Doire Press kindly thanks its competition sponsors, Senator Fidelma Healy Eames, Mayor Sally-Ann Flanagan and Clodoiri Lurgan Teo (

A big THANK YOU to our judges, James Martyn and Alan McMonagle, who were very thorough and conscientious in making their decisions. Thank you also to all the writers who participated in our first competition and helping to make it a success.

James said in his email that every writer in the short lists of ten should be highly commended. I agree. That said, congratulations to the following:

(Note: scroll past the winners to see judges’ comments on winning entries.)


1st Place: Caroline Healy (Belfast)

2nd Place: Rosie L. Seymour (UK)

3rd Place: Niall O’Sioradain (Dun Laoghaire)

Highly Commended:

Aileen Armstrong (Galway)

Deirdre McClay (Donegal)


1st Place: Jacqueline Loring (Massachusettes)

2nd Place: Josh Ekroy (London)

3rd Place: Angela Carr (Dublin)

Highly Commended:

Stephanie Conn (Antrim)

Jo Hemmant (UK)

“I chose ‘I Am Eight’ as the winner as I straight away entered into and enjoyed its ominous atmosphere and lively voice. There is an attempt at inventiveness here, the language is so playful, at times the phrasing is vivid and memorable. It is a fully formed story. It ends where it should.”

-- Alan McMonagle, author of Liar, Liar (Wordsonthestreet Press).

“The winning poet managed to keep a 'concentration of emotion' through all the poems submitted. I'm presuming it is a female poet(though maybe not?) dealing, day by day, with an ongoing family situation. The pacing, line construction and 'love' which flows from the pieces is very impressive and speaks of a 'lived' experience.” 

-- James Martyn, author of Shedding Skin (Arlen House).