Launching the 2024 Frances Browne Multilingual Poetry Competition

The Frances Browne Poetry Competition is a celebration of the unique heritage of East Donegal, welcoming poets writing in the English, Irish and Ulster Scots languages. Now open for entries, they are excited to hear from voices both familiar and new, and from across the globe. 

Frances Browne (1816 - 1879), the Blind Poetess of Ulster, is the most important writer ever to emerge from Donegal's Finn Valley, in the North West of Ireland. The Annual Frances Browne Literary Festival celebrates the legacy and spirit of Frances Browne and will take place in Ballybofey-Stranorlar, Co Donegal, Rep of Ireland from 10th to 14th October 2024.The successful Frances Browne International Poetry Competition, pioneered by Celine Mc Glynn and Dr. Pauline Holland, has been an established event since 2008.

The competition is unique in its tri-lingual approach, welcoming poets writing in the English, Irish and Ulster-Scots languages. Since the very first year, the team has been astounded by the volume of entries, and the high quality of the poetry. They believe this is because their competition fulfils a real artistic need for our communities to express themselves in their venacular languages.

Launching the competition, Chairperson Celine McGlynn said: “Our unique poetry competition is a celebration of  Frances Browne and the trilingual heritage that enriches East Donegal. Each year, we are astounded by the number and quality of entries we receive. This year promises to be no different and we eagerly await another extraordinary display of poetic talent. Since the inception of the Frances Browne Literary Festival, now in its fourth year, we've received remarkable entries from poets across the globe, from the US and Canada to Singapore and all over Europe. It is so gratifying to see Frances Browne’s legacy resonate with so many. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Donegal County Council for their unwavering support of both the Poetry Competition and the Festival.”

The awards ceremony, traditionally held on the Friday night of the festival, is a truly unique and magical night of poetry, song, celebration and friendship. It enshrines the Frances Browne Literary Festival motto 'Treasure each Voice' with live readings of new poetry in all three languages. It celebrates and preserves our different voices, helps to brings new talent to the fore, and recognises that we are all connected by our literature and our land.


Deadline for entries: midnight on 21st August 2024

Categories: English, Irish and Ulster Scots languages. For each of these categories there is the opportunity for local poets from East Donegal to enter an additional competition.

Cost of entry: Cost of entry is per poem. €5 / £5 / $5  Payments can be made online via our website, where you find details of other payment methods.

Number of poems: Poets may enter as many poems as they wish.

Winners announced: At awards ceremony on Friday 10 October 2024


English Language - First Prize - €250, Second Prize - €100, Third Prize, €50

Irish Language - First Prize - €250, Second Prize - €100, Third Prize, €50

Ulster Scots Language - First Prize - €250, Second Prize - €100, Third Prize, €50

The Eilish McBride Award - English Language - Local* - Sponsored by Edel MacBride - Winning Poem €100

Irish Language - Local* - Winning Poem €100

Ulster Scots Language - Local* - Winning Poem €100

 Definition of 'Local'

The ‘Local’ category is open to individuals who were born in and/or are currently living in the Lifford-Stranorlar Municipal District of County Donegal. For details of this area please refer to the link o the Donegal County Council website, or contact the festival committee for confirmation. The Frances Browne Literary Festival Committee reserves the right to verify the information provided by the entrant as eligibility for this category. As the entry fee is per poem, there is no additional fee for entering poems in both the main and local categories.


For full terms and conditions, schedule of dates and to enter please click

For full terms and conditions, schedule of dates and to enter please click
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