"Really good stories like these . . .don't read like they were written. They read like they simply grew on the page." Joseph O'Connor (previous judge of the Fish Short Story Prize)
On this page there is a selection of stories, flash fiction, poems and memoirs published in previous Fish Anthologies. This widely acclaimed anthology, published annually since 1994, contains the winning stories from the Fish Short Story Prize. Since 2009 The short stories have been joined by the winners of the Fish Poetry Prize, the Fish Flash Fiction Prize and, more recently, the Fish Short Memoir Prize.
The contents of the Fish Anthologies have been selected by well known writers and poets (Previous Judges)
Writers who have entered our Writing Contests online will know that they can read their own short stories online by going to their author pages.
Enjoy the read!
Short Stories to Read online from Fish Anthologies
by Linda Heuring
was the winning short story in the Fish Short Story prize and was published in The Fish Anthology 2012
In sixth grade Linda Heuring wrote, directed, and starred in a play performed for the entire school, unleashing a need to tell people things. Much to her family’s relief, she took to the pen, and a career as a journalist and fiction writer has kept her somewhat quiet. She’s crashed an attack helicopter in a $10 million US Army flight simulator and walked wire on a towboat on the Ohio River, both before breakfast, though not on the same day. Her short stories are in Rosebud, The First Line, Southern Women’s Review and elsewhere, and her nonfiction has been circulating the wire and feature services for years. She lives outside Chicago.
Read online: Roommates
by Mary O'Donnell
was the winning short story in the Fish Short Story prize and was published in The Fish Anthology 2011
Mary is a fiction-writer and poet who teaches creative writing in Maynooth University’s School of English. Her first novel ‘The Light-Makers’ was named the Sunday Tribune’s Best New Irish Novel in 1992. Since then published fiction includes the novels ‘Virgin and the Boy’, ‘The Elysium Testament’ (Trident Press, 1999), and more recently a collection of stories, ‘Storm over Belfast’ (New Island Books). She has also published six collections of poetry. A member of Aosdana, she lives near Straffan Co. Kildare. www.maryodonnell.com
Read online: The Space Between Louis and Me
by Bernadette M. Smyth
Sightseeing in Louth was published in The Fish Anthology 2010
This is the second story Bernadette has had published in The Fish Anthology - in 2009 she won the Fish One-Page Prize with In The Car. She was also a runner up in the People's College short story competition 2009. She is a member of Dundalk Writers Group, and is currently obsessed with short stories.
Read online: Sightseeing in Louth
by Ian Wild
Ten Pint Ted was the winning story in The Fish Anthology 2009 - Ten Pint Ted and Other Stories and Poems.
Ian is a writer and composer from Enniskean, Co. Cork. His publication and broadcast work include Way Out West - a comedy series about the English community in west Cork for RTE Radio One: The Great Moodini and Other Stories - 20 childeren's stories also broadcast on RTE's Radio One. He is best known for a number of highly successful musical comedies: The Pirates in Short Pants, Marco Polo's Toilet Brush and Spagetti Western. He has a collection of short stories published by Fish: The Woman who Swallowed The Book of Kells and also a volume of poetry entitled Intercourse With Cacti (Bradshaw Books).
From 2003-2006 he was workshop leader at the Munster Literature Centre.
Read online: Ten Pint Ted
A Paper Heart is Beating, A Paper Boat Sets Sail - Kathleen Murray, Dublin
Dancing on Canvey - Lane Ashfeldt, London
Gilt - Orlaith O'Sullivan, Madeira
Honeysuckle and Cat's Piss - Ewan Gault, Tokyo
Words from a Glass Bubble - Vanessa Gebbie, Sussex
Rush Of Water - Merryn Glover, Perth (Scotland)
Luz - Martin H. Bott, Zurich
Waking the Princess - Carys Davies, Lancaster
Rookie of the Year - Paul Byall, Savannah, Georgia
Man in Ultramarine Pajamas Lily Mabura, Nairobi
The Caravan - Janey Runci, Victoria, Australia
by Selma Dabbagh
Aubergine is from The 2004 Anthology Spoonface & Other Stories
Anglo Palestinian. A life spent between Europe and the Middle East. A lawyer in a marble-clad concrete building in a Gulf Kingdom. Lives Plan B. 'This is the first publication of fiction. Plan A is that it won't be the last."
