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Thursday, October 30, 2014

2014 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year: THE WINNERS

The fiction winner is Rachael Hegarty from Dublin for her short story 'Betty'. Rachael receives a cash prize of €300 and her short story manuscript will be read by Doire Press.

The poetry winner and 2014 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year is Ruth Quinlan, Galway for her poems 'The Passing', 'Home for the Holidays', and 'Painted Lady'. Ruth receives a cash prize of €700; her poetry manuscript will be read by Salmon Poetry; and she will be a Featured Reader at an Over The Edge: Open Reading during the first half of 2015. Ruth also receives a basket of books from Kenny’s Bookshop.

Highly commended in Poetry:
Maurice Devitt for ‘The Man at the Shop’
Victoria Kennefick for ‘Shanagarry’, ‘Lighthouse’, & ‘Writer's Retreat’
Angela Carr for ‘Bone Yard’, ‘CAT Scan’, ‘July, a Storm’  

Highly commended in Fiction:
Rory Duffy for ‘Young Robbins Don't Have Red Breasts’
Edel Burke for ‘Fractured’
Averil Meehan for ‘Chapter One’

You can read the shortlist here.

We thank our judge Eleanor Hooker and our sponsors: Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop; ISupply Quay Street; Ward’s Hotel; Derek  Nolan TD; Clare Daly TD; and Kenny’s Bookshop & Gallery.

2015 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year to be judged by Dave Lordan NOW TAKING ONLINE PAYMENTS

2015 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year competition



Major sponsor Charlie Byrne's Bookshop

Other sponsors to date:

Closing date: Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

If you make your payment online before midnight on August 5th, we will accept your entry. And we will accept all entries postmarked August 5th or earlier, even if they arrive after that date. Extracts from novels absolutely accepted. As well, of course, as short stories and poems.

In 2015 Over The Edge is continuing its exciting annual international creative writing competition. Since its inception in 2007, it has grown to become one of the most important competition’s for emerging writers in Ireland and internationally. The competition is open to both poets and fiction writers worldwide. The total prize money is €1,000. The best fiction entry will win €300. The best poetry entry will win €300. One of these will then be chosen as the overall winner and will receive an additional €400, giving the overall winner total prize money of €700 and the title Over The Edge New Writer of The Year 2015. The 2015 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year will be a Featured Reader at Ireland’s leading literary reading series, the Over The Edge: Open Readings in Galway City Library, on a date to be scheduled in Winter 2015/16. Salmon Poetry will read, without commitment to publish, a manuscript submitted to them by the winner in the poetry category. Doire Press will read, without commitment to publish, a manuscript of short stories submitted to them by the winner in the fiction category. The overall winner will receive a hamper of books for the famous Kenny’s Bookshop of Galway, Ireland.The winner in the poetry category will have one of the poems from her or his winning entry published in the Spring 2016 issue of Skylight47 magazine.

Entries should be sent to Over The Edge, New Writer of the Year competition, 3 Carbry Road, Newcastle, Galway, Ireland. Entries will be judged anonymously, so do not put your name on your poem(s) or stories. Put your contact details on a separate sheet. If you live in Ireland and wish to be informed of the results by post, please enclose a stamped addressed envelope. OTHERWISE, YOU DO NOT NEED TO ENCLOSE A STAMPED ADDRESSED ENVELOPE. Criteria: fiction of up to three thousand words, three poems of up to forty lines, or one poem of up to one hundred lines. Any of the aforementioned is one entry. Multiple entries are acceptable but each must be accompanied by a fee. 

The fee for one entry is €10. The fee for multiple entries is €7.50 per entry e.g. two entries will cost €15, three entries €22.50 and so on. Fee payable by cheque or  money order to Over The Edge. The competition is open to writers worldwide. We accept payment in Dollars, Sterling, Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars and so on. Writers from outside the Euro area can calculate the payment for their entry here WE ALSO NOW ACCEPT ONLINE PAYMENTS. See the below for details. If you pay the entry fee online you must still post us a hard copy of your entry/entries and enclose with it a note saying ‘entry fee paid online’. PLEASE INCLUDE THE EXACT NAME IN WHICH THE ONLINE PAYMENT HAS BEEN MADE SO THAT WE CAN VERIFY.

