Welcome to the Munster Literature Centre submissions manager

Southword Literary Journal

Southword: New International Writing is a print literary journal published at least twice yearly by The Munster Literature Centre. Southword has published the likes of Medbh McGuckian, Helen Ivory, Haruki Murakami, James Lasdun, Kim Addonizio, Tess Gallagher, Colm Tóibín and Vona Groarke. Our Spring issue is composed of prizewinning and shortlisted entries from our Gregory O'Donoghue and Seán O'Faoláin competitions, as well as specially commissioned work. Unsolicited submissions of poetry and short fiction (for our Autumn issue) will be open as follows:

POETRY: December 1st, 2019 ‒ February 28th, 2020

FICTION: January 1st ‒ March 31st, 2020

Southword pays contributors €40 per poem and €250 per short story. Payment to writers within the Republic of Ireland is made by cheque. Writers abroad must accept payment through PayPal.

To subscribe to the print journal and to read online back-issues for free, please visit: http://www.munsterlit.ie/Southword/issues_index.html

To purchase early paperback issues of Southword Journal (#1 - #15) please visit our online bookstore: https://www.munsterlit.ie/Bookstore%20Southword%20Journals.html


To learn more about the Seán O'Faoláin International Short Story Competition, running in early summer: http://www.munsterlit.ie/SOF%20Page.html

To learn more about the Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition, running in late autumn: http://www.munsterlit.ie/Gregory%20ODonoghue%20International%20Poetry%20Competition.html

Fellowships & Bursaries

To learn more about the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Fellowship & Mentorship Bursaries: https://www.munsterlit.ie/foc%20fellowship.html

To learn more about the John Montague International Poetry Fellowship & Mentorship Bursaries: http://munsterlit.ie/John%20Montague%20Fellowship.html

Questions/troubleshooting on using Submittable system

E-mail support@submittable.com or visit their help centre: https://www.submittable.com/help/submitter


At the Munster Literature Centre, we are inaugurating a new initiative in 2019 – the production of promotional videos of Munster-resident poets with books published in the current calendar year. 

The initiative is a service we will provide for free whose aim is to supply a promotional tool to the poet for their latest book. The video would consist of an interesting visual take of the poet reading three short poems from their book (possibly in three separate locations), the book cover image and some review quotes in text if available. We are unable to pay the poets for the recording but, in addition to us publishing it on the MLC Youtube channel, the poet retains rights to distribute the video as they see fit. They may want to supply it to their publisher for distribution through their publisher’s email newsletter, they may want to have it released on their publisher’s Youtube channel and/or the poet’s own Youtube channel. As well as drawing attention to their new book, the videos could be useful in promoting the poet to reading venues and some festivals.

Videos will go into production from the beginning of October once our annual Short Story Festival is completed. In the inaugural year we will select a maximum of eight poets.  

Apply by sending us a link to your publisher’s website with your title listed and a selection of three poems in a Word or pdf document. 

If your book is being published this year after the application deadline (August 31st) and not yet listed on your publisher's website, please send us details of your publisher, the publication date, a jpg of the book's cover and three sample poems. Your application will be ineligible without all these components.

Poets selected for this initiative will need to clear the rights for the poems with their publisher and must agree to travel to Cork at their own expense  for filming.

This is your opportunity to apply for one of five reading slots available at the Flash Fiction Introductions reading at 2.30pm on Friday September 27th 2019, part of the Cork International Short Story Festival.  Each author will have the opportunity to read in a ten-minute reading slot and receive a  fee of €100. You must be a writer living in Ireland with no short fiction chapbook or full collection published.   Your ten minutes can consist of a couple of or several flash fiction pieces (depending on length) Submit a selection of your Flash Fiction no longer than 1200 words in length combined, attached as one file. There is a €5 reading fee.


All monies raised by this fee will go to the Cork International Short Story Festival which is produced by the Munster Literature Centre, a registered charity.

