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Kevin Doyle Named Winner of the McLaverty Award

07 December 2016


Kevin Doyle is Named Winner of the Linen Hall Library 2016 Michael McLaverty Short Story Award

Cork resident Kevin Doyle was today announced as the winner of the prestigious Michael McLaverty Short Story Award. Doyle received a cheque for £2,000, and his story ‘Lake Disappointment’ has been published in a limited-edition anthology entitled Lake Disappointment and Other Stories which is available to purchase exclusively in the Library.

The two runners-up are Ciarán Folan and Sinéad Slattery, whose stories ‘A Parting Gift’ and ‘First Snow’ respectively, are also published in the anthology (pictured above l-r: Ciarán Folan, Sinéad Slattery and Kevin Doyle).

After being announced as the winner, Kevin Doyle said: “I’m really shocked, and so delighted. To be honoured here with this prize is the best thing that’s happened for me. I’m deeply honoured.”

The competition was adjudicated by Patsy Horton, Managing Editor of Northern Ireland’s Blackstaff Press, and multi award-winning writer David Park (The Big Snow, The Truth Commissioner, Gods and Angels).

Patsy Horton said: “Prizes like the Michael McLaverty Short Story Award are a fantastic opportunity for writers to gain recognition and profile for their writing. I've been delighted to be associated with the award this year and to see the very many ways in which writers chose to tackle the theme of 'Lost Fields'. There were a good number of common threads among the stories, not least of all a focus on the land and inter-generational conflict around inheritance, legacies and tradition. Not surprisingly, emigration, as both loss and redemption, also featured strongly. There is something of this idea in the winning piece, but Kevin Doyle gives it a deeper, richer, more mysterious resonance in a story that takes the reader all the way to Western Australia and the vast unending salt plain of Lake Disappointment.”

David Park said: “Michael McLaverty left us a rich and enduring literary legacy. It was both a pleasure and a challenge to be involved with this year’s competition, and the large number of entries bears witness to our enduring love of the short story – a genre in which McLaverty excelled. In his own lifetime Michael McLaverty fostered many younger writers, and I hope that this competition, held in his honour, continues to foster and encourage writing across this island.”

Linen Hall Librarian Samantha McCombe said: “Many of the past winners of the McLaverty Award have gone on to further their writing careers and profiles in what is an exceptionally competitive market. Winning the award is acknowledgement of the writers’ ability from those with years of industry experience and success. This serves as vital encouragement to continue producing.”

Michael McLaverty (1904 – 1992) was one of the foremost proponents of the Irish short story. His archive was donated to the Library by the Literary Executors of Michael McLaverty in 2005. The McLaverty Short Story Award has run biennially since 2006.

Lake Disappointment and Other Stories (£5) is available to purchase exclusively in the Linen Hall Library.

The inaugural competition in 2006 was won by Patrick O’Hanlon. Subsequent winners of the award have gone on to publish further works. Aiden O’Reilly (2008) has published Greetings, Hero; Michele Forbes (2010) has published the acclaimed debut novel Ghost Moth; Mandy Taggart (2012) has published The Man of the House; and Annemarie Neary (2014) has published Siren and a story in the anthology The Glass Shore which recently won the 2016 Best Irish Published Book of the Year in The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards.

Winner and Runners-up Biographies


Kevin Doyle resides in Cork. His stories have been published in Ireland, the UK, the USA and in Australia. His work has been included in anthologies such as The Hennessy Book of Irish Fiction 2005 – 15 and Pulse Fiction. Do you Like Oranges?, a set of stories exploring repression, won Best Short Story Anthology in Ireland’s inaugural awards for independent authors – the CAP Awards. He teaches creative writing in the community sector and recently completed a novel set in Cork.

Runners up:

Ciarán Folan has had stories published in New Irish Writing, The Dublin Review, The London Magazine and Litro online. He has won RTÉ’s Guide/Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition and the Short Story of the Year Award. He was also longlisted for the 2016 Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition. He is the author of the short story collection Freak Nights (New Island).

Sinéad Slattery was born outside Downpatrick, Co. Down, and moved to North Belfast shortly after. She attended St. Mary’s University College where she qualified as a primary school teacher. Sinéad moved to Dublin in 1972 and taught children with special needs. She is also a traditional singer and has recorded an LP of Ulster songs: The Flower of Magherally (Sinéad Caher). Married with four adult sons, Sinéad has now retired from teaching and travels widely. She is an avid reader, mainly of fiction, and has written a number of short stories and a children’s book. 

Pictures and interviews are available on request. Contact Linen Hall Library Digital and Marketing Comms Specialist Rachel Wetherall at or Tel: 028 9032 1707.