Waterford Poetry Prize 2020

Waterford Writers Weekend is online this year owing to the current restrictions.

Thanks to everyone who entered the Waterford Poetry Prize 2020 and we are delighted to have had Colm Keegan as adjudicator this year.

Colm will announce the winners and read the winning poems on Friday 23rd October at 3.15pm on the Imagine Arts Festival website, Facebook and YouTube.

Please feel free to share https://youtu.be/4ZklvxyDjn4

Really hope that you can join us and spread the word.

The Molly Keane House is located in the seaside village of Ardmore overlooking the bay. Her daughter Virginia Keane Brownlow has made the house available for aspiring, emerging and professional writers to attend workshops, masterclasses and retreats through the Molly Keane Writers Retreats, in a nurturing and inspiring environment where Molly Keane wrote her Booker-shortlisted novel -- Good Behaviour. 

At Molly Keane's House by Thomas McCarthy

When you lift the gate and walk down the steps into Molly Keane’s house in Ardmore you know you are coming down into a creative lair, into an eagle’s nest, into a writer’s heaven. I descend into a pillow of voices, an atmosphere that is thick with the scent of white roses, with the memories of some of the loveliest days of my youth. There is old Brigadier FitzGerald before me, happy to have another lost novel of Molly’s in his hand, impatient for Molly’s signature, impatient to get down to a right good gossip about the residents of the Blackwater valley; there is Hurd Hatfield, always hovering, ready to be charming or morose (depending upon whether a visitor remembers who he is), there is Hero, yapping, sniffling in Molly’s arms. But when you enter this house it is not just the place of personal memory: it is the house as a writer’s working space, the house as workshop where the work gets done. Here is a place to come to in County Waterford if you want to attend to the writer’s task. There is light for reading, spectacular light off the sea, but there are corners for hiding in, corners of memory where the ectoplasm of a poem or a story might grow into life. This house in Ardmore will always have a special place in my heart; an ambitious place, a place where to walk down the steps is to re-emerge into a clearing in the forest of mere general ideas, to reach an atmosphere where the task of writing becomes the great task of one’s life. ‘Writing is sheer hell,’ Molly agreed with my wife Catherine one afternoon long ago, ‘but it has to be done.’ There are few writers who carried the task of writing with such grace and determination as Molly Keane. She is a beacon and exemplar to all of us who wish to complete that one thing we were born to do: to write, for ourselves if not for others.  When I walk through this house now, remembering the voices, remembering her voice most especially, I am full of the hope that a day set aside for writing brings. You will feel it all too: the tack-room, the yard, the cut flowers, the waiting pen and paper.

                                                        Thomas McCarthy

Waterford Poetry Prize 2020

           Waterford Poetry Prize 2020

The Arts Office, Waterford City & County Council is pleased to announce details of the Waterford Poetry Prize 2020.

The Waterford Poetry Prize is open to all writers currently living on the island of Ireland. The prize will be announced at the Waterford Writers Weekend in October 2020 during the Imagine Arts Festival in Waterford city.

There is no age limit and no entry fee for the Waterford Poetry Prize 2020.

The first prize is €400 plus attendance at a designated writing course at the Molly Keane Writers Retreat, Ardmore in 2021.

Second prize is €300 plus a writing course in Ardmore and third prize is €200.

The closing date for receipt of entries is 12 noon on Wednesday 16th September 2020. The judge is writer and poet Colm Keegan. The entry form and guidelines can be downloaded from www.waterfordcouncil.ie and www.waterfordarts.com or by contacting the Arts Office on 058/41416.

Writing Bursaries awarded for Ardmore Writers Retreat

Writing Bursaries awarded for Ardmore Writers Retreat

The Arts Office, Waterford City & County Council has announced the recipients of bursaries to attend the Molly Keane Writers Retreat in Ardmore, Co. Waterford.

In receipt of full bursaries are John D. Burke, Waterford City and Nicholas Lenane, Lismore. A partial bursary is awarded to Caroline Hennessy, Annestown.

These Waterford writers will be attending the outdoor based three day writing retreat ‘Stories in the Sand’ with Lani O’ Hanlon from 21st to 23rd August 2020. The Arts Office thanks everyone who took the time to make an application and wish the recipients an enjoyable and beneficial writing experience.

Molly Keane Creative Writing Award 2020


Closing date extended to May 1st.

Presentation arrangements have changed also in line with new restrictions and advice meaning the winner does  not have to attend the presentation in person.