Short Story Judge 2021-2022

Paul Lynch is a prize-winning author of four novels: Beyond the Sea, Grace, The Black Snow and Red Sky in Morning. He has won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year 2018, among other prizes.

​Paul’s debut novel, Red Sky in Morning, was a book of the year in The Irish Times, The Toronto Star, The Irish Independent and The Sunday Business Post, and a finalist for France’s Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (Best Foreign Book Prize)

The Black Snow won the French booksellers’ prize Prix Libr’à Nous for Best Foreign Novel and the inaugural Prix des Lecteurs Privat. His next novel, Grace, was a book of the year in The Guardian and an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times Book Review.

​In 2019 he published Beyond the Sea which The Wall Street Journal described as mesmerising. The book has just been published in France.

Paul was previously the chief film critic of Ireland’s Sunday Tribune newspaper and wrote regularly for The Sunday Times on film. He is a full-time novelist.


Short-story-judge Paul Lynch has chosen the theme, “Offline” for this year’s competition.

What is Paul looking for in a short story?

“What makes a story unique? We might say that a story has a special quality when the writer has put what is unique to them into the writing. You are unlike anybody else and you must use this in your writing. Only you, the writer, can see the world the way you do. So use your eyes and ears and what you know of the world, and use your imagination and not somebody else’s. You’ll know your story is a good story when nobody else but you could have written it.”