British author Sara Maitland is the 2019 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Fellow. The fellowship is very kindly funded by Cork City Council and is an initiative of the Munster Literature Centre. There is the opportunity for two Cork fiction writers to be mentored by Ms. Maitland during October and November of this year. Each author will benefit from a weekly two-hour contact session with Ms. Maitland over eight weeks. 

To qualify you must be a writer resident in Cork City or resident in County Cork and engaging with the literary community of the city. You must have had at least one short story published in a reputable literary journal. The mentorship is also open to authors with books already published who believe they can benefit from this opportunity.

Applicants should submit a single Word document divided into the following subheadings:

1) a letter outlining where you are currently with your writing and how you hope to benefit from a mentorship with Ms. Maitland. (maximum 500 words) 

2) your literary resume (listing your publications/workshops attended/prizes/public readings etc.)    

3) sample/samples of your own writing not exceeding 6000 words in total.

The successful applicants will be chosen by Ms. Maitland.

Deadline for applications is August 18th 2019.

Successful candidates must pay a deposit of €100, refundable upon completion of the mentorship and submission of 200 word report.

The John Montague International Poetry Fellowship

The Munster Literature Centre is pleased to  announce an initiative aimed at benefiting poets: The John Montague International Poetry Fellowship. The fellowship  is made possible through the very generous sponsorship of University College Cork. The fellowship acknowledges the special place of poetry in the cultural history and contemporary practice of Cork City. The Munster Literature Centre hosts the largest annual poetry festival in Ireland.

Benefits of  the fellowship to the successful writer

The successful fellow would benefit from the prestige of  receiving a highly competitive international literary award which will not only  allow the candidate to spend time concentrating on their own work, but also enable them to acquire experience in literary mentoring and the teaching of writing in an academic context. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to be inspired by living in one of Europe’s oldest cities, with a well-developed cultural infrastructure and a thriving literary community. The successful fellow would receive a monthly stipend of €2000, totalling €6,000 and self-catering  accommodation. The costs of economy air travel to and from Cork would also be  covered.

Duties of the  fellowship

The fellowship requires the poet to reside in Cork for  twelve weeks and find time to work on their own writing. The poetry fellow would arrive in late January and depart late April. The fellow would contribute a public reading and a four-morning poetry masterclass to the Cork International Poetry Festival.  During their twelve week stay they would provide  a 5-credit workshop with the creative writing department of University College Cork. Their mentoring duties would consist of devoting two hours each, per week, to two Cork poets over eight weeks (32 hours total). They will  be welcomed into the literary and social life of the city where they will have the opportunity to network with resident established writers. They would present a  farewell public reading at the Boole Library of University College  Cork.

Criteria for  Selection

The recipient would be a poet from outside Ireland of international standing. 

Fellowship applications are invited from poets working in English from outside Ireland.

The Poetry Fellow must have at least two full-length collections of poetry published. The successful candidate will be a poet respected by peers and preferably has experience in the coaching or teaching of other writers either through workshops  and/or mentoring, inside or outside a formal academic setting.

Submission Guidelines

Candidates  must supply through Submittable a single Word document consisting of a literary  CV, a letter explaining why they want to work in Cork, and a course outline for a four morning poetry masterclass aimed at poets who have already been successfully published in  periodicals. The masterclass is to take place on four consecutive mornings of the Cork International Poetry Festival involving  the same group each day. The dates for the 2020 festival are March 25th to 28th. Shortisted poets may subsequently need to  supply copies of their books and submit to interview by Skype. 

Process of  Selection

A shortlist of up to a dozen candidates  will be selected by the Artistic Director of the Munster Literature Centre and subsequently assessed by a panel consisting of Patrick Cotter, the Artistic Director of the  Munster Literature Centre, poet Leanne O'Sullivan of the School of English at University College Cork  and another person appointed by Patrick Cotter. Up to four candidates will then be selected for interview. 

Deadline for  applications for the Spring 2020 fellowship is August 18th 2019. Interviews should take place in early October

Previous fellows have been:

2018 Brian Turner

2019 Sandra Beasley

The Munster Literature Centre