Wicklow man Alan McCormick, a writer originally born in Kenya, and having relocated to Wicklow via England has just won 2nd prize for his entry into RTÉ’s 2022 Short Story competition with his entry ‘Fire Starter’. The RTÉ short story writing competition was established in 1986 and has been a major launching pad for new and emerging writers in the country ever since.
Fellow authors and judging panel for the Awards, Lisa McInerney, Ferdia MacAnna and Éilis Ní Dhuibhne selected ‘Firestarter’ from a pool of 1,700 entries. ‘Big Why, Little Why’ by Brendan Killeen took first prize in the copetition.
Commenting on this year’s RTÉ Short Story Competition, series producer Sarah Binchy said: “It was a great pleasure to work with our judges and a superb cast of actors on this year’s selection of shortlisted and prizewinning stories and –for the first time in a few years — to gather in person with our Arena colleagues for a fine celebration of these writers’ work. As far as I know, this is the most generous prize fund currently available for an annual Irish short story competition — interested writers, take note! also
McCormick suffered from a long-term illness in the late 1980s and 1990s. ‘I tried healing, and, though I wasn’t religious I used to sometimes go to a Quaker Retreat’ he tells us and although he kept these experiences private at the time, he feels that these may have contributed to the work he now creates. “I started writing after the Millennium but thought about doing it the century before. When writing I look for humour in dark places and humanity in unlikely guises (some not human).
The father of three has also worked as a hospital porter, nurse, political researcher and actor aswell as being InterAct Stroke support’s first writer in residence.
I’ve also enjoyed collaborated with the illustrator Jonny Voss, on Dumpsters and Scumsters a series of strange stories for curious children and unusual adults.’ The illustrated stories DUMPSTERS, a collaborative project with the artist Jonny Voss, are based on objects found on the streets of Walthamstow last summer.
Monty Modlyn, a recent memoir piece, can be read in A Wild and Precious Life – A Recovery Anthology edited by Lily Dunn and Zoe Gilbert.
Alan McCormick’s stories have appeared in the Bridport Prize Anthology, Matter and Aesthetica. His work can also be viewed on the net at Pulp, 3:AM, Nthposition, Tales of the Decongested and Dogmatika. You can view more of his work here
You can enjoy all of the winning stories here