Roscommon in Ireland to be eligible to enter.
I’m talking about a writing competition – the 2021 New Roscommon Writing Award.
As well as being a lovely part of the world, Roscommon is blessed with a generous and supportive Arts Office who actively encourage creative people. For the past eight years they have run a competition exclusively for writers with a link to the county.
This year, I was delighted to be asked to judge the competition. I usually refuse requests to judge competitions because the responsibility is huge and I’m worried I’ll make more enemies than I can cope with. But on this occasion, the honour of being asked outweighed my reservations, and I agreed to be this year’s judge.
The competition is now open and runs until May 24th 2021. Each entrant can submit up to two free entries online or by post. The entries will be judged anonymously, so it doesn’t matter if I know you or not, I’ll be judging the writing not the writer!
I’ll be looking for up to 2,000 words on any subject, either as fiction (a short story) or memoir. I want to be moved, intrigued, interested by what I read. I’ll be looking out for style and use of language, but there isn’t any theme I’m set on – you have carte blanche.
I was runner up several times in this competition, then I won in 2019, so I understand the process. It was a huge thrill to have my name read out as the winner, a great boost to my writing life, something impressive to put on my CV! Now it could be your turn. The winner receives €500 and there are four runners-up prizes of €100 each.
The award is organised by Roscommon County Council and is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, the Roscommon Herald newspaper and Shannonside FM Radio.
All the rules (read them carefully!) are available here. Good luck!