Saturday, 22nd September 2018
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RtÉ Radio 1 Invites Submissions For Short Story Competition 2018

RTÉ Radio 1 is accepting short story submissions from today for one of Ireland’s longest established and most significant literary prizes, the RTÉ Radio 1 Short Story Competition in honour of Francis MacManus.

The top prize is €3,000, writers of the second and third placed stories will receive €2,000 and €1,000 each.

All three top prizewinners plus seven other shortlisted entrants will have their stories produced for national broadcast in a two-week season of new writing on RTÉ Radio 1 in the Autumn, voiced by some of Ireland’s most talented actors of the stage and screen.

Closing date is Friday June 8th and the shortlist and winners will be announced by the end of September.

The RTÉ Radio 1 Short Story Competition has been a critically important launch pad for new and emerging writers since its inception in 1986, with a wide ranging appeal including young aspiring authors in Ireland.

A competition for original short stories for radio was first established in 1986 in honour of the RTÉ Radio head of features, and acclaimed novelist, Francis MacManus (1909-1965). Since then, it has been a source of encouragement and recognition for new, emerging writers as well as established names. Past winners have gone on to receive national and international acclaim, including Claire Keegan, Molly McCloskey, Ivy Bannister, Anthony Glavin and Nuala O’Connor.

Judging the entries this year are writer and former finalist in the competition, Danielle McLaughlin (above); RTÉ’s Arts and Media correspondent and author Sinéad Crowley; (above rght) ) and books and arts publicist, Cormac Kinsella (above left).

On becoming a judge for the competition, Sinéad said: 'Reading a well written short story is one of the most satisfying experiences a reader can have and I was thrilled and honored to be asked to judge a prize as prestigious as this one. I'm also a keen listener to audio books and am very much looking forward to having these entries accompany me on my commute. To be a Francis MacManus finalist is a huge achievementn for any writer and I can't wait to see what the competition has in store for us this year.’

Speaking this morning on his return as a judge, Cormac Kinsella said, 'I’m honoured to be asked back to judge this great award. I was so impressed by the range and quality of the stories in 2015 – it was very difficult to pick a winner. The judging process was also incredibly rewarding and I’m really looking forward to discussing this year’s stories with Danielle and Sinead – both very different writers that I really admire. Awards can be a great stepping stone in any writer’s life and I’m delighted to play a part in the process.’

This year, not only can you hear the winning short story and runners up on RTÉ Radio 1’s Book on One slot and download them as podcasts, you can also read the short stories as they will be published on http://www.TheJournal.ie following broadcast.

For all details on how to enter, see rte.ie/writing.

Author Arnaldur Indriddason : Published by Harvill Secker : Price 14.99

It is wartime in Iceland and the country is inundated with soldiers from Britain and America and the formerly sleepy country is having a hard time adjusting to the fact. In particular the police are having a difficult time in keeping the peace on the streets with so many men having very little to do to occupy themselves other than drinking and chasing women. There is only one detective on the force called Flovent and he is finding it hard to keep up with all of his duties.

When the body of a man called Eyvinndur is found in a basement flat murdered Flovent knows that he is out of his depth but is willing to go ahead and investigate the case to the best of his ability. At first the case gets off to a rocky start as the flat that the man is found in is not his and the body is thought to be of someone else. In the end though they manage to find out the real identity of the man when his boss comes to identify the body. Also Flovent is thrown a bit of a lifeline when an allied officer is seconded to help him with the case. Thorson is Canadian-Icelandic and is one of the few, if any, of the outsiders who can speak the language.

The allies aren't being entirely altruistic however as they feel there might be a spy situation with the case as they know that Churchill is coming to visit Iceland soon and are afraid that any news of the visit might leak somehow. They have these fears because in a suitcase found at the scene was a German manufactured cyanide capsule. Both the man that died and the man whose flat it was were travelling salesmen and also happened to know each other from their schooldays.

In fact it is their schooldays that holds part of the secret as to why the murder took place in the manner that it did.

Meanwhile both Flovent and Thorson are working away feverishly trying to track down the killer and also try to unearth the reason why the man was murdered.

It turns out that the man whose flat it was was helping his father, a half German doctor, carry out experiments on certain classmates of his.

The father was interested in Nazi ideology about genetics and was carrying out experiments on his son's friends, helped by a nurse who worked at the local school.

While the doctor and the nurse gave up their nazi leanings the son never did and it only helps bolster the theory that he was and is a German spy.

Added to this is the fact that he is a travelling salesman roaming all over the countryside and having a good excuse to go place of interest to the German military.

The novel keeps you gripped from beginning to end and is an easy, fluid read.

A great second edition to Indridasson's 'Shadow District' series.

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