The Allingham Writing Competitions are designed to recognise and reward talented writers who, following in the footsteps of William Allingham, seek to launch or further their careers. The Allingham Festival includes competitions for adult writers of poetry and flash fiction, and also for children. The Festival also offers readings and workshops led by nationally-recognised literary figures where aspiring authors can meet, share ideas, and discuss the emerging trends in the world of writing and publishing.

Writers with a lyric flair should also take note of the Allingham Songwriting Competition. In addition to his skills as a writer and editor, William Allingham was also a fine fiddler.




·      First prize in each category is €300. The winner in the Flash Fiction competition will receive the Jim Keane Short Story Trophy, and the winner in the Poetry category will receive the Allingham Poetry Trophy.

·      Winners and runners-up will receive free admission to all Allingham Festival events, and will be invited to read their work at the Allingham Festival.

·      A shortlist and longlist of entries will be published on the website in early October; the winners and runners-up will be informed of the judges' decisions in mid-October.

·      International entries are welcome.



·      All entries must be the original work of the entrant. Entrants must be 18 years old or older on or before 9 November 2017.

·      Entries must not have been published elsewhere (online, digital, or print) before 9 November 2017.

·      Winners of 2015 or 2016 Allingham Poetry or Flash Fiction competitions are not eligible to re-enter in 2017.

·      All entries must be written in English.

·      Entries must be typed. Handwritten entries will not be considered.

·      Entries can be submitted by email or by post. The deadline for receipt of postal entries is Friday, September 8, 2017. For email entries, the deadline is extended to midnight, Sunday 17th of September.

·      Each entrant may submit up to 5 poems, maximum 40 lines per poem.

·      Each entrant may submit up to 5 flash fiction pieces, maximum 800 words each.

·      Judges' decisions are final. No correspondence will be entered into regarding the shortlist or the winners. Entries will not be returned.



·      Submit online entries as doc, docx, or pdf files. Each entry – each poem or flash fiction piece – must be submitted in a separate file. Postal entries must be typed or printed on A4 pages.

·      Flash Fiction pieces must be submitted in 12 point Arial or Times New Roman font, with 2 cm margins on A4 page(s). Use 1.5 or double-spacing. Include title of entry and page number(s) on all pages. 800 words maximum.

·      Poetry formatting, including spacing, is at the discretion of the author. Include title of entry and page number(s) on all pages. 40 lines maximum.

·      Each entry must include an application form. For online entries, the entry form serves as an application form. For postal entries, print an application form and include it with your entry.

·      Include the title of your story or poem and its page number(s) on all pages, but not your name or any other personal details. Personal information must appear only on the application form.

You can download the application form here: Allingham Flash Fiction/Poetry Application Form



·      The entry fee is €5 for 1 entry, €8 for 2, €12 for 3, €15 for 4, €17 for 5.

·      Poetry and flash fiction competitions are separate, and entries to the two competitions must be made separately. Example: if you wish to submit one piece of flash fiction and three poems, fill out an entry form for the flash fiction and submit the entry along with the fee. Fill out a separate entry form for the three poems and send the form and the three poems along with the fee.

·      Poems and flash fiction pieces must be submitted in separate emails or in separate envelopes.


Postal Entries


Post entries, cover letter and postal order or cheque to:


Allingham Poetry Competition


Allingham Flash Fiction Competition,

A Novel Idea,

Castle Street,


Co Donegal.


In your cover note list:

- The number of entries submitted

- The title of each entry

- Your name

- Postal address

- Email address

- Contact phone number


Cheques should be made payable to "Allingham Festival".




Paul Lynch is this year's Allingham Flash Fiction Competition judge. Paul is the prize-winning author of GRACE, THE BLACK SNOW and RED SKY IN MORNING. He won the French booksellers’ prize Prix Libr’à Nous for Best Foreign Novel and was a finalist for the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (Best Foreign Book Prize). He won the Prix des Lecteurs Privat, and was nominated for France’s Prix Femina, the Prix du Premier Roman (First Novel Prize) and the Prix du Roman Fnac (Fnac Novel Prize)as well as being shortlisted at Ireland’s Bord Gais Irish Books of the Year. In the US, both his novels were books of the month and he was selected by Barnes and Noble for the Discover Great New Writers series. Paul was born in Limerick in 1977, grew up in Co. Donegal, and lives in Dublin with his wife and daughter. He was the chief film critic of Ireland’s Sunday Tribune newspaper from 2007 to 2011, when the newspaper folded. He has written for many Irish newspapers and has written regularly for The Sunday Times on film.

Moya Cannon will judge this year's Allingham Poetry Competition. Moya is the author of five collections of poems, the most recent being  Keats Lives (2015, Carcanet Press, Manchester). She was born in Dunfanaghy, County Donegal, spent most of her adult life in Galway and now lives in Dublin. She studied History and Politics at University College, Dublin, and International Relations at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.  Her work sings of deep connections— the impulse to ritual and pattern that, across centuries, defines us a human, a web of interdependences that sustain the ‘gratuitous beauty’ of the planet. A winner of the Brendan Behan and Lawrence O Shaughnessy awards, she has edited Poetry Ireland Review and was 2011 Heimbold Professor of Irish Studies at Villanova University.  Her Collected Poems will be published by Carcanet Press in 2018.

Monica Corish, filter judge for the Allingham Poetry and Flash Fiction Competitions, is a Kinlough-based poet. She won the 2013 North-West Words Poetry Prize and has been awarded literature bursaries by the Arts Council, Leitrim Arts Office and ADAI. Her short story Sepia is included in the Hennessy Book of Irish Fiction 2005-2015. Her first collection of poetry, Slow Mysteries, was published by Doghouse Books; her second collection, Gleanings, by the Leitrim Arts Office in June 2015. Her third collection, A Dying Language (2016), was published by the Irish Hospice Association.