Awards and near-misses.

March 2017 The Accidental Wife was chosen as the inaugural title for Libraries Northern Ireland’s public reading initiative The Big Armagh Read

November 2016 The Visit won the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards,  Short Story of the Year Award (Video here)

May 2016, I was awarded the Cecil Day Lewis Emerging Writer Bursary, 2016, by Kildare County Council Arts Service to help with the costs of completing and publishing of “The Flight of the Wren”

January 2016 “The Flight of the Wren” chosen to be presented at the Greenbean Novel fair at the Irish Writers’ Centre; one of twelve chosen from 275 entries.

May 2015 “The Flight of the Wren” chosen to be presented for critique at the Date with an Agent project.

January 2015 “The visit” was nominated for consideration for The Pushcart Prize by The Ilanot Review

December 2014 The Accidental Wife collection won the Eludia Prize and was published in July 2016

September 2014 “Control zone” (fiction) longlisted for RTE/Penguin Ireland short story competition.

August 2014 “Control zone” (short story cycle) was shortlisted by Doire Press in their search for next year’s Art’s council funded collection

April 2014 “The Visit” was shortlisted in the Phoebe Magazine short story collection.

October 2013: “Breathing” reached a shortlist of 5 for the Wasafiri New Writing Contest (Fiction)

July 2013: “Drumming our way to the Future” was highly commended in the Fish Short Memoir Contest.

July 2013: “The big, fat chernadrine” took second place in the Skypen Short Memoir Contest.

June 2013: “Winning the hay” and “Phytophthera infestans” took first and second place in the Skypen Short Non-fiction Contest.

April 2013: “Carphone, 1992” took third place in the Skypen 99-word Flash Fiction Contest.

April 2013: “Control zone” took second place in the Valhalla Press Short Prose Contest.



  1. I’ll tell you what … Hi Orla big congrats I’m thrilled for you. I only heard your news last week. Can’t wait to read The Accidental Wife. I’m going to order it for our library now too. Happy writing, JB

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