Niamh McCabe, winner, 2020 John McGahern Award.

As part of the Iron Mountain Literature Festival, Leitrim County Council and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre with the support of the McGahern Estate developed the John McGahern Award to encourage the development of emerging Irish writers and to pay tribute to the exceptional contribution of John McGahern to literature, and to Leitrim.

John McGahern is one of Ireland’s most respected and celebrated authors. His fiction is critically acclaimed internationally, has been translated into many languages and has appeared in many anthologies. He was a member of Aosdána and won numerous awards, including the Irish-American Foundation Award, the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, and the Prix Etranger Ecureuil. He taught at universities in Ireland, England, the USA and Canada. Amongst Women, which won both the GPA and Irish Times Award, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and made into a BBC television series.

The recipient of the award who will receive a two-week fully resourced residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and a stipend of €1,000, will be publicly announced on Saturday 3rd October 2020 during the festival

Niamh MacCabe is an award-winning writer and visual artist, with experience as collaborator/director on many multi-disciplinary art projects, and as facilitator on diverse creative-practice workshops for both adults and children. Dublin-born, she worked overseas for several years in the Animated Film industry, but returned to Ireland to raise her children. She is published in over thirty literary journals and anthologies in Ireland, the U.K., and the U.S. She lives with her two sons in rural North Leitrim.


Selected for the Best British & Irish Flash Fiction list, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and selected for the inaugural Words Ireland National Mentoring Programme, she has also been winner of the Wasafiri New Writing Prize, the Molly Keane Creative Writing Award, the Allingham Festival Short Fiction Prize, the Francis Ledwidge Award, and Psychopomp Magazine’s Short Story Prize (U.S.).