Writing Competition 2023

The 2023 Write By The Sea Writing Competition is now closed. Thank you all for your entries.

Competition Winners 2023

Flash Fiction

1st     What Does a Herring Taste Like   by David Mathews

2nd    Pas de Deux     by Chris Cottom

3rd    Mixed Up Black and Whites    by Kevin Cheeseman


Short Story

1st The White March  by Mary Shovelin

2nd  The Last Laugh  by  Fionnuala Meehan

3rd  Why Writers Shouldn’t Date   by Carol McGill



1st  Parting Shot  by Clare Kinsella

2nd   Hair   by Joanna Busza

3rd  In All It’s Haunting  by Pippa Slattery



1st  No Idyll, Then    by Mary Melvin Geoghegan

2nd  Niamh Awaits Oisin’s Return   by Ger Duffy

3rd  The Night You Died    by Kate Durrant

Shortlist 2023


An Evening Swim
A Prayer at Cill Rialaig
My Mothers House
No Idyll Then
Niamh Awaits Oisin’s Return
The Night You Died


Memoir/Personal Essay

Language, Place and Personality
Parting Shot
In all it’s Haunting
The LIttle Door from Madison Road


Flash Fiction

Mixed Up Black and White
Spring Days
Pas de Deux
Into the Doldrums
Kilgrey Open Forum
What does a Herring Taste Like?


Short Story

Night of the Vixen
Tipp Minor
The Grasp
The Last Laugh
My Imaginary Friend David Bowie
The White March
Why Writers Shouldn’t Date
Bright Colours under the Dawning Sky


The winner of each category will receive a cash prize of €500, a beautiful hand-crafted WBTS 2023 Writing Competition trophy and a free weekend pass to Write By The Sea festival 2023. All four winning pieces will be published on the Write By The Sea website.

The runners-up in each category will receive €200 and third place will receive €100.


There are four competition categories:

1. Fiction Short Story (maximum 2,500 words)
2. Flash Fiction (maximum 700 words) 
3. Poetry (maximum 40 lines)
4. Memoir/Personal Essay (maximum 1,000 words)

The independent panel of judges will select the winners and each category winner will be invited to read their work at a public event as part of the festival.

Rules and Conditions

  1. Entries must be the original work of the entrant and should not have been previously published in any format, online or print, self-published or paid.
  2. Entries must be double-spaced in Microsoft Word, 12 point, Times New Roman font – please do not include images or coloured fonts – and should be saved as .docx or .doc documents. The name of the entrant should not appear anywhere in the document. (see Note A below).
  3. Entries must be submitted via the Online Entry Form on the Competition Page of the WBTS website, where entrants will upload their names and contact details.
  4. All entries must be in English.
  5. Entrants can submit as many entries as they wish at €10 per entry, or enter 3 pieces, in the same or different genres, for €25.
  6. Should your entry win a prize or be published elsewhere, please let us know so that we can remove it from the WBTS 2023 Writing Competition.
  7. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence/contact will be entered into and no feedback will be given to individual entrants.
  8. Entrants should retain copies of their work as entries will NOT be returned.
  9. Committee members and relatives of committee members of the Write By The Sea festival, its agents, contributors or sponsors are not eligible to enter the competition.
  10. All non-winning entries will be deleted from our records after three months from the date of the announcement of the competition results.

Note A: It breaks our hearts when we have to disqualify entrants who break the rules. Sadly, each year we have to disqualify a significant number of the entries for disregarding simple rules such as not submitting text in double-spacing or including their names and addresses in the text of their submissions. Please remember to spell check and proofread your work. We look forward to receiving your entries and we wish you every success in the 2023 competition.


  1. Saturday 4th February 2023 – submissions open through
  2. Sunday 4th June 2023, competition closes at 11.59pm
  3. Sunday 6thth August 2023– shortlist of the winning entry titles will be posted on the WBTS website,
  4. Sunday 3rd September 2023 – winners will be notified by WBTS
  5. Each category winner will be invited to read their work at a public event as part of the festival.
  6. October 2023 – the winning pieces will be published on the WBTS website
Welcome to Booth.

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