Niamh Mac Cabe

writer & artist

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Niamh Mac Cabe is an award-winning writer and visual artist. She is also an editor, mentor, collaborator/director on multi-disciplinary art projects, and facilitator on creative-practice workshops for all ages.


Dublin-born, she worked overseas for several years in the Animated Film industry, settling in rural Leitrim, Ireland, in 2000.

She is published in many literary journals and anthologies in Ireland, the UK, and the US.


She has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, awarded a Tyrone Guthrie Residency, nominated for a Best Small Fiction Award, selected for the Best British & Irish Flash Fiction list, awarded an IT Sligo Scholarship for the Yeats International Summer School, and selected for the inaugural Words Ireland National Mentoring Programme. She has won, or been placed, in over one hundred international literary competitions, including:

First Place in the John McGahern Award, the Wasafiri New Writing Prize, the Molly Keane Award, the Allingham Festival Flash Fiction Prize, the Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award, Psychopomp Magazine’s Short Story Prize, Ireland’s Own Short Story Award, and The Sligo Weekender Fiction Contest

Second Place/Runner-up in The Costa Short Story Award, The London Magazine Short Story Prize, Mslexia’s Short Story Competition, Glimmer Train Press Fiction Award, Narrative Magazine's Fall Contest, American Short Fiction’s Prize, New Ohio Review’s Editor’s Award, Los Gatos Irish Writers Prize, The Writer Magazine Contest, New Flash Fiction Review Anton Chekhov Prize, Bare Fiction’s Prize, Books Ireland Magazine Competition, Galley Beggar Press Prize, Aesthetica’s Creative Writing Award, Colm Tóibín Short Story Prize, Over The Edge Award, Tears In The Fence Prize, Bray Literary Festival’s Award, Kanturk Arts Prize, Retreat West’s Flash Fiction Award

Shortlisted in Doolin Festival’s Short Story Prize, RA & Pin Drop Award, The Irish Inpependent New Writing Prize, Fish Poetry Award, Fish Short Story Award, Cúirt Prize, Sunderland University’s Sun Story Award, Bryan McMahon Award, The Bristol Prize, TSS Publishing's Cambridge Short Story Award, Anthony Cronin Poetry Award, Benedict Kiely Prize, Dalkey Creates Award, Grindstone Literary’s Prize, Ink Tears Flash Fiction Award, Mairtin Crawford Award, Dorset Fiction’s Prize, TSS Publishing’s Cambridge Flash Fiction Award, The Forge Literary Magazine Competition, Dromineer Literary Festival Prize, HWA’s Dorothy Dunnett  Award


She is published in many journals and anthologies, including The Stinging Fly, Narrative Magazine, Mslexia, Southword, The Irish Independent New Irish Writing, Wasafiri, No Alibis Press, Aesthetica, The London Magazine, Structo, The Bristol Prize Anthology, Tears In The Fence, The Honest Ulsterman, Bare Fiction, and The Lonely Crowd.

(see full chronological list, below judges' comments)


Irenosen Okojie; Mslexia’s Short Story Award, 2020: ‘Hawthorn Bowed To Westerly Wind was stunning, the sheer scope of the story impressed me. I loved the ambition of this piece. What she achieved in such few words was so clever - this is a very assured writer.’

Vincent Woods, Festival Director, Iron Mountain Literature Festival’s John McGahern Award, 2020 - ‘Evidently a very, very talented writer; hers is a strong original voice.’ 

Susmita Bhattacharya; Retreat West’s Flash Fiction Prize, 2020: ‘River Water Cistern is an enchanting story about early love and friendship, and the magical world of childhood. Filled with gorgeous use of poetic language and finely tuned emotional detail—a visceral reading experience that made me remember (with longing) what it was like to be that young, and intensely alive.’

Samuel Fisher, Layla Benitez-James and Harry Mount; The London Magazine’s Short Story Prize 2018:Steer the Dark Skies Blue was an extremely accomplished story and a close second. Much darker and verging on the fantastic, it left us intrigued to learn more about the story´s world and a greater interest in reading more by that writer. The work struck a fine balance between resolving the themes it set up at the beginning, and allowing the reader space to imagine a sense of the wider community. Steer was full of mystery and sharp dialogue, ending on both a memorable and haunting image.’

