MCA23 Short Story Winner reading 

2024 marks the 8th year of the Mairtín Crawford Award for Poetry and the 7th year of the Short Story Award, and each year the Awards are growing in popularity. 

Mairtín Crawford was a significant figure in Northern Ireland's literary community.  He encouraged new writers by providing ways of publication and reading for people of all ages and abilities. This ethos is still very much instilled today, as we hope that the Awards will provide an opportunity for writer’s to submit their work, to support the literary community, and provide a platform for progression. 

The long-term aim of the Awards is to support writers, nurturing relationships that enable underrepresented writers to thrive, build on the confidence garnered as a result of their awards, and develop careers. 

Since 2017, the Awards have created a platform for writers. Many of the previous winners and shortlisted entrants over the past 6 years have gone on to secure publishing contracts and win notable competitions.  


Are you thinking about entering? Never entered a writing competition before? Have questions about entering? 

We invited Winner of the Poetry Award 2019 Phoebe Walker and Short Story Runner Up 2020 Chris Wright to share their experience of entering Awards and how life has changed since they were placed. 

Phoebe Walker - Poetry Award Winner 2019. Click here to read the full article about Phoebe's experience. 

...I liked that the awards give you the opportunity to enter not just one but a selection of poems, as a kind of portfolio. I often worry that a single poem its own isn’t equal to the burden of being judged, so the opportunity to present a slice of your poetry, to show style and theme a little more expansively, is a welcome one.


Chris Wright - Short Story Runner Up 2020. Click here to read the full article about his experience. the stories are judged blind, you have as good a chance as anyone else. It’s a level playing field & for that reason, it is worth entering alone.

Stay in the loop with The Belfast Book Festival

Be the first to hear about upcoming events, courses and workshops. Sign up to our mailing list today

join the Belfast Book Festival on facebook join the Belfast book Festival on twitter