Photo description: In 2024 we are spotlighting all the amazing independent bookshops and booksellers on the island of Ireland simply because we love them and we think you should too! No Alibis is an independent bookstore located on Botanic Avenue, a brief walk away from Queens University in Belfast. More than simply a bookstore, it is a community hub offering concerts, book launches, poetry readings and lectures.  Scroll down to find out more about this Belfast institution. 

Each month we update our Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities webpage, along with our Bursaries & Funding, to ensure we are connecting our writers with the best upcoming opportunities. Here are some of the highlights coming this month with some notable opportunities including the Literature Project Award from the Arts Council, The Patrick Kavanagh Prize, our own Evolution programme and the Kilkenny County Council Arts Programme.


Poetry Ireland Introductions / Céadlínte 2024

Deadline: 5 July, 2024

Applications are now open for Poetry Ireland Introductions / Céadlínte 2024, offering poets in the early stages of their careers (currently living in Ireland), the opportunity to showcase their work through workshops and performance. Those selected will participate in a workshop focused on poetic form and craft, a masterclass on the art of reading and performing poetry in public and a third workshop on shaping and maintaining your day-to-day practice as a poet.

Cill Rialaig Residencies (Irish Writers Centre)

Deadline: 10 July, 2024

Escape your day-to-day life and spend 10 days writing in Cill Rialaig, locally known as “the edge of the world. Seven writers will be awarded with a ten-day residency in  Cill Rialaig from Friday 4 October- Monday 14 October 2024 (leaving Cill Rialaig on 14 October). The residencies are all-inclusive.

Evolution Programme 2024-2025 (Irish Writers Centre)

Deadline: 17 July, 2024

Evolution is a six-month programme that provides support for ten published (1 or 2 books) writers at a crucial point in their careers. The selected writers can pick from a suite of supports and collaborate with like-minded writers.

The suite of supports includes:

One-to-one mentoring/clinics (creative and professional)
Monthly peer-to-peer forums
Irish Writers Centre courses
Irish Writers Centre membership
Opportunity to be on a paid teaching residency with the School of English and Creative Arts at the University of Galway.

The programme takes place from October 2024 to March 2025. This programme is not full-time and is largely self-scheduled to fit around participants’ other commitments.


The Stony Thursday Poetry Book

Deadline: 22 July, 2024

The Stony Thursday Book is seeking submissions from local, national and international poets for its next issue, to be published in Autumn/Winter 2024. Each poet should submit up to 3 poems. This year’s Editor of the Stony Thursday Poetry Book is poet and writer Victoria Kennefick.

The Storms Issue 4

Deadline: 4th August 2024

The Storms is a print journal of poetry, prose and visual art. This issue’s theme is Dublin Days; from city to shore and across the sea. 

The Paris Review

Deadline: 31 July 2024

Poets! Get your submissions in! The Paris Review accepts unsolicited submissions of prose in February, June, and October and unsolicited submissions of poetry in January, April, July, and October via Submittable, until our capacity is reached.

Impossible Archetype

Deadline: 1 August, 2024

Impossible Archetype is the international online journal of LGBTQ+ poetry edited by Mark Ward and it is looking for poetry that is striking, beautiful and musical. It is a journal not afraid of form – send us your villanelles, sonnets, and sestinas – neither is it afraid of unusual formatting or experimental work.

Amid the vast & varied selection of books in No Alibis, Belfast, from Jamal Mahjour to Hari Kunzru, Lucy Caldwell and Julia Armfield, we spotted Exile, by Aimée Walsh, one of our Evolution awardees 2023-24



The Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition

Deadline: 31 July, 2024

The Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition is an annual short story competition open to writers from around the world. It is dedicated to one of Ireland’s most accomplished story writers and theorists and sponsored by the Munster Literature Centre. The competition is open to original, unpublished and unbroadcast short stories in the English language of 3,000 words or fewer.

The Patrick Kavanagh Award

Deadline: 1st August, 2024

The Patrick Kavanagh Award is for emerging poets currently living in Ireland or with Irish heritage. The winner receives €2,000 in recognition of their achievement.

The Waterford Poetry Prize

Deadline: 14 August, 2024

The Waterford Poetry Prize is open to all writers currently living on the island of Ireland. This prize has emerged from the influence of the late Waterford writer Seán Dunne whose poetry continues to inspire. The winners of the Waterford Poetry Prize 2024 will be announced at the closing event of the Waterford Writers Weekend on Sunday 27th October 2024. The judge is writer and poet Colm Keegan. First prize is €400 plus attendance at a designated writing course under the auspices of the Molly Keane Writers Retreat, Ardmore in 2025.


The Rhizone Residency

Deadline: 16 July, 2024

Kilkenny County Council Arts Office invites applications from artists across all art forms who have a clear passion for nature and the environment, for artists curious about how the impact of biodiversity loss and the climate crisis is likely to impact the arts and culture in Ireland. It includes a 10-day residency and an artist’s fee of €2,000.

The Literature Project Award, The Arts Council 

Deadline: 25 July, 2024

The Arts Council introduced the Literature Project Award in recognition of the changing landscape for literary work in Ireland. The award supports Irish language literature and English-language literature or a combination of both. Maximum awarded: €30,000.

Kilkenny County Council Public Arts Programme 2024

Deadline: 5 Sept, 2024

Kilkenny County Council are are seeking up to five artist-led projects which should seek to challenge, engage and innovate, through meaningful dialogue, research and engagement with communities. The commissions will be awarded on the basis of an open, two-stage competition. There are five commissions available under the programme; two commissions up to €115,000 each, two commissions up to €75,000 each and one commission up to €40,000

No Alibis, pictured above, have been selling books since 1997 in the Queen’s Quarter of Belfast. They are a general bookshop with a particular interest in children’s books, Irish literature, history and politics, the humanities, mystery fiction and also rare books. As a venue for literary gigs and concerts, the shop has hosted local greats and international bestsellers – including James Ellroy, Liz Nugent, John Connolly, Tess Gerritsen, Jo Nesbø and Kathy Reichs. In October 2017, No Alibis helped set up Noireland International Crime Festival Belfast, a three-day celebration of crime writing, the festival enabled a fascinating conversation between Irish talent and internationally renowned writers on all aspects of Noir and the impact Ireland has had upon the genre. Their latest adventure is the No Alibis Press, a small publishing company with a big shouty attitude. Its mission is to find extraordinary novels with a strong voice that aren’t afraid to be themselves, get them suited and booted and unleash them on the book-devouring public.

No Alibis, can be found at 83 Botanic Avenue, Belfast BT7 1JL.

Please get in touch with Damien at if your organisation has a competition, submission, bursary or funding opportunity for writers that you would like us to include in our monthly round-up blog post.

Each year, the Irish Writers Centre runs up to 20 free and exciting programmes to support writers’ development. Carrying out it’s work on an all-island basis, the Irish Writers Centre offers a range of support schemes, residency opportunities, mentoring, and other development programmes. View more opportunities for writers here.

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