In summary, forty submissions were received for the Irish Imbas: Celtic Mythology Short Story competition this year and the standard was far more diverse in terms of submission quality than for any of the previous competitions. As always, some submissions were of very high quality but quite a number this year really weren’t at a level quite ready for publication in that they needed significant review and editing. To be fair, this reflects the experience of the writers – some who are clearly at an early stage of their writing career. With some additional polish, there are some genuine gems there.
Again, this year, despite the changes to our criteria, we also received a number of what I’d call ‘ghost stories’ or ‘fantasy stories’ – stories that were actually very good but which related to issues and topics we don’t really deal with. That situation very much reflects one of the biggest problems Irish Imbas faces in trying to achieve its goals – the confusion of fantasy and mythology.
Most people have been raised with a kind of ‘Disneyfied’ understanding of what mythology’ is all about and commercial interests have been fostering that for the fantasy market for several decades. As a result, this isn’t a surprise but again we’ll have to change how we do things in the future to make that even clearer.
But enough of that. Here’s the short-list for the Celtic Mythology Short Story Competition 2017.
- Homecoming by Damien J. Howard
- Moireach by Donna Rutherford
- The Ancient Ash by Margaret McCarthy
- The Ford of The Fork by Will O’Siorain
- The Shadow of the Crow by Jerry W. Vandal
- The Quest of Oscar and Plor na mBan by Aoife Osborne
So What Happens Next?
Those authors who made the short-list will be looked at again for minor editing where needed before they’re sent onto the judges for final consideration. Four judges will then consider them (where I’ll have one vote out of the four). Last year, this had quite a big impact on the final outcome in that only three of the five stories I’d thought were going to be in the final publication actually made the final cut.
The winning authors and those being published in the final Celtic Mythology Collection will be announced around the beginning of March 2018.
Congratulations to all those who made the list and the best of luck. I’d also like to thank those of you who made the effort to submit but who didn’t make the shortlist. I can’t contact you all individually but several of you have excellent stories that I believe another publisher would snap up.
It’s with some pride and some relief that we released the first in our proposed set of Irish Imbas: Celtic Mythology Collection books this week. For those of you not familiar with the intent, this is an anthology of fiction and non-fiction writing that collates winning submissions from the Celtic Mythology Short Story Competition, all based on different elements of the Celtic mythology.
This book is slightly different from most of the Irish/Celtic mythology books out there in that it also provides a contextual explanation of the cultural elements used in each story. It’s pretty much the first in what we see as a series of books that will attempt to debunk the huge volume of misinformation out there on the web relating to Celtic mythology.
And, there really is a hell of a lot!
The Irish Imbas Celtic Mythology Collection can be downloaded for free either on this website or through your favourite ebookstore. A complete list of where you can download can be found here.
We’re very proud of this work and delighted at the stories submitted by each of the authors (Sighle Meehan, Sheelagh Russell Brown, Marc McEntegart, Corla Atkinson and Marie Gethins). We genuinely hope you enjoy reading this volume as much as we enjoyed producing it.
We’re pleased to announce the short-list of submissions for the 2016 Celtic Mythology Short Story Competition. Please note that submissions are listed in alphabetical order and a final decision on the winners has yet to be made:
‘A King’s Fancy’ ‘ by Ann Rhodes
‘ A Mainsland Mansie Meur’ by Sheelagh Russell-Brown
‘Hawthorne Close ‘ by Sighle Meehan
‘In a small Pond ‘ by Marc McEntegart
‘Letting Go’ by Alison Walker
‘Lir’ by Coral Atkinson
‘Muse’ by Catriona Murphy
‘Oisin and the Hunt ‘ by Nicola Cassidy
‘Tara and The Yoke ‘ by Emlyn Boyle
‘The Great Birds of High Imbolc ‘ by Derek Fennell
‘The Seafarer and the Lord of Inis Mean ‘ by Mairead Rooney
‘Transit Hours‘ by Marie Gethins
‘Wondres Spelle‘ by Rina Bruinsma
The winning entrants will be contacted by email in the next week or two. A final decision on the stories to appear in the 2016 Irish Imbas Celtic Mythology Collection will be made by the end of January.
We’d like to thank those of you who entered this competition but did not make the short list. Having entered several such competitions ourselves in the past, we’re aware of the disappointment that can accompany such outcomes. As a result, the judges have decided to offer all entrants a complimentary digital copy of the final collection as a ‘thank you’ for taking the time to submit.
Update to Competition conditions:
Although it was originally envisaged to place the top 9-10 stories in 2016 Irish Imbas Celtic Mythology Collection, this number is now likely be reduced to 5-9 stories. This is to allow sufficient room for explanatory notes etc.