Writers' Weekend - Competitions
Thanks to everyone who entered the Doolin Writers’ Competition. This years competition was the busiest yet with over 1200 entries across the three categories. We are delighted to share the 2018 shortlist with you. The winner in each category will be announced at the opening of Doolin Writers’ Weekend on the 2nd February and prizes will be presented by Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Sarah Davis-Goff and Lisa Coen
Winners of The Doolin Writers' Competition 2018 are as follows:
Poetry sponsored by Flogas
"Chicken Wings" written by Dawn Watson
I read God described as a bar of horizontal light,
which makes sense: solid, angular radiance and geometric dependability.
It’s an image I can feel in my teeth;
something I can get behind.
I can run my tongue along its cool, hard ridges.
I feel this way about chicken wings—but look, they’re never right.
If they have hot sauce, they’re not crisp.
If they are crisp, they have no blue cheese dip.
If they have dip, they have no celery.
I saw a woman with blue plasters on every fingertip eat chicken wings on the top deck of a London bus.
I watched her rip and fling small bones.
I almost cried, she was so determined.
Near my stop, I told her what we need is a horizontal bar of chicken wings, moulded stiff with celery, sauce and dip.
She made an O with her mouth and agreed it would have solid, angular radiance and is something she could get behind.
Flash Fiction Sponsored by Bewley's
'I Knead Fresh Meat With Old Hands' Written by Colin Walsh
They came to the door with the sudden snow, panting and ruddy-eyed beneath their rucksacks. Clapped eyes on my cottage and glowed at the authenticity of it all. Newlyweds, of course. The wife looked like me, once. She jabbered in broken English about how they got lost trying to find the place, while the husband smiled. I nodded and let them in.
By the second day, wife had exhausted what language she had and the three of us sat silently inside the clock-ticks. We frowned together through the window into the blizzards that continued to rage across the mountains. Shared smiles of stoic commiseration as they kept themselves to themselves, waiting for the weather to clear so they could move on.
It’s been four days.
Now we awkwardly shift past one another when we meet in the hallway. Our bodies glide as we pass exaggerated looks, strange gatherings of breath.
Husband burns his mouth on his tea every morning. He curses in his language. He apologises in his language. I smile at this, to show I am on his side. He finds this cute. People their age think women my age are cute. Like a toddler. Harmless as a cat with claws removed. Husband is making a cute mammy of me. He gives big moans of approval as he slurps down the stew, every lunch and dinner. He takes second helpings and I make a big show of how this pleases me. Noises of benevolent joy. This is the game people have always played.
I palpate the meat for today’s stew and pretend to think while I watch them. They play chess and pretend to read their books while they watch me. I smile. They smile. The hours run like slow caramel over the fire.
The stew is all I serve. They must be sick of it. The second day, when I poured it again, the ghost of a wrinkle flittered across wife’s mannerly face. Then she smiled and thanked me. I nodded and filled her bowl. Yesterday I was grating Parmesan into the stew when I saw her staring at Frank’s boots and jacket, which are still heaped by the door. She mumbled something to husband and husband looked over at me. When he saw that I was watching, he gave a husband grin and nodded like a simple pigeon. His grin did not crease his eyes and I grated too much Parmesan and nipped my knuckles.
All night they whispered in bed, like that made a difference. Wife went to the toilet and screamed when she saw me in the dark. Husband came into the hall in a big underpants panic but I gave him a big mammy smile. I knew they would ask me today what meat I put in the stew. And the weather is gathering itself on its hinges. And there will be more newlyweds getting lost on the mountain this afternoon. And four days is such a long time before asking. Frank would have been amazed. He would have smiled.
Short Story Sponsored by Richardsons
'Sing' written by Aoife Casby