Hanna Greally International Literary Awards
including the Ger Hanily Memorial Cup

Competition Theme

Beneath Western Skies


The Overall Prize winner will receive a publishing package from The Manuscript Publisher, valued at €2000. For full details of what the winning author will receive see link (opens in new window or tab).

1st Prize – €700 (cash prize)

Trophy prizes will be awarded for Highly Commended entries in categories that include poetry, prose/short stories.

A Beneath Western Skies anthology will be published in 2018 from entries received in this year’s school category.

Competition Rules of Entry

Submissions of previously unpublished works of poetry and/or prose/short story on the above theme will be accepted. Poetry submissions should be no more than 100 lines; short story/prose not to extend beyond 2000 words. Entries submitted must be typed and titled, accompanied by entrant's name written on a separate page. The judges’ decision is final.

Competition Entry Fee

€10 for up to three entries. Entries may include poetry and/or prose.

Closing Date

Competition entries (together with entry fees) must be received on or before 5pm of 10 October, 2017. Entries may be sent by e-mail, can be submitted online using the form below or posted to:

Mary Butler, a/County Librarian, Roscommon County Council Library Services, Abbey Street, Roscommon, Éire - Ireland

Cheques, postal orders should be made payable to SiarScéal Festival Group. Payments by credit/debit card may be made via PayPal – see below:

If submitting online, please include your payment reference – e.g. cheque number, PayPal transaction ID.

Online Submissions

Background to The Hanna Greally International Literary Awards

Hanna Greally (also known as Johanna or Joan Greally) was born in Athlone in 1925. At the age of nineteen, she was committed to St. Loman’s psychiatric hospital in Mullingar, where she was detained, against her will, for almost 20 years. Despite several escape attempts and numerous letters to her relatives to claim her out, Hanna remained in St. Loman’s until 1962.

Birds Nest Soup by Hanna Greally

She spent some time in rehabilitation and re-training in Coolamber House before working as a cook and housekeeper, in Ireland and in England. In 1971, Hanna saw the publication in Ireland of Bird Nest Soup, her moving first-person account of life inside Ireland’s psychiatric hospitals, in the 1940s and 1950s. In the early 1970s, she came to live in Fourmilehouse, Roscommon where she spent most of the remainder of her days after the ‘Big House’.

Flown the Nest by Hanna Greally
She was a regular contributor to the Roscommon Champion, writing letters, poems and other autobiographical pieces for the paper. Hanna Greally died on August 15, 1987. The Hanna Greally Literary Awards were inaugurated on the 10th anniversary of her death and have been held every year since.

  • Hanna Greally was the subject of a documentary by Mary Owens, first broadcast on RTÉ Radio One on Sunday 15th June 2009. A podcast is available from the RTÉ website.
  • Copies of her books are available to purchase on Amazon.

Previous Winners

Previous winners of Hanna Greally International Literary Awards are listed here.
SiarScéal Anthology 2012: Roscommon in Reflection.

A selection of entries, representing the cream of the first five years was published in 2012 in the form of an anthology entitled Roscommon in Reflection, which is available to buy online.
SiarScéal Anthology 2016: Centenary in Reflection

A further anthology, Centenary in Reflection, was published in 2016 and is also available to buy online along with other publications.