Derry’s Phil Cunningham scoops Irish short story award

Phil Cunningham.
Phil Cunningham.

Derry man Phil Cunningham has won the best story prize in an annual competition run by ‘Ireland’s Own’ magazine.

The popular grandfather from Pennyburn scooped first prize for his short story, “Someday Soon”.

Phil’s story will now feature in the ‘Ireland’s Own 2018 Anthology of Irish Winning Short Stories’ which features thirty-nine stories selected from more than five hundred entries.

Phil’s tale features Paudraig who is now middle aged and the last of his family left living on Arranmore Island.

He is growing weary of the lonely life and his thoughts often stray to Julia, a childhood friend whom he had grown very fond of when they sat beside each other at school.

“Ireland’s Own”, which has been published since 1902, has been acclaimed for its role in fostering new and inexperienced writers.

The short story form has long been hugely popular in Ireland which has produced many of its finest exponents: Liam O’Flaherty, Mary Lavin, Maeve Brennan and Frank O’Connor, to name but a few.

Phil Murphy, editor, ‘Ireland’s Own 2018 Anthology of Short Stories’ said: “These short story and memoir winners are among many thousands of writers in Ireland and abroad whose immense talent deserves a big platform and a word-wide audience”.

Phil Cunningham is already an author of some renown, publishing a series of acclaimed memoirs about growing up in Derry.