Niamh Mac Cabe


writer & artist

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

Dublin-born, she worked overseas for several years in the Animated Film industry, but returned to Ireland to raise her children.

She is published in over thirty literary journals and anthologies in Ireland, the UK, and the US. She lives with her two sons in rural North Leitrim, Ireland.


Selected for the Best British & Irish Flash Fiction list, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, 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 Wasafiri New Writing Prize, Molly Keane Creative Writing Award, Allingham Festival Short Fiction Prize, Francis Ledwidge Award, Psychopomp Magazine’s Short Story Prize (U.S.)


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 (U.S.), American Short Fiction’s Prize (U.S.), New Ohio Review’s Editor’s Award (U.S.), Los Gatos Irish Writers Prize (U.S.), The Writer Magazine Contest (U.S.), 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, Fish Poetry Prize, Fish Short Story Prize, Cúirt Prize, Sunderland University’s Sun Story Award, Bryan McMahon Award, The Bristol Award, 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, Dromineer Literary Festival Prize, HWA’s Dorothy Dunnett  Award



She is published in over thirty literary journals and anthologies to date, including The Stinging Fly, Mslexia, Wasafiri, No Alibis Press, Aesthetica, Structo, The Bristol Prize, Tears In The Fence, The Honest Ulsterman, Bare Fiction, The Lonely Crowd, Retreat West, The Lighthouse, Bath Flash Fiction, Skylight 47, The Cormorant, and The Ogham Stone.

(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.’ 

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.’


-The London Magazine (forthcoming)

-Skylight 47 Issue 13
-National Flash Fiction Day Anthology (forthcoming)
-Art Quarterly (Ulster American Folk Park Exhibition Review) Spring Issue
-Retreat West Anthology of Winning Writers (forthcoming)
-Mslexia March Issue 85 (2nd Place Runner-Up, Fiction Prize)
-The Lonely Crowd Issue 12 (forthcoming)     
-The Lighthouse Literary Journal Issue 20

-The Sligo Weekender Christmas Issue (Winner, Sligo-Themed Fiction)
-The Sligo Field Club Journal Vol.5 
-The Stinging Fly Issue 41 Vol 2 Winter
-Bath Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 4, ‘with one eye on the cows’
-Retreat West Winners Anthology ‘Future Shock’
-No Alibis Press Anthology ‘Still Worlds Turning’
-Flash Flood Journal, 15/06
-The Cormorant Broadsheet Issue 2
-Fictive Dream (
-The Leitrim Guardian Issue 51

-The Sligo Field Club Journal Vol.4
-Burning House Press Non-NonFiction Edition (U.S.)
-The Cormorant Broadsheet Issue 1
-The Honest Ulsterman Magazine, June Issue
-The Ogham Stone Literary Journal
-Psychopomp Magazine, Contest Winner (U.S.)
-Dorset Fiction Award Anthology Vol 1, ‘Deceiving Light’
-The Writer Magazine, (2nd Place Prose Contest) ( (U.S.)

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

-The Lonely Crowd Issue 8
-Bath Flash Fiction Volume 2, ‘The Lobsters Run Free’
-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)
-The Irish Post 24/12/2017
-Best of The Short Story Anthology Volume 2, (Contest Winner)

-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


  • Forthcoming in 2021, Lullula (short story published in Still Worlds Turning Anthology, No Alibis Press) adapted to screen by award-winning filmmaker Róisín Loughrey

  • Review for Art Quarterly Magazine (U.K.) of exhibition at the Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, Northern Ireland, January 2020

  • Selected playwright, Scripts Playwriting Festival, a week of mentoring, and final stage reading of play, with screen-writer/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

  • Artists & writers collaboration, Tread Softly Festival’s Walking Birds’ Mountain II project, The Factory Performance Space, Sligo, August, 2019

  • Composed, directed, presented, and performed in the writers’ collaboration The Battle of The Battle of The Book, Tread Softly Festival’s The Bare Hazel arts participation project, The Factory Performance Space, Sligo, July 2019 (also forthcoming in Drumcliff Church, Sligo, June 2020)

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

  • Interview with author Ruth Fitzmaurice (live-streamed), The Word, Sligo Library, May, 2019


  • Featured playwright in The State of Play, a four-part radio documentary series produced by Siobhán Donnellan and Ruth Smith, recorded in 2019 in association with Scripts Playwriting Festival, Birr, forthcoming in 2020

  • Reading, with author Una Mannion, in association with Tommy Weir’s exhibition Cillín, The Dock Arts Centre, Carrick-on-Shannon, February 2020

  • Reading, Yeats Remembrance Anniversary, Drumcliffe Church, Sligo, January 2020

  • Reading, The Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award Presentation, Dublin, December 2019

  • Reading, Still Worlds Turning anthology launch, No Alibis Bookstore, Belfast, June 2019

  • Interviewed by editor Emma Warnock, reading, The No Alibis Press Podcast, recorded in Dublin, May 2019

  • Reading, The James B. Keane Allingham Award Presentation, Ballyshannon, November 2018

  • Featured Emerging Writer, alongside author Lisa McInerney, The Word, Sligo Library, February 2018

  • Reading, The Dromineer Literary Festival Award Presentation, Tipperary, October 2017

  • Reading, Bray Literary Festival Award Presentation, Dublin, September 2017

  • Reading, The Molly Keane Creative Writing Award Presentation, Immrama Festival, Waterford, June  2016

  • Reading, Bare Fiction Magazine Issue 7 Launch and Award Presentation, Waterstones Piccadilly, London, May 2016


Irish Writers Centre

Creative Frame Ireland

Writers Guild of Ireland (Associate)

I’m intrigued with the potential power of words, and the beauty inherent in others finding their own message.

I consider creative practice as a process rather than a product, that the meaning lies in the making.

Originally a visual artist, I’ve been experimenting with writing as a stand-alone tool since 2015.

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