2022 Mairtín Crawford Award Winners announced

The 2022 Mairtín Crawford Award winners were announced as part of the Belfast Book Festival at the Crescent Arts Centre last month. NIPR was happy to be supporting the awards, along with CILIP Ireland and The River Mill Writing Retreat. The awards are aimed at writers working towards their first full collection of poetry, short stories, or a novel. Both published and unpublished writers were invited to submit between 3-5 poems for the poetry award, and a short story of up to 2,500 words for the short story award, with the only stipulation being that they have not yet published a full collection of poetry, short stories, or a novel.

Amy Stewart was the winner of the 2022 Mairtín Crawford Award for Short Story. Runners-up were Riley Johnston and Róisín Leggett Bohan. Also on the shortlist for the award were Colin Brown, Colette Henry & Kathryn Scott. Joint winners of the Mairtín Crawford Award for Poetry prize were Jim McElroy and Kate Bevis. Alison Binney was runner-up, with Vicky Morris and Sonya Gildea the other shortlisted nominees. The Winners of each Award will receive a cash prize and a stay at The River Mill Writing Retreat. The Runners Up for each Award also received cash prizes.

Announcement of the 2022 Mairtín Crawford award for Short Story. (Pic: Seán Corr)

Who was Mairtín Crawford? 

Mairtín Crawford was a writer and poet and who was a significant figure in Northern Ireland’s literary community.

He was born in Belfast in 1967 and educated at Rathmore Grammar School and Queen’s University Belfast. He was co-founder and editor of the radical poetry journal, The Big Spoon, the production and arts editor of Fortnight Magazine and a prominent figure of Giros Poetry Collective. Mairtín was a creative writing tutor at The Crescent for eight years, before being appointed as writer-in-residence, and in his time at the Centre, he encouraged new writers by providing ways of publication and readings for people of all ages and abilities. Mairtín was appointed Director of the Between The Lines Festival of Literature (which is now the Belfast Book Festival) and in 1993 brought Allen Ginsberg to read at the Centre. 

His own writing spanned many genres, including poetry, screenwriting, journalism and criticism. Mairtín died suddenly in 2004. In 2005 Lagan Press published his Selected Poems.

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