1st prize (€3,000)
PSYCHOBABBLE BY CAOILINN HUGHES
Caoilinn Hughes is an Irish writer whose novel Orchid & the Wasp (Oneworld/Hogarth
Press) was described by John Banville as ‘an ambitious, richly inventive and
highly entertaining account of the way we live now’, by Elle as ‘a gem
of a novel’, and by the Sunday Times as a ‘highly ambitious fiction
debut containing multitudes.’ Her poetry collection Gathering Evidence (Carcanet, 2014) won the Irish Times
Shine/Strong Award. A fellow of the James Merrill Foundation, the Bogliasco
Foundation, Art Omi, the Centre Culturel Irlandais and the Tin House Workshop,
Hughes has received a Literature Bursary Award and Travel & Training Awards
from the Arts Council of Ireland, and Ireland Funds Monaco Award. Her work has
appeared in Tin House, Granta, POETRY, Best British Poetry, Best NZ
Poems, BBC Radio 3 and elsewhere. She has a PhD from Victoria University of
Wellington, New Zealand, and recently held a 3-year Visiting Writer position at
Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
‘Psychobabble is a story that
walks a difficult road in terms of its tone or note – it’s a dark situation
dealt with not lightly but with an effervescence in the line, in the
sentence-making, and it’s this vivacity that elevates the piece above the rest.
It’s both poignant and very funny, emotional yet sardonic. The writer has great
2nd prize (a week at Circle
of Misse plus €250 stipend)
POSTCARDS ARE A THING OF THE PAST BY TRACEY SLAUGHTER
Tracey Slaughter is a fiction writer and poet from New Zealand. Her stories and
poems have received many awards, including the Bridport Prize (2014), two
Katherine Mansfield Awards, and shortlistings for both the Manchester Fiction
Prize and Manchester Poetry Prize (2015). Her most recent work is the
collection of short stories deleted scenes for lovers (Victoria
University Press, 2016), and a volume of poetry entitled conventional
weapons is due for publication in 2019. She teaches creative writing at the
University of Waikato, where she edits the literary journal Mayhem.
‘Postcards are a Thing of the Past is a
narrative that shows the boundless possibilities of the short story as a form –
it could be described almost as a kind of erotic travelogue, but the important
movement is internal, or within. It’s about the heart, essentially, and there
is real intensity in the writing, and some astonishing jolts in the language.’
‘Winning this prize is a blissful shock.
I’m still a bit speechless with excitement! I’m thrilled that my stories are
travelling … and now I get to travel too! Deepest thanks to The Moth for
the amazing opportunity.’ Tracey
3rd prize (€1,000)
STANDARD DEVIATION BY CAOILINN HUGHES
‘Standard Deviation is the story of an odd
encounter, and it feels very close-in for the reader but it’s kind of
mysterious, too. Line by line, it’s very carefully arranged, and it follows its
own tune or music, and the contemporary dressing of the story’s world is
beautifully done and never feels forced.’
‘The Moth magazine is a thing of
beauty. And Kevin Barry is a singular storyteller and stylist I’ve long
admired. Publishing a debut novel is an emotionally-blustery, sanity-testing
endeavour. This seal of approval is superglue for the sanity! I am mighty
grateful. Neither of these stories is easygoing or biddable and it takes just
the right reader and opportunity to allow such stories to come to life.
Thank you, Kevin Barry, thank you, The Moth, thank you, dear
reader!’ Caoilinn Hughes
All three stories are published
in the autumn 2018 issue of The Moth
available to purchase here
With thanks to Circle of Misse
in France for the second prize of a week-long writing retreat (along with a €250 travel stipend) at their house, which rests on the banks of the Thouet River, a tributary of the Loire.
Kevin Barry also commended stories by
Chris Mansell (Australia) and Una Mannion (Ireland).
writer and teacher. She has won prizes for her poetry and fiction, including
the Hennessy Emerging Poetry Award, Doolin Short Story, Cuirt Short Story,
Allingham and others. Her work has been published in the Irish Times
, The Lonely Crowd
, Bare Fiction
. She is the programme chair of the new BA in Writing &
Literature at IT Sligo and edits The
, a broadsheet of fiction and poetry. She lives in Sligo with her
husband and three children.Chris Mansell
won the Queensland Premier’s Award for Poetry, Amelia Chapbook
Award (USA) and the Meanjin Dorothy Porter Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for
the National Book Council Award and the NSW Premier’s Award. Among her latest
publications are Verge
, Stung, Stung More, Spine Lingo
ABOUT THE PRIZE
Anyone can enter the prize, as long as their story (of up to 5,000 words) is previously unpublished.
Every year, a single judge is asked to choose three winning stories, to feature in the autumn issue of The Moth.
Previous judges include John Boyne, Martina Evans, Donal Ryan, Belinda McKeon and Mike McCormack.
Previous winners include Marc Phillips, Nikki McWatters and June Caldwell.
1st prize €3,000
2nd prize week-long writing retreat at Circle of Misse in France plus €250 travel stipend
3rd prize €1,000
The prize is open from January to June annually (with a closing date of 30 June).