Read online: Aubergine
by Andrew Lloyd-Jones
Feathers & Cigarettes was the winning story in The 2003 Anthology Feathers and Cigarettes & Other Stories
So there was this bloke on the bus the other day, and he was writing down all this stuff, and me and Sarah were all like, what are you writing, and he said he was writing this story or something. And we said, so are you a writer then, and he said, I've written a few things, and he said he'd like won the Canongate Prize and been in the Bridport Prize collection or whatever. And then he said he was in advertising, and he started talking about how he was writing a novel now, and Sarah looked all serious and said, I think that's really interesting, and then we both pissed ourselves because he thought we actually cared. How sad is that? I think he said his name was like, Andrew or something?
Read online: Feathers and Cigarettes
by Áine Greaney
The Drop Outs is from The 2002 Anthology Franklin's Grace and Other Stories.
Born and brought up on a remote farm in Co. Mayo, Ireland, Áine moved to the U.S. in 1986. After living in upstate NY, where she completed a Master’s in English, she now lives and writes in Newburyport, Massachusetts.
Read online: The Drop Outs
by Maureen E. O'Neill
Asylum 1928 was the winning story in The 2001 Anthology Asylum 1928 and Other Stories.
She was born in Washington, D.C.
She graduated magna cum laude with
a B.A. in English Literature from
Cornell University and earned a
J.D. from the University of Chicago.
She practiced corporate and securities
law in Philadelphia until the birth
of her first child in 1985.
O'Neill's short stories have appeared in The Literary Review and Web del Sol and she was a finalist in The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction (2000 Nimrod/Hardman Literary Awards). She has had fiction residencies at Bread Loaf and the Vermont Studio Center.
Read online: Asylum 1928
by Robin Winick
Mrs Purvis is from The 2000 Anthology Five O'Clock Shadow and Other Stories.
Robin lives in suburban Connecticut, from where she is constantly
trying to escape, sometimes with her husband and children to remote
areas in Maine, Wales, or Ireland, where she has a fear of sinking in
a bog. Her consolation would be that whatever manuscript she had on
her would be preserved. Her other escape is writing, spotting the extraordinary
among the seemingly mundane. Along with her brother she invented 'Politics
as Usual', a satirical game based on US congressional politics. Her
short story 'Cosgrave's Dilemma' was short-listed in the Fish Prize
last year, and went on to win the Glimmer Train Prize.
Read online: Mrs Purvis
by Gina Ochsner
The Bering Strait was the winning story in The 1999 Anthology The Bering Strait and Other Stories.
Just for the record, I have never actually lived in Alaska, though I have always heard that it is bitterly cold up there. My uncle and aunt lived there for several years, and will swear on a stack of Bibles that if you step outside to relieve yourself during a deep freeze, you can actually create a frozen yellow arc in the air. I don't know if that's really gospel truth, but that story and my incredible fear of freezing gave rise to Bering Strait.
Read online: From the Bering Strait
by John Mulligan
was published in The Fish Anthology 2012. It was the winning story from the 2012 Fish Flash Fiction Prize
Author, journalist and Human-Rights activist from Roscommon. John Mulligan has had two non-fiction books published - Dancing on the Waves Collins Press 2004, and Following in the Footsteps of the Four Famous Flannerys, 2007 - and two novels - No Place in the Sun, and No Place Like Home (available Amazon). Some of his lyrics will be recorded by Eurovision winner Charlie McGettigan. He writes newspaper features, and is working on a book on the Irish in Britain. www.johnmulligan.net
by Seamus Scanlon
was published in The Fish Anthology 2011. It was the winning story from the 2011 Fish One-Page Prize
Seamus is a native of Galway and currently living in New York. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from City College where he won numerous awards for fiction and drama. He was a recipient of Arts Council Funding in 2005 and 2007. A runner up in 2010 Fish Publishing One Page competition. Won the 2010 Over The Edge Writer of the Year award and was a finalist for the 2009 New Irish Writing Contest.
Did he mention he won a certificate for swimming in national school?
Read online: The Long Wet Grass
by Bernadette M. Smyth
In The Car was published in The Fish Anthology 2009
Bernadette won the Fish One-Page Prize with In The Car. She was also a runner up in the People's College short story competition 2009. She is a member of Dundalk Writers Group, and is currently obsessed with short stories.
Read online: In The Car
by Brian Tiernan
Believe It is from the 2005 Anthology The Mountains of Mars & Other Stories
Brian was born Dublin 1939
next day Hitler invaded Poland.
