On Wednesday evening last the June winners of the Lonely Voice Short Story Introductions read their stories at the Irish Writers Centre. I'm not a great fan of short stories having been overexposed to Frank O'Connor, Seán O'Faoilean etc in younger days but I enjoyed the readings. The judge for the month was Leo Cullen and in his introduction he stressed the need for audacity in short stories.
The four we heard had audacity. I loved the gradual accumulation of details in each story, the slow build up and revelation of the full picture or almost the full picture, there is always a question afterwards, Why? What? Who?
The reason we were there, of course, was that one of our own was reading, Orla Fay from Boyne Writers Group. Her reading of her story Safa was great, confident and clear. It had the same build up of information and details but had it own voice and and its own uncertainty. We had heard and commented on an early version of the story at the group. Great to see she had taken our advice!!!
Above: Orla reading. Below the four readers, from left: Guy Barriscale, Deirdre McClay, judge Leo Cullen, Orla Fay and Sarah Gilmartin.