JP McHugh to judge Wild Atlantic Words short story competition

The 2021 Wild Atlantic Words literary festival short story competition will be judged by award-winning writer, John Patrick McHugh.

Founded in 2016, the Wild Atlantic Words literary festival takes place every October in Castlebar. The short story competition is sponsored by Bridge St bar, with a first prize of €500, and second prize, €250.

A reading and prize-giving ceremony will take place in the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar. The closing date for entries is Saturday, July 31 at 5pm. Entry forms, along with a full list of competition rules and regulations, are available on the festival’s website,

Last year’s second annual short story competition attracted more than 200 entries from across Ireland and from Irish people based in ten different countries around the world. The first prize went to Chris Kennedy from County Sligo, for his submission, ‘Farmer Wife’. The 2020 competition judge was Lisa McInerney.

This year’s judge, JP McHugh, is from Galway. His work has appeared in The Tangerine, Banshee, Granta, Winter Papers and The Stinging Fly. Pure Gold is his debut collection of short stories.

This year’s literary festival will take place during the second week of October. The festival aims to celebrate the literary heritage of our rugged coastline over a weekend of readings, recitals, debates and reflection, while also acknowledging our new and emerging writers.

Previous guests have included former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, plus a host of acclaimed national and international authors, including Sally Rooney, Mike McCormack, Donal Ryan, Billy Keane, Professor Diarmaid Ferriter, Dominic Price, Senator Marie Louise O’Donnell, Pat McCabe, Mary Kennedy, Eileen Dunne, Anne Chambers and many, many more.


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