The Stinging Fly

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The Stinging Fly
The Stinging Fly (Spring 2012 magazine cover).jpg
Frequency Thrice-yearly
Founder Declan Meade
Aoife Kavanagh
Year founded 1998
Country Ireland

The Stinging Fly is a literary magazine published in Ireland featuring short stories and poetry. It publishes three issues each year. In 2005, The Stinging Fly moved into book publishing with the establishment of The Stinging Fly Press.


The Stinging Fly magazine was founded in 1998 by Declan Meade and Aoife Kavanagh. Kavanagh departed after two issues, leaving Meade as sole editor. Eabhan Ní Shúileabháin became poetry editor in September 2001. In 2014, Thomas Morris took over as the magazine's editor.

The enterprise was initially inspired by David Marcus and the publication of the Fish Anthology.[1] The stated founding objective was to provide a forum for the very best new Irish and international writing. Most of the contributors are new or emerging writers, and usually have some connection to Ireland. Equal emphasis is given to short stories and poetry, with occasional other material such as novel extracts, song lyrics, and author interviews. Each issue also presents the black-and-white artwork of a particular illustrator or artist.

After 18 published issues, Meade took a break in 2004 and, as he says on the official website, “toyed with the idea of giving it all up.” The magazine reappeared as Issue 1 of Volume 2 in summer 2005, in a new 75x245mm format with graphic design by Fergal Condon. The new volume also introduced a “featured poet” section of four or five pages which allows a relatively new poet to present a more representative sample of his or her work. The first featured poet was Phillip Crymble.

Notable contributors[edit]

The Stinging Fly Press[edit]

The Stinging Fly Press was established in 2005, and the first title, Watermark by Derry-born author Sean O'Reilly, was published in May that year. In July 2006, the imprint brought out a special fiction issue of the magazine in book form: These Are Our Lives featuring 22 short stories by Irish and international writers.

In March 2007, The Stinging Fly published There Are Little Kingdoms, the debut story collection from Kevin Barry. The book went on to win the 2007 Rooney Prize, and received rave reviews.[2] In May 2012, The Stinging Fly published The China Factory, a short story collection by Mary Costello. The book received positive reviews, notably in The Guardian,[3] and went on to be longlisted for The Guardian First Book Award.[4] In September 2013, The Stinging Fly press published Young Skins by Colin Barrett, which went on win the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, The Guardian first book award, and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.[5]

Davy Byrnes Short Story Award[edit]

Every five years, The Stinging Fly organize the Davy Byrnes Short Story Award, a prestigious prize for a single short story. Anne Enright was the winner of the inaugural prize in 2004; the judges were AL Kennedy, Irish Times literary editor Caroline Walsh, and Tobias Wolf. Richard Ford judged the award in 2009, which was won by Claire Keegan. The award offers the largest cash-prize of all the Irish short story competitions — in 2009, the prize amounted to €35,000; in 2014, the first prize will be €15,000.[6]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]