Short Story Competition Results 2015

The results are in!

A huge congratulations to the winners of the inaugural Books Ireland Short Story Competition 2015.

Niall Williams

First Prize:

Winner: Aoife Fitzpatrick

Story title: Restoration. Read the story here!

Aoife Fitzpatrick_15X15 Aoife Fitzpatrick lives and works in Dublin, and studies at the School of English, Trinity College. Her short stories have been recognised by several international short story competitions, including the Seán Ó’Faoláin Prize and the Australian Book Review’s Elizabeth Jolley Prize. Her work has been published by the literary journal Southword.




Second Prize:

Winner: Mark Brandi

Story title: Pensioner’s Concession. Read the story here!

photo 2Mark Brandi was born in Italy and then spent his childhood in a remote Australian pub. He now lives in Melbourne, where he mostly writes fiction.

His work has appeared in various literary journals and magazines, and also broadcast on Australia’s Radio National. He has been recognised in a number of prizes, including the 2015 Caledonia Novel Award. Most recently, he was the winner of the 2015 William Faulkner Literary Competition.

Please visit for more information and links to his other work.


Third Prize (Joint):

Winner: Patrick McCusker

Story title: It Was in My Heart to Help a Little. Read the story here!

Pat - ColourPatrick McCusker, has written three books. Planet Dancing, Fear, The Extraordinary Temptation.
Patrick lives in Delgany, Co. Wicklow, in a garden of rare trees and with a cat called The Sound of Music (she is anything but!) He spent six years living in Canada and the USA and for several months lived in a First Nation’s village.
He is now working on his fourth book, a surreal and humorous work, with, in style, an echo of Flann O’Brian’s Third Policeman.

Winner: John O’Donnell

Story title: A Great Bible Wind. Read the story here!

IMG_0224John O’Donnell’s work has been broadcast and published widely in Ireland and abroad. He has received various awards, including the Irish National Poetry Prize, the Ireland Funds Prize and the Hennessy Award for Poetry. A senior counsel living and working in Dublin, he has published three collections of poetry, the most recent of which is “On Water” published in 2014 by Dedalus Press. His short fiction has also been published in the Sunday Tribune, the Sunday Independent, the Irish Times Online, and The Stinging Fly. His story “Promise” was also broadcast on RTE Radio on The Book On One and his story “Shelley” received the Hennessy Award for Emerging Fiction.



Honourable Mentions:

Niamh MacCabe with This is Unravel

date pix srandhilllBorn in Dublin, Niamh spent her childhood in Paris, the north-west of Ireland, and Washington D.C., where she graduated from the Corcoran School of Art in the late eighties. She worked overseas in the Animated Film industry during the nineties but returned to Ireland full-time in the noughties to raise her children. She began writing in 2014 and is a member of the Sligo based Sandy Field Writers group. In 2015, she has had three stories longlisted for the Fish Short Story Prize, two stories longlisted for the Fish Short Memoir Prize, was a second place winner in The People’s College Short Story Award, along with a further story making it onto their longlist, and has been shortlisted for the Allingham Festival Flash Fiction Award. She lives in the hills of North leitrim with her two young sons and their pack of mad dogs.


Susan Yardley with Dirty Laundry

File 19-10-2015, 8 45 19 PMSusan lives and writes in the Macedon Ranges, a small town nestled in the hills north of Melbourne.
Her stories have won many competitions including the University of Canberra Award in 2007, the
Rolf Boldrewood prize (twice) and the City of Glen Eira Award (twice.) Her work has appeared in
the 2013 Aesthetica Creative Annual (U.K) and in the anthology ‘The Great Unknown’ published in
2013 by Spineless Wonders. In 2015 she was shortlisted for both the Commonwealth Writers Prize
and the Bridport Prize. Susan also writes screenplays and currently has a feature film in development with Unicorn Films.


Julie Kearney with The Forgiveness of Trees.

kearneykearneyJulie Bowen Kearney is an award-winning artist and writer who lives in Brisbane, Australia. These days she devotes herself exclusively to writing and was shortlisted in the 2014 Queensland Literary Awards for her manuscript 3 for a Wedding, 4 for Death, a fictionalised autobiography of her great-grandmother, Annie Callaghan, who emigrated to Australia in the nineteenth century. Julie writes fiction, literary reviews, memoir and art essays and is a regular contributor to Griffith REVIEW, widely regarded as Australia’s premier journal of ideas. She is published in journals and anthologies including Cleaver Magazine (US), Imprint, New Asian Writing, and ABC Arts online. She has completed an historical novella titled True Story Man, a writing back to The Tempest, Shakespeare’s iconic representation of the colonised and the coloniser. You can find her on


Clare O’Reilly with Hey Presto.


Books Ireland is gratefully supported by the following organisations:

May Book Competition

The Doctor Who Sat for a Year

By Brendan Kelly

The twelve-month project of a self-confessed ‘Zen failure’

for a chance to win:

The Doctor Who Sat for a Year
By Brendan Kelly
ISBN: 978-0-7171-8457-6
Publisher: Gill Books



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