Dublin’s Dalkey Book Festival is celebrating its second decade by launching two major new annual Irish literary awards worth a total of €30,000.
These awards will recognize writers in two categories. One will offer €20,000 for the Novel of the Year, making it the biggest prize that is exclusively available to Irish writers. The other will present €10,000 to the Emerging Writer of the Year.
“We understand how difficult it is financially for writers,” says Sian Smyth, director and cofounder of the festival. “We hope this award will serve to provide some financial stability to our most creative minds. These awards are something the festival has always wanted to do, and we are delighted that we are now in a position to do so.”
Funded by festival sponsor Zurich Insurance, the awards are for writers who were born or reside in Ireland and whose work was published in Ireland or in the U.K. in the year in question.
This year, Northern Ireland television presenter and journalist Andrea Catherwood will chair the Novel of the Year judging panel, with Irish Times journalist Jennifer O’Connell and former director of the Abbey Theatre Fiach Mac Conghail.
Radio presenter Rick O’Shea will chair the Emerging Writer award judging panel, with novelist and short story writer Caoilinn Hughes and poet Gary Jermyn.
The shortlist will be announced this month and the winners will be announced on June 20. ♦