Irish Examiner journalist chalks up top-three place in story contest

Mark Evans

An Irish Examiner journalist has been named among the winners of the 2016 Francis MacManus Short Story Competition.

Mark Evan’s Chalk and Cheese, a tale of an elderly man who lives on a diet of cheese and Inspector Morse, came third in the short story competition.

Dubliner Chris Connolly took the top prize for his work The Speed of Light and How It Cannot Help Us, a story of a mother’s unconditional love for her son, and how far that love can be stretched before it finally reaches breaking point.

“I’m delighted to have won the competition,” said Mr Connolly.

“The Francis MacManus award has been top of my list for some time now, and having been shortlisted twice before it’s an amazing feeling to finally win it. I know from previous years how consistently high the standard of the shortlist is, and for my story to be judged as anywhere near the best is a huge validation, and extremely encouraging,” he said.

In second place is Lisa Frank’s An Spidéal Road, a story that sees a man tormented by a recent breakup travel the vast, narrow roads of Connemara to take back what’s his.

There were more than 800 entries for the 2016 competition and from these 24 stories were shortlisted.

All 24 shortlisted stories will be broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1, beginning with Chris Connolly’s winning story. The Francis MacManus Short Story Competition broadcasts begin on Monday, October 3, at 11.20pm during the Book on One slot and will continue for five weeks.

The full shortlist can be seen on the website:


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