To take part you must be at least sixteen years old by September 1st 2014 and not have a book published or accepted for publication in the genre in which you enter. Chapbooks/ pamphlets excepted. Entries must not have been previously published or be currently entered in any other competition. The closing date is Wednesday, August 5th, 2015. A long-list will be announced at the August Over The Edge: Open Reading in Galway City Library on Thursday, August 27th, 2015 (6.30-8pm). THE LONGLIST WILL BE AVAILABLE, BEFORE THAT, AT CHARLIE BYRNE’S BOOKSHOP FROM 5PM ON THURSDAY AUGUST 27TH.  The shortlist will be announced at the September Over The Edge: Open Reading in Galway City Library on Thursday, September 24th, 2015 (6.30-8pm). The winners will be announced at the October Over The Edge: Open Reading in Galway City Library on Thursday, October 29th, 2015 (6.30-8pm).

Dave Lordan is the judge for the 2015 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year. Dave is the first writer to win Ireland’s three national prizes for young poets. He is a former holder of the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary Award, the Kavanagh Award, and the Strong Award. His collections of poetry are The Boy in the Ring (Salmon, 2007); Invitation to a Sacrifice (Salmon, 2010) and Lost Tribe of The Wicklow Mountains (Salmon, 2014).  In 2013 Wurm Press published The First Book of Frags, a collection of Dave’s short fiction. He is a renowned performer of his own work, which the Irish Times called ‘as brilliant on the page as is in performance’, and has read his work by invitation at festivals and venues across Europe and North America.  His poems are regularly broadcast on Irish national radio and he is a contributing editor for Irish literary magazine, The Stinging Fly. He is a founding member and editor of experimental and cross-genre arts journal He blogs on poetry and creativity at 

The judge for 2016 Over The Edge New Writer of the Year will be Niamh Boyce.

The judge for 2017 Over The Edge New Writer of the Year will be Nicki Griffin.


Competition payments

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October Over The Edge Open Reading with Harry Browne, Henry McDonald & PJ Moore PLUS the announcement of the winners of the 2014 Over The Edge New Writer of the Year

Harry Browne, Henry McDonald & PJ Moore for October Over The Edge: Open Reading PLUS the announcement of the winners of the 2014 Over The Edge New Writer of the Year

The October ‘Over The Edge: Open Reading’ takes place in Galway City Library on Thursday, October 30th, 6.30-8.00pm. The Featured Readers are PJ Moore, Henry McDonald & Harry Browne. This is a special Over The Edge event in that all three featured writers primarily write non-fiction. There will as usual be an open-mic after the Featured Readers have finished. This month’s open-mic will showcase, among others, some of the poetry students from this year’s MA in Writing at NUI Galway.  The evening will also see the announcement of the winners in this year’s Over The Edge New Writer of The Year competition, which received a large number of entries again this year. This year’s competition judge is Eleanor Hooker. 

Harry Browne is the author The Frontman: Bono (In the Name of Power), a critical study of Bono’s extra-musical activities. In it, he criticises the singer's support for global capitalism and US militarism. Harry Browne’s journalism has appeared in CounterPunch, the Irish Times, Village magazine, the Sunday Times, Irish Daily Mail, Evening Herald, Sunday Tribune, Sunday Business Post and The Dubliner. He has made numerous appearances as a guest on radio and television programmes, served on the steering committee of the Irish Anti-War Movement in 2003-04 and is a member of Gaza Action Ireland. He has been a consulting editor on the multicultural newspaper Metro Eireann. Born in Italy in 1963, he grew up in the United States with activist parents: his mother, Flavia Alaya, is a historic-preservationist who has also campaigned for rights for immigrant detainees; his father, Henry J Browne (who died in 1980), was a radical priest in New York City.

Henry McDonald's childhood and teenage years were dominated by the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Growing up in the Markets - a working-class Catholic district of central Belfast - he witnessed IRA men and British soldiers being shot down outside his door. His home was smashed up by the British troops on Internment Day in 1971, then bombed by loyalist terrorists four years later. But despite being caught up in the maelstrom of incipient civil war, McDonald managed escape his background. He is now the Ireland correspondent of The Guardian newspaper and the author of several books, including Colours: Ireland - From Bombs to Boom and INLA - Deadly Divisions, which he co-authored with the now deceased Jack Holland. Henry also writes fiction. 
Henry McDonald
PJ Moore is an actor and writer currently living in Galway. Having previously taken a creative writing class with Susan Millar DuMars and a poetry workshop with Kevin Higgins, PJ is now the author of the no nonsense book of humorously given financial advice, offering financial freedom on a shoestring for all, 'The Justified Tight B****rd's Guide To Life' which is available online at and from all good bookshops. The book includes well over 300 witty money saving tips, written by an ordinary man for the ordinary man and woman. Copies will be on sale on the evening. 