Anne Valente; Psychopomp Magazine’s Short Story Award 2018: (Kingfisher Bridge) ‘Narrated in gorgeously lush, precise prose of the natural world [...]. This piece pulls the reader in immediately, and is expertly and beautifully drawn.’

Paul McVeigh; Bare Fiction Magazine’s Prize 2016:This Is Unravel was a powerful, gripping, and ambitious story that haunted this reader.’

Kerry Barner, for The Short Story Competition, 2016:The Vigil Of Evergreen is astonishing, unique, disturbing, strange, and haunting.’



-Narrative Magazine, April

-Southword Issue 40

-The Irish Independent (New Irish Writing) 30/01

-The Cormorant Book, August

-The Forge Literary Magazine (forthcoming)

-The Oxford Flash Fiction Prize Anthology (forthcoming)

-SPROUT Eco-Urban Poetry Journal Issue 2 (forthcoming)

-Scrimshaw Journal Issue 1 (forthcoming)


-The London Magazine October/November Issue
-Art Quarterly (Ulster American Folk Park Exhibition Review) Spring Issue
-Mslexia March Issue 85 (Runner-Up, Fiction Prize)
-The Lonely Crowd Issue 12 (Five Years Anniversary Issue)     
-The Lighthouse Literary Journal Issue 20

-Retreat West Anthology 'How To Hold An Umbrella' (2nd Place Flash Prize)

-National Flash Fiction Day Anthology 'Root, Branch, Tree'

-Skylight 47 Issue 13

-The Stinging Fly Issue 41 Vol 2 Winter

-No Alibis Press Anthology ‘Still Worlds Turning’

-Retreat West Winners Anthology ‘Future Shock’

-The Sligo Weekender Christmas Issue (Winner, Sligo-Themed Fiction)

-The Cormorant Broadsheet Issue 2
-The Sligo Field Club Journal Vol.5 
-Bath Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 4, ‘with one eye on the cows’
-Flash Flood Journal, 15/06
-Fictive Dream (
-The Leitrim Guardian Issue 51

-The Writer Magazine, (2nd Place Prose Contest) (U.S.)

-Psychopomp Magazine, Contest Winner (U.S.)

-The Honest Ulsterman Magazine, June Issue

-The Ogham Stone Literary Journal

-First Writer Magazine Issue 32, (Contest Winner) (U.S.)

-The Sligo Field Club Journal Vol.4
-Burning House Press Non-NonFiction Edition (U.S.)
-The Cormorant Broadsheet Issue 1
-Dorset Fiction Award Anthology Vol 1, ‘Deceiving Light’

-Wasafiri International Contemporary Writing Issue 89, (Contest Winner)
-Structo Issue 17
-Tears in the Fence No.65, (2nd Place Flash Award)
-Ireland’s Own Winning Irish Short Stories Anthology, (Contest Winner)

-Best of The Short Story Anthology Volume 2, (Contest Winner)

-The Lonely Crowd Issue 8

-Bath Flash Fiction Volume 2, ‘The Lobsters Run Free’
-The Irish Post 24/12/2017

-The Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Vol.9
-Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology
-Bare Fiction Magazine Issue 7, (2nd Place Fiction Prize)
-The Incubator Journal Issue 8


  • Filter Judge for the Allingham Flash Fiction Award, October 2021


  • Guest editor of The Cormorant Broadsheet Issue 6, Spring 2021

  • Selected playwright, Scripts Playwriting Festival, with screen-writer and playwright Eugene O’Brien, and Fishamble’s Artistic Director Jim Culleton, Birr Theatre & Arts Centre, November 2019

  • Selected playwright, Short + Sweet Festival, Sean O’Casey Theatre, Dublin, October 2019

  •  Panel Member, Yeats Summer School Salon Debate, chaired by Ambassador Daniel Mulhall, Methodist Hall, Sligo, August 2019


  • Selected playwright, ReActor Theatre Project, Cruthú Arts Festival, Longford, July 2019

  • Featured Emerging Writer, The Word, Sligo Library, February 2018

Trained originally as a visual artist (Corcoran School of Art, Washington D.C.), I've been  writing since 2015.

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