And the winners are...


The Power of Words Festival

In Association with Hilliard Press
Short Story Competition

We wish to thank EVERYONE who entered our recent Short Story Competition
Each winning author will: -
- Have their story included in The Power of Words Festival Anthology, to be launched at the 2021 Power of Words Festival.
- Receive FIVE copies of the Festival Anthology.
- Have the opportunity to come and read their work to an invited audience over the course of the 2021 Festival weekend.
- A small, locally-crafted, memento of our Festival.

But First! A little about Hilliard Press: -
Hilliard Press is the academic publishing division of the Hilliard Institute for Education Wellness active in Ireland, England, and the United States, and will publish the first Power of Words Abbeyleix Anthology in 2021. The Hilliard Institute is non-profit corporation offering sensory education programing, experiential teaching and learning, and academic research and publishing while supporting philanthropic initiatives.

Hilliard Press has its roots in an art and design college university press begun in 2002. Its purpose is to explore and share the art of the written and illustrated word. Authors and illustrators are carefully selected for the quality of their work based upon the highest academic standards.
http://hilliardinstitute.com
http://hilliardinstitute.com/hilliard-press

We are delighted to be associated with Hilliard Press. We are also delighted to be associated with
our Judge, renowned Laois-born author, Andrea Carter, who had the very difficult task of selecting
just ten stories from the wide variety of entries received. We wish to thank Andrea for the work
involved in choosing the stories she did.

A few words from our Judge, Andrea Carter: -
‘It was a privilege to be asked to judge The Power of Words Festival Short Story Competition, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading each one of the entries. The stories were brilliantly varied, with everything from the traditional Irish family tale to comedy, science fiction and horror. Choosing ten for publication was not an easy task.
In the end I looked for originality, a strong voice, and a good command of story. The entries which won out were those which held my attention with memorable characters and setting, a good sense of pace and vivid language, and created a fully believable world in just a few pages. 
The authors of all of the chosen stories show real ability as writers and I look forward to seeing them in print!’

So, without further ado, and in no particular order, we are very pleased to announce the ten winning stories of our 2020 Short Story Competition.

 ‘Final Curtain’
Written by Helen O’Leary

 ‘A Love Supreme’
Written by Patrick Olwill

 ‘The Daffodils and Christopher Columbus’
Written by Siobhan Flynn

 ‘In Full Pursuit’
Written by Jillian Godsil

 ‘Going Home’
Written by Mary Hanrahan

 ‘Father Tom’
Written by John Geoghegan

 ‘What Goes Around’
Written by Katy White

 ‘The Turf Cutter’
Written by Johnny Thompson

 ‘Early Riser’
Written by Laura-Blaise McDowell

 ‘Rebecca’
Written by Rachel Nolan


Congratulations to each and every one of you! And commiserations to those whose stories didn’t make the final ten.
We will be in contact with each of the winning authors over the coming days.

Best regards,
The Power of Words Festival Team

“There's no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you"
― Maya Angelou