Photo credit: In 2024 we are spotlighting all the amazing independent bookshops and booksellers in Ireland simply because we love them and we think you should too! We’ve just come back from Cúirt International Festival of Literature where we took a little detour to the much loved Galway-based institution Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop. Scroll down to look around this dream of a bookshop and find out a little bit more about them. And, as always, if you’re ever in or around Galway, be sure to pay them a visit!

Each month we update our Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities webpage, along with our Bursaries & Funding, to ensure that we are connecting our writers with the best upcoming opportunities. Here are a few deadlines we want to highlight this May:



Deadline: 3 May, 2024

gorse are interested in the potential of literature, in literature where lines between fiction, memoir and history blur (Sebald, Cendrars, Bolaño, Joyce), in experimental writing, in fiction in translation, in the unconventional and the underrecognised, in the personal essay (Sontag, Dyer). They are a literary journal equally interested in the arts (fine art, photography, architecture, film, music), in culture, in politics. They’re looking for smart writing, not academic.


Deadline: 5 May, 2024

Submissions for issue eight of Tolka are open from 17 April until 5 May. They publish all forms of non-fiction: personal essay, memoir, reportage, travel writing, auto-fiction, and “the writing that falls in between.” They have published exciting new work from some of the best writers in Ireland and they also pay their contributors a flat fee of €500.

Book display of the authors that appeared at Cúirt 2024, Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, 2024


Sean Dunne Poetry Award 2024

Deadline: 12 May, 2024

The Seán Dunne Poetry Award has been established to honor the work of the late Waterford poet Seán Dunne and his literary legacy. This inaugural Seán Dunne Poetry Award 2024 commemorates the 10th anniversary of the commencement of the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens in Tramore and will form part of the Seán Dunne Literary Weekend at the Gardens from the 28-30 June, 2024.

There is no set theme for this competition. It is open to poets, born in the island of Ireland, or of Irish nationality, or resident in Ireland.

ENTRIES must be in the English language and be the original work of the entrant and should not have been previously published in any format, online or print, self-published or paid.


5 Highly Commended Prizes of €50 each

5 Commended Prizes of €25 each.

The Moth Short Story Prize

Deadline: 30 June, 2024

The Moth Short Story Prize is an international prize, open to anyone from anywhere in the world, as long as their story is original and previously unpublished. The winners are chosen by a single judge each year, who reads the stories anonymously.

Previous judges include Ottessa Moshfegh, Kevin Barry, Mark Haddon, Ali Smith and Sarah Hall. This year’s judge is Louise Kennedy.

1st prize €3,000

2nd prize a week at Circle of Misse plus open travel stipend

3rd prize €1,000

There is a word limit of 3,000 and the entry fee is €15 per story.

A joyful and beautiful children’s book display! Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, 2024



Irish Writers Centre International Lamplight Residency 2024 (Online)

Deadline: 15 May, 2024

Co-presented by the Irish Writers Centre and Varuna, The National Writers’ House, Australia, this online programme is a two-week residency opportunity for fiction writers to enjoy the combined warmth and support of both organisations.

This two week online residency includes:

  • Two one-to-one consultations with Mary Anne Butler and Conor Kostick to discuss your current work
  • Q&A session with a multi-award winning Irish writer TBC
  • Q&A session with bestselling and award-winning Australian author Charlotte Wood
  • Daily writing opportunities together as a group
  • Group workshops with your peers throughout the week, including the opportunity to share work, talk about the writing process, and to receive feedback

Programme dates: Monday the 8 July – Friday 19 July

Across six separate rooms, this shop is stacked from floor to ceiling with books! Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, 2024



Sparánachtaí Cúrsaí do Scríbhneoirí Gaeilge 2024

Deadline: 8 May, 2024

Tá áthas ar Áras Scríbhneoirí na hÉireann a fhógairt go bhfuil sparánachtaí nua dá gcúrsaí ar fáil do scríbhneoirí Gaeilge, agus iad á maoiniú ag Foras na Gaeilge. Tá 8 sparánachtaí ar fáil sa bhabhta seo. Cuirfidh na sparánachtaí seo ar chumasscríbhneoirí a gcuid scileanna a fhorbairt agus iad ag freastal ar chúrsaí sa scríbhneoireacht chruthaitheach agus cúrsaí forbartha gairme ó Áras Scríbhneoirí na hÉireann. Cabhróidh fordheontas do na cúrsaí seo le daoine nach mbeadh ar a gcumas freastal orthu gan an maoiniú sin. Gheobhaidh scríbhneoirí creidmheas an chúrsa ar luach €165 le freastal ar chúrsa de chuid ÁSÉ.

Irish Writers Centre Course Bursaries

Deadline: 8 May, 2024

The Irish Writers Centre is pleased to announce a new round of course bursaries for writers living on the island of Ireland, made possible with support from the Arts Council of Ireland. These bursaries will enable writers to develop their skills through funded places at Irish Writers Centre creative writing courses, and create access by subsidising costs to individuals who may not otherwise be able to take a course.

15 bursaries will be awarded to writers from backgrounds typically underrepresented in Irish Literature. Bursary recipients will receive course credit worth €165 towards a course at the IWC.

Development Programmes

Foundation Programme 2024

Deadline: 15 May, 2024

The Irish Writers Centre in association with Dublin Book Festival is delighted to invite applications to the Foundation Programme, a collaborative programme designed for six emerging writers who are resident in the Dublin City Council area and who are also from a background typically underrepresented in the arts in Ireland.

This programme includes:

  • A one-to-one session with the programme writer-mentor.
  • A place on an Irish Writers Centre creative writing course.
  • Foundation Day: An in-person day of talks by industry professionals at the Irish Writers Centre.
  • A performance opportunity at Dublin Book Festival in November 2024

Shopfront, Charlie Bryne’s Bookshop 2024

About Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop

Charlie Byrne’s has expanded over the years in the Cornstore and now occupies 6 separate rooms and houses a stock of over 100,000 books on every conceivable subject and has become one of the most cherished retail and cultural spaces in the city.

Located in the heart of Galway city, Charlie Byrne’s flagship shop on Middle Street (beside Milano Restaurant) is just around the corner from Shop Street, the city’s main pedestrian thoroughfare. Middle Street runs parallel to Shop Street, so our location couldn’t be more central: we’re easy to find, and our shop is a stone’s throw away from Galway’s Latin Quarter, as well as lots of the city’s great pubs, hotels, and other attractions.

Please get in touch with Administrative Assistant Emily O’Brien 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.