Bernie McGill

Novelist, Short-story writer


Bernie McGill is the author of two short story collections, This Train is For (No Alibis Press, 2022) and Sleepwalkers (Whittrick Press), shortlisted in 2014 for the Edge Hill short story prize. Her first novel The Butterfly Cabinet (Headline Review) was named in 2012 by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes as his novel of the year. Her second novel, The Watch House (Tinder Press) was nominated for the Ireland/EU Prize for Literature in 2019. She has been published in the UK and Ireland, the US and in translation in Italy and the Netherlands. Her work has been placed in the Seán Ó Faoláin, the Bridport, and the Michael McLaverty short story prizes and she is a former winner of the Zoetrope: All-Story award in the US. Her short fiction has appeared in acclaimed anthologies The Long Gaze Back (2015), The Glass Shore (2016) and Female Lines (2017), all by New Island Books, and for the theatre she has written The Haunting of Helena Blunden and The Weather Watchers. In 2022, her story ‘Waiting for Joseph’ was produced and broadcast for BBC Radio 4’s Short Works.

Bernie has an MA in Irish Writing from Queen’s University, Belfast, and is the recipient of a number of Arts Council of Northern Ireland awards. She lives in Portstewart in Northern Ireland with her family and works as a professional mentor with the Irish Writers’ Centre and as a facilitator of social sector projects for the RLF.

More from Bernie McGill

Bernie McGill|Bernie McGill

Bernie McGill

Novelist, Short-story writer

Current Fellowship

Queen’s University Belfast, Computer Science, 2023–2024




  • Queen’s University Belfast, English, 2018–2020
  • Writing for Life Fellow