With a top prize of €500 and two category prizes of €250

plus publicity opportunities for the winners

Write By the Sea Literary Festival (WBTS) 2021 Writing Competitions


In keeping with Kilmore Quay’s maritime location and traditions, the general competition theme is ‘Rescue’ and all entries must relate to this theme.


Write By The Sea Writing Competition 2021 Shortlists Announced

Please note that due to several entries having the same title, each successful writer has been notified by email of their shortlisted piece.  If you have not received an email from us, then unfortunately you were not shortlisted.


A Mother’s Rescue

Emotional Rescue

The Polly Doll Factory

The Relic

Rescue Remedy


The Days

Number 27

The Cockle Pickers


The Postman


Sweet Beak

Lochan na mBo




The Wasps

On a Limb


Two category winners will be presented with a cash prize of €250 and the overall winner will receive the top cash prize of €500.

All three winners will receive a beautiful hand-crafted Write By The Sea Festival 2020 Writing Competition trophy and all three winning pieces will be published on the Write By The Sea website.

Each category winner will receive a free weekend ticket to Write By The Sea festival 2021 (Covid-19 restrictions in force at festival time will determine the type of free ticket to be offered).


There are three competition categories:

1. Fiction Short Story (maximum 3,000 words)
2. Memoir – a non-fiction piece drawn from the author’s own life 
    (maximum 3,000 words)
3. Poetry (maximum 40 lines)

The independent panel of judges will select one winner in each category.

One of the three category winners will be selected as the overall winner.


Attention all writers:  It breaks our hearts when we have to disqualify entrants who break the rules.  Sadly, last year we disqualified 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 read the rules and follow them carefully. We look forward to receiving your entries and we wish you every success in the 2021 competition.

  1. Entries must be the original work of the entrant and should not have been previously published in any format (online, print, self-published or paid).
  2. Entries must be in English and must relate to our Write By The Sea 2021 theme ‘Rescue’.
  3. Entries must be in Microsoft Word, using double-spaced, Times New Roman 12-point font [please do not include images or use coloured fonts] and should be saved as a Microsoft Word document (.docx or .doc).
  4. As submissions are judged on an anonymous basis, the author’s name and/or contact details must not appear anywhere in the file name or text of the submitted entry.
  5. Entrants may submit as many entries as they wish at €10 per entry, or €25 for three entries (which can be in any or all of the three categories).
  6. Following submission, should an entry win a prize in another competition or be published elsewhere, the author must inform us so that we can remove the entry from the WBTS 2021 Writing Competition.
  7. The decision of the judges is final. 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. The closing date for entries is 11.59 pm on Friday 25 June 2021.
  10. Serving Write By The Sea festival committee members and their immediate relatives, and current festival agents, contributors and sponsors are not eligible to enter the competition.
  11. All non-winning entries will be deleted from our records after three months from the date of the announcement of the competition results.




  • Friday 25 June 2021 – competition entry closes at 11.59 pm.
  • Friday 13 August 2021 – shortlisted entrants will be contacted by WBTS.
  • Friday 27 August 2021 – shortlist of the winning entry titles will be posted on the WBTS website, writebythesea.ie
  • September 2021 – category winners will be notified by WBTS and will be invited to a public reading event as part of the festival, where the overall winner will be announced. This event may be online or live with an audience depending on Covid-19 restrictions in force at that time.
  • October 2021 – the winning pieces will be published on the WBTS website.
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