AN award winning Dundalk writer has added another string to her bow, with a top prize in the international writing competition, ' The Bridport Prize', one of the most prestigious open literary awards in the UK.
The writer, Bernadette M Smyth is a member of Dundalk Writers' Group. In 2009 she won the Fish One-page Story Prize. She was also a runner-up in the Fish Short Story Prize the following year.
Her story 'Digging Australia' was broadcast on RTE Radio One as part of the 2010 Francis Macmanus season. She has already been highly commended by the Bryan Macmahon Short Story Competition earlier this year.
Bernadette, from Knockbridge told the Argus she was delighted to have been on the list of highly commended writers.
'As a writer, the recognition is always very encouraging, it inspires you to keep writing.'
Bernadette only began her writing career seven years ago, after taking up creative writing courses in Dublin. She then became involved with the writers group in Dundalk.
'I also did creative writing classes run by Barbara Smyth from the writers group, which really gave me inspiration.' Focused mainly on 'flash fiction' and short stories, it was for the latter which she was nominated for the latest accolade.
'I wrote a short story entitled 'European Monetary Union' which is actually nothing to do with the EU! But it was set around the time of the Maastrict Treaty.' The story tells of the experience of a young girl who is a victim of bullying, and how her perception of reality is distorted as a result. 'It is set to be published in an anthology of short stories by Bridport, so I'm looking forward to seeing it.'