The Allingham Festival Poetry & Flash Fiction competitions invite new work from emerging talent around the country and abroad. The winners will receive a prize of €300 in each category along with their award, and will be invited to read their work at our Literary Lunch event on Saturday November 9th in Ballyshannon.

This year’s judges will have their work cut out for them, from shortlisting dozens of entries in each category, to selecting the winners. In the Poetry category, we have two well-known and award-winning Donegal poets, Denise Blake and Annemarie Ní Churreáin. Annemarie will also host this year’s Wild Atlantic Writers session in the Dicey Reilly’s pub on November 8th as part of Allingham 2019. For the Flash Fiction competition, Jo Holmwood and Brian Leyden have the arduous task of identifying this year’s top stories. Read more about our judges below the fold.

There’s still time to enter, as the deadline is September 26th. To enter, upload your work here:

Annemarie Ní Churreáin is a writer and poet from northwest Donegal who now lives in Dublin. In 2016 she was awarded a Next Generation Artists Award by President Michael D. Higgins on behalf of the Arts Council of Ireland. Annemarie has also received literary awards from Jack Kerouac House (Orlando), Akademie Schloss Solitude (Germany) and Hawthornden Castle (Scotland). She is a co-founder of the Upstart Arts Collective and a panelist on the Writers In Irish Prisons Scheme. Annemarie's debut poetry collection 'BLOODROOT (published by Doire Press 2017) was shortlisted for the Shine Strong Award for best first collection in Ireland in 2017. Annemarie will also host this year’s Wild Atlantic Writers session in Dicey Reilly’s pub, Ballyshannon, at 4pm on Friday November 8th as part of Allingham 2019.

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Brian Leyden is an Irish writer from Arigna, County Roscommon and currently living in County Sligo. He has published the best selling memoir The Home Place, the short story collection Departures, and the novel Death and Plenty. He won the RTÉ Radio 1 Francis MacManus Award in 1988 for The Last Mining Village. He has written extensively about his home area for RTÉ's Sunday Miscellany and the Doc on One: No Meadows in Manhattan, Even the Walls Were Sweatin’ , The Closing of the Gaiety Cinema in Carrick-on-Shannon and Practical Rooms and Pre-Fabs. He co-wrote the original screenplay for the feature film Black Ice, which premiered at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2013.

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Denise Blake’s third collection, Invocation was published by Revival Press, Limerick Writers Centre. Her poem, And They All Lived Happily, was part of Poetry Ireland’s Poetry Day ‘19 promotion. She is a regular contributor to Sunday Miscellany RTE Radio 1. Denise facilitates creative writing workshops.


Jo Holmwood writes fiction and plays. She has published in The Stinging Fly and The Cormorant and also published a collection of stories, Under the one roof, as part of the Spark residency in Leitrim, funded by the Arts Council. In 2016, she won Highly Commended from the prestigious Bridport Prize. She has also be shortlisted for the Bristol, Fish and Ms Lexia short story awards.


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