The 2020 Fingal Poetry Prize

Following on from the success of Poetry at the Mills, Fingal’s annual poetry event based at Skerries Mills, we are delighted to announce the Fingal Poetry Prize, which will be adjudicated by esteemed poet and writer Mary O’Donnell

The winner and short-listed poets will be invited to read during the inaugural Fingal Poetry Festival, which is due to take place over the weekend of September 4th to 6th, 2020).   Details will be available on our website.

Should Covid-19 restrictions still be in place at that time, we are planning an alternative, online version.  The show must go on!

Prize:  1st 500.00 euro, 2nd 300.00, 200.00 with five additional shortlisted/highly commended entrants receiving a reading of their poem at the festival and a reader’s fee of 100.00 euro. The Fingal Poetry Prize competition is kindly sponsored by DHL.


1:         Entry fee is €6 per poem. You may enter as many poems as you like. Entries open on May 8th and close on Tuesday, June 30th, 2020. Payment must be made on

2:         Poems must not exceed 40 lines and be the original work of a living writer.

3:         Poems must be in English and must not have been previously published, self-published, broadcast or awarded, or have appeared anywhere online.

4:         All poems must be typed clearly on one side of an A4 page only.

The name of the author of the poems must not appear on the poems themselves.

5:         Details of Entry

All entries must be submitted, on one continues document, as an attachment to with the title: Competition Submission as your Subject Header.
Word or PDF attachments only – but we strongly advise PDF to preserve the
formatting of your poems.
In the body of the mail please enter:
a) Your name and contact details
b) The title of each poem you are submitting
c) The total number of poems you are submitting and total fee paid.
d) Your PayPal ID (usually your email address under which you are signed up to PayPal): poems will not be accepted without this. Payment must be made on

 6:        No alterations may be made to poems once they have been submitted.

7:         Poems will not be returned.

8:         The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

9:         Copyright of the winning poems will remain with their authors but Fingal Poetry Festival reserves the right to arrange first publication or broadcast for the purposes of the festival.

10:       We will email you to acknowledge receipt and payment of your entry.

            Please make sure to check your spam or junk folder.

11:       Successful poets will be notified in advance of the festival dates in September.

12:       We would like you to visit Skerries, so it is a condition of entry that if you are an award winner and/or shortlisted, you will join us for the award ceremony due to take place during the inaugural Fingal Poetry Festival over the weekend of September 4th – 6th 2020.   If Covid-19 restrictions are still in place however, we will instead ask you to record yourself reading your poem for an alternative online version of the festival to be broadcast during the above dates.

Our Judge for 2020

Poet and fiction-writer Mary O’Donnell is recognized as a leading figure in the generation of Irish women writers who began publishing in the 1980s and 1990s; her work is often cited as key in expanding the horizons of Ireland’s traditionally male-dominated literary world. O’Donnell has published numerous collections of poetry, including Reading the Sunflowers in September (1990) and Spiderwoman’s Third Avenue Rhapsody (1993), both nominated for an Irish Times Literature Award. Her other books of poetry include Unlegendary Heroes (1998), The Ark Builders (2009) and Those April Fevers (2015). Her new collection of poetry Massacre of the Birds will be published by Salmon in October 2020. Her fiction includes the novels The Light-Makers (1992 & 2018), The Elysium Testament (1999), and Where They Lie (2014). She has also published works of short fiction, including Strong Pagans (1991), Storm over Belfast (2008) and Empire (2018). She has received numerous awards including prizes from the Fish International Short Story Competition, the VS Pritchett Short Story Competition, and the Cardiff International Poetry Competition. She is a member of the Irish artists affiliation, Aosdána.

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