Brought up in the Irish midlands geographically, the dead centre of Ireland was the outside lav in Brian's back yard. Jobs in Dublin and London included bacon inspector warble fly inspector insurance salesman shipping clerk local government building game tip boss hoover salesman bookmaker tipster professional gambler. Now semi-retired living in Covent Garden.
Read online: Believe It
Postcard From New Yorkis from the 2005 Anthology The Mountains of Mars & Other Stories
Lives in the Scottish Borders. He has had a number of plays for both young people and adults performed at various venues including the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh and the Arches Theatre, Glasgow. His stories and poems have been widely published in literary magazines in the UK, and in the USA and Canada. He is co-editor of the Eildon Tree Magazine.
Read online: Post Card from New York
by Adrian Wistreich
Countdown to Ecstasy is from the 2004 Anthology Spoonface & Other Stories
A sculptor and potter, living in Kinsale, Co Cork. He moved to Ireland from London in 2000, to set up Kinsale Pottery and Art School, after 23 years as a market research analyst and business publisher. The Art School caters for both adults and children, including courses in a wide range of arts and crafts. This is his first published work of fiction.
Read online: Countdown to Ecstasy
by Freda Churches
Juice Baby is from the 2004 Anthology Spoonface & Other Stories
She is from Denny in Scotland. She has three children, a Siamese cat, a whippet and an adopted chicken who lives on a farm in Norfolk. She has published poems and short stories in Cencrastus, Chapman, MsLexia and Nerve Magazine. Her work has been broadcast on BBC radio, and she was a runner-up in the 2002 Fish Short Story Prize.
Read online: Juice Baby
by Martin Childs
from The Fish Anthology 2012. This poem was the winner of the Fish Poetry Prize 2012
was born in Bedford in 1954 and works as a production designer. He has received an Oscar, a further Academy Award nomination and three BAFTA nominations for his work in feature films. His head having been filled with stories and pictures by a life in film, he began to write poems and short fiction in his fifties. He lives in London.
Read online: What Remains
by Jean Tuomey
from The Fish Anthology 2011 This poem was second in the Fish Poetry Prize 2011
Jean was born in Sligo, grew up in Dundalk and now lives in Castlebar. A former Secondary school teacher, she facilitates writing groups in Mayo and is training as a writing facilitator with the National Association for Poetry Therapy in the States. Her hobbies include theatre, walking her dog, growing vegetables and drinking good coffee. Modern fiction and poetry are an essential part of her day.
Read online: Swept Back
by Annie Atkins
the Locksmith is the winning poem from The Fish Anthology 2009 Ten Pint Ted and other stories and Poems
Originally from North Wales, Annie spent four years as a graphic designer in Iceland before studying filmmaking in Dublin. She is currently the graphic artist on ‘The Tudors’ television series. Her interests are writing and photography, and she won ‘Best Personal Blog’ at this year’s Irish Blog Awards.
Read online: The Locksmith
by Ron Carey
poem from The Fish Anthology 2010
Ron Carey was born in Limerick in a house that is now under Thomond Park Rugby Grounds. David Marcus and Terence deVere White have published his poetry. Ron works in Dublin for an Engineering firm. He is married to Cathy and they have four children and three grandchildren. He is studying for a BA in English Lit with the Open University.
Ron is currently working on his Great Opus ‘Me Dog is buried in Thomond Park’.
Read online: Upstairs
Short Memoirs to Read Online from the Fish Anthologies
by Maureen Boyle
winning short memoir from The Fish Anthology 2013
Maureen Boyle grew up in Sion Mills in County Tyrone and now lives in Belfast. She wrote poetry as a child, winning a UNESCO medal for a collection when she was 18. She was runner-up in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Prize in 2004 for an unpublished collection. She studied at Trinity, East Anglia, Universities of London and Ulster and Queen’s University Belfast – completing a Masters in Creative Writing there in 2005 with Medbh Mc Guckian.
Read online: Luscus
by Stephen Policoff
memoir from The Fish Anthology 2012
Winner of the Fish Short Memoir Prize
His first novel, Beautiful Somewhere Else, won the James Jones First Novel Award and was published by Carroll & Graf, 2004. Author of the YA book The Dreamer’s Companion (Chicago Review Press, 1997). Essays and fiction have appeared in The Rumpus, Opium, Provincetown Arts, Family Fun, The MacGuffin. Teaches writing in Global Liberal Studies at NYU. Stephen recently completed his second novel.
Read online: Music Tonight?