‘Wow. I've never seen a story that credits adolescents with the actual depth they deserve. This story reaches far and wide as much as it turns intimately towards its tenderly dogmatic characters. And it is so wonderfully fluid in its swerves and the vacillating scope of its attentions, from war to drugs to toxic algae to moral principles. I was seduced by the writing and its colours and acuity, and moved by the story's sincerity and wisdom. What a feat, and what a joy to read!’ Ottessa Moshfegh

Jude, who lives near London, recently completed an MA in Creative Writing, and works as a freelance writer and makes music in his spare time. He has worked as a water-skiing instructor (which inspired him to write about toxic algae), a model (which inspired him to write about ketamine) and a journalist (which inspired him to write about nuclear bombs). His non-fiction has been published in WIRED, and his fiction was first published in The Moth last year. He was also commended in last year’s Moth Short Story Prize, judged by Sarah Hall.
‘To win this prize at the start of my career is a serious honour. I don’t have an agent or editor. My only readers are my grandpa and my girlfriend. To get this encouragement from Ottessa, whose work I admire, and The Moth, is special. Like lots of young writers, my art has been shaped by Irish writing – that of Yeats and Joyce especially, but also Beckett, Heaney and Wilde. To be published by the Irish Times feels awesome. I love being a writer.’ Jude Whiley


‘This story about a man getting pinned under his wife's car really snuck up on me in its absurdity. I admire both the writer's courage to delay the fulfilment of that which we expect of live-action dramatic fiction and the careful and precisely metred secretion of backstory and character psychology. It's a story of an accident that builds up our anxiety and then drives it away, leaving an empty, panicked feeling. And it's a very funny portrait of a marriage.’ Ottessa Moshfegh

Paul is based in the UK and works as a consultant to humanitarian organisations. He previously worked on coordination of humanitarian responses in countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Georgia, Iraq and Liberia. Until 2020 he was Chief Operating Officer of the financial technology startup company Disberse, and he is currently working on leveraging artificial intelligence to improve public access to humanitarian expertise. His short fiction has been published by The White Review, Ambit, 3am Magazine and Litro, his non-fiction by Granta, Aeon, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph. He has also presented sound installations – at TransEuropa Belgrade, Berlin Soundout! and the Vienna Biennale.

‘Sometimes great writing charms you despite its horrors. This story is an excellent examination of young sexuality and friendship in the age of online sex chatrooms, but what impressed me most were the effortless and unexpected depictions of the characters' gestures and attitudes, and the descriptions of their bodies as they rise up out of childhood.’ Ottessa Moshfegh

Natalie graduated from Columbia University's MFA program last year and has a particular interest in feminism and technoparanoia. She recently moved to Spain, where she teaches English and befriends any and all stray cats. In her free time, she enjoys pastries, the colour orange and taking luxurious midday naps. Her work explores themes of girlhood, abjection and human connection in an increasingly virtual world. This is her first publication.



Every year, a single author is asked to anonymously judge The Moth Short Story Prize, choosing three winning stories from entries submitted worldwide. 

The winner receives €3,000, with the runners-up receiving a week-long stay at Circle of Misse plus an open travel stipend, and €1,000 respectively.  

Previous judges include Martina Evans, John Boyne, Donal Ryan, Belinda McKeon, Mike McCormack, Kevin Barry, Ali Smith, Mark Haddon and Sarah Hall.
The winning story is printed as part of the summer fiction series in the Irish Times, while the 2nd and 3rd-prize-winning stories are published in the Irish Times online.
With thanks to Circle of Misse for the superb second prize of a week-long writing retreat in France and an open travel stipend, enabling the 2nd prize winner to travel to France from anywhere in the world.
Call 00 353 87 2657251 or email for more details



00 353 87 2657251