the moth

The Moth Short Story Prize is sponsored by the arts & literature magazine The Moth, recently described

by the novelist David Mitchell as ‘a beautiful creature’.


The competition has become a fixture on the international writing calendar, and this year the first and

second prizes have increased to €3,000 ($4,186) and €1,000 ($1,395). There is also a very attractive

third prize of a week-long writing retreat at Circle of Misse in France. The Circle of Misse house rests

on the banks of the Thouet River (‘thouet’ being the ancient Gallic word for ‘tranquil’), a tributary of

the Loire. Circle of Misse will also kindly pay €250 ($348) towards travel expenses.


This year’s competition will be judged by Mike McCormack, a recipient of the Rooney Prize for Irish

Literature whose debut short story collection was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His

novel Notes from a Coma was shortlisted for the Irish Book of the Year Award and was described in

the Irish Times as ‘the greatest Irish novel of the decade just ended’.

‘The novel is open-hearted and generous, accommodating all sorts of foolishness

and time-wasting, rather like life itself. The short story has no patience with that,

it’s much more surgical, lending itself to a more difficult proposition that says: right

son, you are on your own. The novel will tell you that being human you are among

other people, whereas the short story seems to say, you are only fooling yourself. It

measures itself out in a few thousand words for that very reason.’

Mike McCormack in an interview with The Spectator

The prize is open to everyone, as long as the work is original and previously unpublished. There is a

6,000 word limit. The entry fee is €9 ($12.50) and you can enter as many stories as you like.

The closing date for the competition is 30 June 2014.


The three winning stories will feature in the autumn 2014 issue of The Moth and the winners will be

invited to read at a special event at the Winding Stair Bookshop in Dublin in September 2014.

For details of how to enter the competition go to, email enquiries@ or call 00 353 49 4362677.