The winners of the inaugural Dock/ Reading Room Short Story Competition came into our performance space in December and we recorded them reading from their winning stories. We are delighted to present them here in podcast form for you all to enjoy.
Winner Neil Tully; The Road was Full of Mud
The Road Was Full of Mud was inspired by the west of Ireland countryside on commutes to Boyle and the idea that common ground can almost always be found in the bigger picture, however deep our differences may seem.
Runner up: Louise Cole; When the Tide Turns
Louise's story was inspired by a walk on the beach at Strandhill in County Sligo, where she often spends time observing people. One day, she watched a woman who had her eye on a group of teenagers, and this story emerged after she let my imagination loose with what if…?"
Runner up: Donal Conaty; A Man Does Nothing Meets No One
Donal's story draws on a general tendency he has in his writing to explore the deterioration of the self in the world we live in. Given that these are discomfiting, dislocating times, in which even the most self-assured among us might experience doubt, it flowed readily from this competition’s prompt about 2020 being a year which has focused our attention to what is at the core of who we are.
Neil Tully is from the west of Ireland and has been twice shortlisted for New Roscommon Writer of the Year. He was the inaugural recipient of the Roscommon Writer Mentorship Bursary and has been published in The Honest Ulsterman and elsewhere. He is currently working on a short story collection and is beginning an MA in creative writing at UL next year.
County Roscommon-based writer Louise G Cole won the Hennessy Literary Award for Emerging Poetry in 2018 and subsequently had a Dublin pub re-named in her honour. She was shortlisted for a First Fiction Hennessy Award in 2015. In 2019 she was selected by UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy for publication of a poetry pamphlet, ‘Soft Touch’ in the Laureate’s Choice series. Louise also won the New Roscommon Writing Award in 2019, and for several years has had poetry and short stories published in anthologies, newspapers and literary magazines in Ireland and the UK. Louise is a qualified adult education tutor and, COVID restrictions notwithstanding, runs two creative writing groups in County Mayo.
Donal Conaty is a poet and fiction writer based in Sligo. His poems – short, sardonic verses called Splinters – have been published in The Cormorant and Pendemic and were displayed as a visual installation in the Yeats Building in Sligo in 2019. His satirical novel, The Eighty-Five Billion Euro Man, was published by Y Books in 2011.