Anne, who lives in Co. Sligo, has close ties to Roscommon, having attended school and worked in the town of Boyle.
Anne was the winner of the Roscommon Chapbook Bursary Award 2021, resulting in the forthcoming publication of her first collection of short stories, ‘The Bottom of the Hourglass’.
‘The Bottom of the Hourglass’ explores the vagaries and frailties of the human condition through the themes of love, loss, sacrifice, and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
Spanning the 16th to 20th centuries, this collection of historical short fiction depicts some of the struggles, challenges and motivations common to us all, regardless of time or place.
Taking us from the dark halls of Dublin Castle to the blood-soaked heather of the Curlew Mountains; from a lonely cell in Roscommon Gaol to the wild sweep of the Atlantic, and beyond, to the horror that was Auschwitz, we meet characters that we ultimately recognise in the struggles, sufferings, hopes and triumphs that characterise the human experience.
This collection of short stories was chosen for the award by Geraldine Mills, writer and Roscommon Chapbook Bursary Award judge 2021, who commented: “Anne creates a range of believable worlds that carry an equipoise of pace and poetry. She has the ability to paint a scene deftly, capturing atmosphere with a minimum of words. Each story is replete with emotional insight. Her characters come alive on the page and live on in the reader’s mind long after the final word. It was a great pleasure to read”.
One of Anne’s first stories, ‘The Brown Leather Case’, set in the early 20th century, brought her initial success, being chosen as first runner-up in the New Roscommon Writing Award 2018, and subsequently published in the anthology, New Roscommon Writing 2014-18.
Buoyed by this success she continued writing and has since been short and long listed in various competitions, including the Kanturk Flash Fiction Competition 2019, The New Roscommon Writing Award 2020, the Fish Flash Fiction Competition 2021, and the Anthology Short Story Competition 2021.
Anne was the winner of the New Roscommon Writing Award 2020, with her story, ‘Life’, a historical piece which recounts the life of Lady Betty, the infamous 17th-18th century Hangwoman of Roscommon Gaol.
Retailing at €7, ‘The Bottom of the Hourglass’ will be available to purchase at the launch and afterwards from Una Bhán Craft Shop, King House, Boyle; Creighton’s Bar, and also directly from the author’s Facebook page (Anne Byrne Writer).
The book will be launched by Gerry Boland, author and poet, on Saturday, 30th April at 7 pm in Creighton’s Bar, Bridge Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon. All are welcome to attend.
The author would like to extend her thanks to Roscommon County Council for the Chapbook Bursary Award 2021 without which the publication of this book would not have been possible.