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Niamh Mac Cabe

writer & artist

Niamh Mac Cabe is an award-winning writer of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays, and hybrid prose.

She's also a visual artist, an editor, a writing mentor, and a lecturer on the Masters in Creative Practice, the Honours Degree in Writing & Literature, and the Honours Degree in Performing Arts, at ATU Sligo. 

Dublin-born, she worked overseas for several years in the Animated Film industry, before 'settling' in northwestern Ireland. 

She's published in many literary journals and anthologies in Ireland, the UK, and the US. She's represented by Marianne Gunn O'Connor at MGO'C Literary Agency.


Nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize, twice for Best Small Fictions, and selected for the Best British & Irish Flash Fiction list, she has won or been placed in many international literary competitions, including:

First Place in The London Magazine Short Story Prize, the John McGahern Award, the Wasafiri New Writing Prize, the Molly Keane Award, the Oliver Goldsmith Poetry Prize, the Allingham Festival Flash Fiction Prize, the Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award, Psychopomp Magazine’s Short Story Prize, Ireland’s Own Short Story Award, and more.

Second Place/Runner-up/Finalist in The Costa Short Story Award, The SoA's ALCS Tom Gallon Trust Award, The Harvard Review Chapbook Prize, 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, Manchester Metropolitan University's QMD Prize, Los Gatos Irish Writers Prize, The Writer Magazine Contest, New Flash Fiction Review Anton Chekhov Prize, Mairtin Crawford Poetry Award, 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, HWA's Dorothy Dunnett Award

Shortlisted in Doolin Festival’s Short Story Prize, RA & Pin Drop Award, The Irish Inpependent New Writing Prize, The London Magazine Poetry 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, Dorset Fiction’s Prize, TSS Publishing’s Cambridge Flash Fiction Award, The Forge Literary Magazine Competition, Dromineer Literary Festival Prize, Retreat West’s Flash Fiction Award, Kanturk Arts Prize 


December 2023, short story, Four Night Seas & an Admission of Failure, Winner of The London Magazine Short Story Prize 2023 Fiction | Four Night Seas by Niamh Mac Cabe - The London Magazine

- November 2023, hybrid poem, Undertaking An Antipodal Migration Between Island & Lake, published by Minor Literature[s] 

- May 2023, creative nonfiction, Body Of Water, published by The Offing Magazine

- October 2022, flash fiction, A Marram Grass Cradling, the QMD Prize 2022, 3rd Place, Manchester Writing School, Manchester Met University (p11) QuietManDave_Prize_Flash_Fiction_Prize_shortlist.pdf 

- March 2022, poem, The Young Tree Misjudges A February Dawn At Sligo’s Institute Of Technology, published in SPROUT Eco-Urban Poetry Journal, part of The Nature Of Cities NY


- December 2021, flash fiction, Crown, Whisper, Prophecy, Farewell, Repeat, published by The Forge Literary Magazine 

April 2021, short story, Sky An Iris, published by Narrative Magazine


- January 2021, short story, Jonquille Is The Name, published in New Irish Writing, The Irish Independent 

- February 2019, flash fiction, Malachy, published by Fictive Dream


She's published internationally in over sixty journals and anthologies including The Stinging Fly, Narrative Magazine, The London Magazine, Mslexia, The Offing, Southword, The Irish Independent, Wasafiri, No Alibis Press, Aesthetica, and many more.

(see full chronological list, below judges' comments)


Tom Conaghan, Eley Williams, R.Z. Baschir, & Andrew Holgate, The London Magazine’s Short Story Prize 2023 (Winner) - ‘I was hugely impressed by the astounding vision and subtle control in Niamh’s winning story, Four Night Seas. She unpicks the threads of a linear narrative to weave something mercurial and enticing and vast. The relationship of its parts are soft and fluid, refracting a slim moment to splay all its whispers, echoes and glimpses; they lap at us and gently erode our experience of the now. (I also warm to any story that hints at its own lofty goal, As Niamh herself writes: “trying to do the inexplicable justice…”)’

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.’





- Southword, Issue 46, July


- Mslexia, Issue 97, March (Finalist, Poetry Prize)

The Offing Magazine, May 

- Stony Thursday Book, Issue 19, Editor Christodoulos Makris, November

- Exacting Clam (Sagging Meniscus Press), Winter Issue

- Minor Literature[s], November

- The London Magazine (Short Story Prize Winner), December

- ‘A Door Opening; Sligo and the Legacies of Partition’, November (edited by Susan McKay and Keith Hopper, published by Sligo County Council)



- Manchester Metropolitan University website October (3rd Place, QMD Fiction Prize)

- Sprout Eco-Urban Poetry Journal Issue 2, March
-The Oxford Flash Fiction Prize Anthology, April
- Channel Magazine Issue 6, April

- Scrimshaw Journal, Issue 1, April

- National Flash Fiction Day Flash Flood


-Narrative Magazine, April (Finalist, Fall Short Story Contest)

-Southword Issue 40

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

-The Cormorant Book, August

-The Forge Literary Magazine, December


-The London Magazine October/November Issue
-Art Quarterly (Ulster American Folk Park Exhibition Review) Spring Issue
-Mslexia Issue 85, March (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



  • Reading, A Marram Grass Cradling, 3rd Place Winner QMD Prize, October 2022 (47:05): QuietManDave 2022

  • Riverwater Cistern, 2nd Place in Retreat West Flash Fiction Prize 2020, published in Retreat West Anthology of Winning Stories 2020, nominated by Retreat West for the Pushcart Prize 2020, Shortlisted in Best Overall Flash Fiction, Retreat West’s Awards 2020/21

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

I'm also a dog wrangler, and a magpie apologist.

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