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We are delighted to announce that the shortlist, runner-ups, and winners of the 2021 Awards have now been announced. Click here to see the shortlisted and placed entrants. 

The Mairtín Crawford Awards are aimed at writers working towards their first full collection of poetry, short stories, or a novel. Both published and unpublished writers are invited to submit between 3-5 poems for the poetry award, and a short story of up to 2,500 words for the short story award, with the only stipulation being that they have not yet published a full collection of poetry, short stories, or a novel.

The Winners of each Award will receive a Cash Prize of £1,000 and a 5-night stay at The River Mill Writing Retreat.

The 2 Runners Up for each Award will receive a cash prize of £250.

Our thanks go to NIPR, the National Collection of Northern Ireland Publications, for their contribution to the Cash Prizes, and to The River Mill for their generous support.

Who was Mairtín Crawford? 

Mairtín Crawford was a writer and poet and who was a significant figure in Northern Ireland's literary community. “Mairtín wrote as he lived, with a combination of intelligence and daring, revolutionary spirit and generosity of heart.” Moyra Donaldson

He was born in Belfast in 1967 and educated at Rathmore Grammar School and Queen’s University Belfast. He was co-founder and editor of the radical poetry journal, The Big Spoon, the production and arts editor of Fortnight Magazine and a prominent figure of Giros Poetry Collective. Mairtín was a creative writing tutor at The Crescent for eight years, before being appointed as writer-in-residence, and in his time at the Centre, he encouraged new writers by providing ways of publication and readings for people of all ages and abilities. Mairtín was appointed Director of the Between The Lines Festival of Literature (which is now the Belfast Book Festival) and in 1993 brought Allen Ginsberg to read at the Centre. 

His own writing spanned many genres, including poetry, screenwriting, journalism and criticism. Mairtín died suddenly in 2004. In 2005 Lagan Press published his Selected Poems. 

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