Only a few days left to submit your entries!

Only a few days left to submit your entries!

Send in your entries to our first-ever Bloomsday creative writing competition in English, organised by The Irish Embassy, in collaboration with Athens Insider, open to writers of all ages and nationalities. Bloomsday is marked around the world as a celebration of James Joyce, of course, but also as a celebration of Irish literature, modernist writing and creativity. All entries must tell a story beginning and ending in one single day. By popular demand, we have extended the entry date to 11 am on 10 June.

©Hammer Museum

June 16th is Bloomsday, a celebration of the life and work of Irish writer James Joyce, one of the most important writers of the 20th Century. Joyce’s most famous book is “Ulysses”, a seminal work of modernist literature. Although the book is notoriously complex, the story is simple: it is that of one day, 16 June 1904, in the life of the central character, Leopold Bloom. 16 June 1904 was significant for Joyce as it was the day he went on his first date with Nora Barnacle, who later became his wife; nobody knows, when they wake up each morning, how important a day might become… “Ulysses” has a special connection with Greece. The events of the book loosely parallel the major sequences in Homer’s “Odyssey”.The premise, like that of “Ulysses”, is straightforward: all entries must tell a story beginning and ending in one single day.

Judges: A panel of distinguished writers and poets will judge the winning entry, including  Theo Dorgan, the Irish poet, novelist, prose writer, documentary screenwriter, editor, translator and broadcaster with a longstanding connection to and affinity with Greece, and Haris Vlavianos, the Greek poet, academic, editor and translator (including of the Irish poet Michael Longley) and Sofka Zinovieff, best-selling author, whose books consistently feature in ‘essential reading for Greece’ lists.

Judging process: All entries have been painstakingly anonymised by the Irish Embassy and saved as documents with numbered names, based on date of receipt. The judges will therefore not know whose work they are reading. We are keeping spreadsheets with the authors’ names and the number allocated to their entries.

Prizes: The winning story will be published by Athens Insider online and in its print edition in June.We have succeeded in securing some fantastic prizes, namely:


  • Optima, which owns Kerrygold in Greece, has given us €1,000 to be split into three cash prizes (one for each category, €500, €300 and €200 respectively);
  • Aegean Airlines is giving us a pair of return flights from Greece to Ireland (or vice versa);
  • The Benaki Museum’s recently-opened Patrick & Joan Leigh Fermor Housemanaged by by Aria Hotels in Kardamyli has given us a two-night stay for a couple;
  • Attica Park has given us an annual pass for a family of four (for the U. 13 age group);
  • Pelion Homes has given us a two-night stay for a couple or a family (for the 13-18 age group); and
  • As runner-up prizes, we have afternoon tea at the Grande Bretagne Hotel, and vouchers for the James JoyceO’Connell’sand Molly Malone’s Irish pubs (all of which also do meals).

Competition rules: 

  • Three categories, with the following word counts:
    • Under 13 Years: 300 words
    • 13-18 Years: 500 words
    • Over 18 Years: 1,500 words
  • Entries exceeding the word count may be disqualified.
  • Stories must be written in English.
  • Entries must be original and previously unpublished.
  • Writers may be of any nationality, living anywhere in the world.
  • Entries must be emailed as word documents (Calibri font, size 12, double spaced) to by 11:00 Wednesday 10 June 2020.
  • Late entries will not be accepted.
  • The decision of the judges will be final.

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