Hanna Greally Literary Awards

– including the Ger Hanily Memorial Cup –

This year's Hanna Greally Literary Awards carry a total prize fund of €400, with €200 each for overall winners in the poetry and prose/short story categories.

Entries are limited to one per person but may consist of any of the writing disciplines of prose, poetry, short story.

The closing date for entries is Friday, 22 September 2023.

Winners will be announced at SiarScéal Festival Celebration 2023, which takes place on Saturday,  21 October at Roscommon County Library, Abbey Street, Roscommon Town.

Competition Rules of Entry

How to Enter

Entries may be submitted by post or online. All entries must be received no later than 5pm on Friday, 22 September 2023.

The address for postal entries is SiarScéal Festival Committee, c/o Roscommon County Council, Library Services, Abbey Street, Roscommon, Ireland

Online entries may be sent to the e-mail address of siarsceal@live.ie or by using the online form below

Previous Awards

Full details of previous competitions are available from the archive section of our website.

A selection of entries, representing the cream of the first five years of the awards, was published in 2012, in the form of an anthology entitled Roscommon in Reflection. It is available to buy online, along with other SiarScéal publications.

A further anthology, Centenary in Reflection, was published in 2016 and is also available to buy online along with other publications.

The most recent anthology, Beneath Western Skies was published in 2022.

Background to the Hanna Greally Literary Awards

Hanna Greally (also known as Johanna or Joan Greally) was born in Athlone in 1925. At the age of nineteen, she was committed to St. Loman's psychiatric hospital in Mullingar, where she was detained, against her will for almost 20 years. Despite several escape attempts and numerous letters to her relatives to claim her out, Hanna remained in St. Loman's until 1962.

She spent some time in rehabilitation and re-training in Coolamber House, before working as a cook and housekeeper in Ireland and in England. In 1971, Hanna saw the publication in Ireland of Bird Nest Soup, her moving first-person account of life inside Ireland's psychiatric hospitals in the 1940s and 1950s. In the early 1970s, she came to live in Fourmilehouse, Roscommon, where she spent most of the remainder of her days after the 'Big House'.

She was a regular contributor to the Roscommon Champion, writing letters, poems and other autobiographical pieces for the paper. Hanna Greally died on August 15, 1987. The Hanna Greally International Literary Awards were inaugurated on the 20th anniversary of her death and have been held every year since.

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