Doolin Writers Weekend 27th-29th March 2015

The 4th Doolin Writers’ Weekend takes place this year at Hotel Doolin on the weekend of the 4th-6th of March 2016.

Hotel Doolin is delighted to announce Doolin Writers Competition 2016 with a prize fund of €2000. Entries are now being accepted for Short Stories and Poems and the closing date is February 5th 2016. This year Dave Lordan will judge the poetry competition and Anthony Glavin will judge the Short Story with €1000 and publication in Banshee Literary Journal up for grabs for the winner of each category.

Dave Lordan, renowned writer, teacher, editor and creativity-in education advocate, is the first writer to have won all three of Ireland's national prizes for young poets. Southword, the magazine of the Munster Literature Centre called him 'a master of the sound and rhythm of language' while the Irish Times found his work to be 'as brilliant on the page as it must surely be in performance'. His most recent publications are the 'preposterously original' short fiction collection First Book of Frags and, as editor, the groundbreaking New Planet Cabaret Anthology in association with RTE Arena. As well as the WCLF, Dave has recently provided workshops for RTE, the Irish Film Institute, Dublin City Libraries, Ledbury Poetry Festival, Courthouse Arts Centre, The Irish Countrywomen’s Association, Hospital Youthreach, Youthspeaks, Children’s Books Ireland and numerous others.

Anthony Glavin was editor of ‘New Irish Writing’ in the Irish Press from 1986-88, and a commissioning editor with New Island Books from 1994-2004. Author of two short story collections, One for Sorrow and The Draughtsman & The Unicorn, he has also written a critically acclaimed novel, Nighthawk Alley.

Meanwhile Hotel Doolin has confirmed the weekend of the 4th-6th March for the 4th Annual Doolin Writers’ Weekend. Co. Clare will again play host to some of the country’s leading writers.

‘It’s a great opportunity for aspiring writers as well as literary fans and established authors to get together and mix, as Anne Enright, Irelands Laureate of fiction says, “there is no VIP room in Irish Literature,” and this is true also for the Doolin Writers’ Weekend, one of the key aspects of the festival for us is that it has the feel of a community. It’s early days yet, but there is already a great sense that people will join us here every year and just pick up where things left off with audiences and artists feeling at one and just enjoying the communal spirit of the weekend.’ Donal Minihane- Event Organiser- Hotel Doolin General Manager.

‘Doolin has long been associated with the arts, providing inspiration for musicians, painters & writers. Many of the greats spent time in Doolin, including JM Synge, George Bernard Shaw, Dylan Thomas, Augustus John & Oliver St. Gogarty. Post-crash Ireland is on the cusp of a new literary boom and we look forward to welcoming a new wave of bold and original writers to Doolin.’ Donal Minihane- Hotel Doolin General Manager.

For anyone wishing to pay the fee through Paypal click here (link to, Please send to

Doolin Writers Weekend ENTRY FORM available here (word) or (pdf)

Email completed form to or post to Donal Minihane, Hotel Doolin, Doolin, Co.Clare

The winning entries form last years competition

Claire Hennessey

The 2015 Winner:

"Tonight" by Claire Hennessey (1st prize)

Claire Hennessy is a writer, creative writing facilitator, and editor based in Dublin. She is the author of several novels for young adults and children, and is currently working on a collection of short fiction for adults, supported by an Arts Council bursary. She can be found online at or on twitter (@clairehennessy).

Read the winning short story HERE

Sarah Byrne

Poetry Winner – 1st Prize:

“Hearing Red” by Sarah Byrne

Sarah Byrne was born in Cork and has lived in England, Germany and the United States. She holds a Masters in Criminology and currently works in the criminal justice sector in the area of Restorative Justice. She has been writing poetry since 2013 and had her first poem published in Crannóg in 2014. She was shortlisted for the Cuirt New Writing Prize 2015. She will commence a part-time MasterstoryContainers in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford in September 2015.

Read the winning poem

by Sarah Byrne

Hearing Red

The star on my army surplus bag
was borrowed from the tip of your tongue.
It hung there like a stubborn crumb of a thing
pointing out the obvious. Some years before,
I had used it to spool my wrist to a ball of thread
and I bled as you shovelled your words into my mouth,
your hand the shape of an S hook. Then that crimson
marched on without me; oiled my 11-year old cheeks
in Highgate Cemetery when I asked whether Karl Marx
was Groucho’s brother? And earlier still, that scarlet call
to tell my mother I was bleeding to death, only to reassure
her three days later, it had been a false threat. The stitches
you sewed in your stomach, plump with burgundy
Dunhill, when I said that Trotsky was killed with a toothpick.
More a smell than a shade when I pummelled my lips
with Constance Carroll; wound the liquorice thread
around my wounds. I clean up the blood left by paper cuts
that are made when you pull out words by the root.
These red presents, wrapped with ribbon, still unravel
and live in absentia at the tip, no the nib, of my tongue.

If you have any queries, please contact:
Donal Minihane
Hotel Doolin
Doolin Co. Clare