As usual there will be an open-mic after the Featured Readers have finished. This month’s open-mic will feature, among others, some of the poetry students from the MA in Writing at NUI Galway.  New readers are always especially welcome. The MC for the evening will be Susan Millar DuMars. For further details phone 087-6431748.

Over The Edge acknowledges the ongoing generous financial support of Galway City Council, Poetry Ireland, & The Arts Council.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Madeleine D’Arcy Featured Reader & Judge at Sixth Annual Over The Edge Fiction Slam at The Kitchen @ The Museum

Madeleine D'Arcy 

After the event’s huge success in the past five years, Over The Edge presents its sixth annual fiction slam with Featured Reader, Madeleine D’Arcy, at The Kitchen @ The Museum, Spanish, Galway on Friday, October 17th, 8pm.

Madeleine D’Arcy was born in Ireland and later spent thirteen years in the UK. She worked as a criminal legal aid solicitor and as a legal editor in London before returning to Cork City in 1999 with her husband and son. She began to write short stories in 2005. In 2010, she received the Hennessy Literary Award for First Fiction and the overall Hennessy Literary Award for New Irish Writer. Her work has also been short-listed and commended in many other competitions. Madeleine has been awarded bursaries by the Arts Council of Ireland and by Cork City Council. She is currently a scholarship student on the inaugural MA in Creative Writing at University College Cork. Her short film ‘Dog Pound’ featuring the distinguished Irish actor Frank Kelly, is now available on Youtube. WAITING FOR THE BULLET, Madeleine’s debut collection of short fiction, was published by Doire Press in April 2014.

The first twelve fiction writers to make it to The Kitchen @ The Museum on the evening of Friday, October 17th and register will be guaranteed a place in the slam. All participating writers should bring two pieces of their own fiction, as there are two rounds. The time limit in both rounds is five minutes. Extracts from longer stories are admissible. Stories do not have to be memorised. The Fiction Slam will be judged by a three person jury made up of two audience members and Madeleine D’Arcy. Three writers will go through to the second round and the prize for the winner is a bottle of wine.

There is no entrance fee. All welcome. For further information contact 087-6431748.

Over The Edge acknowledges the ongoing generous financial support of the Arts Council, Poetry Ireland and Galway City Council.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Over The Edge Offers Poets Worldwide Online Poetry Workshop with Kevin Higgins STARTING FEBRUARY 2015

Starting in early February, Over The Edge is offering aspiring poets worldwide a ten week online poetry workshop with poet Kevin Higgins, whose best-selling first collection, The Boy With No Face, published by Salmon Poetry, was short-listed for the 2006 Strong Award for Best First Collection by an Irish poet. Kevin’s second collection of poems, Time Gentlemen, Please, was published in 2008 by Salmon Poetry and his poetry is discussed in The Cambridge Introduction to Modern Irish Poetry. His third collection Frightening New Furniture was published in 2010 by Salmon and his work also appears in the generation defining anthology Identity Parade –New British and Irish Poets (Ed. Roddy Lumsden, Bloodaxe, 2010) and in The Hundred Years’ War: modern war poems (Ed. Neil Astley, Bloodaxe, April 2014). A collection of Kevin’s essays and book reviews, Mentioning The War, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2012. Kevin’s poetry has been translated into Greek, Spanish, Turkish, Italian, Japanese &Portuguese. His most recent collection of poetry, The Ghost in The Lobby, was published in February 2014, also by Salmon.

 workshop facilitator Kevin Higgins

Each of the ten weeks Kevin will email participants a poetry writing exercise for the following week and participants will submit one of their poems to Kevin for constructive criticism. Kevin will work with participants on making each of their poems the best possible poem it can be.

Kevin is a highly experienced workshop facilitator and several of his students have gone on to achieve publication success. He has facilitated poetry workshops at Galway Arts Centre for the past ten years. One of his workshop participants at won the prestigious Hennessy Award for New Irish Poetry, two have won the CĂșirt New Writing Prize, and another the CĂșirt Poetry Grand Slam, while several have published collections of their poems with reputable publishers.

Kevin also teaches poetry on the NUI Galway Summer School programme and mentors poetry students on the NUIG BA Creative Writing Connect programme .Kevin is co-organiser of the successful Over The Edge: Open Reading series which specialises in promoting new writers.

The workshop will run for ten weeks, commencing Wednesday February 4th, 2015. The cost to participants is €110. There are no refunds. The workshop will be conducted in English only.