Dalkey Literary Awards - 20th June 2020
Dalkey Literary Awards - 20th June 2020

Good News for Irish Writing as the winners for Dalkey Literary Awards 2020 Announced

Image Credit: John Fahy

The eleventh Dalkey Book Festival could not take place this June but we were able to celebrate the inaugural Dalkey Literary Awards.

On Saturday 20 June 2020, when the festival was due to be in fullswing, we revealed the winners via video link.

Click on the links below to view.

Dalkey Book Festival in conjunction with Zurich Insurance are delighted to present the inaugural Dalkey Literary Awards which aim to promote and support Irish writers. The annual awards have two categories: Novel of the Year and Emerging Writer and are for writers born or resident in Ireland and published in Ireland or the UK in 2019. The Dalkey Literary Awards boast an overall prize fund of €30,000.

The 12 shortlisted authors comprise six established Irish literary favourites in the ‘Novel of the Year’ category as well as six remarkable home-grown talents nominated for the ‘Emerging Writer’ award. 

The shortlisted books and writers are:

Novel of the Year

  1. ‘The Narrow Land’ by Christine Dwyer Hickey
  2. ‘Girl’ by Edna O’Brien
  3. The Fire Starters’ by Jan Carson
  4. ‘Shadowplay’ by Joseph O’Connor
  5. Night Boat to Tangier’ by Kevin Barry
  6. The River Capture’ by Mary Costello

 Emerging Writer

  1. Adrian Duncan for ‘Loves Notes from A German Building Site’
  2. Eleanor Fitzsimons for ‘The Life & Loves of E. Nesbit’
  3. Lucy Sweeney Byrne for ‘Paris Syndrome’
  4. Nicole Flattery for ‘Show Them A Good Time’
  5. Rónán Hession for ‘Leonard and Hungry Paul’
  6. Sinéad Gleeson for ‘Constellations’

"2020 has been an awful year for writers: book launches have been postponed, advances rescinded, publication dates missed, signings cancelled, public readings called off and, of course, our wonderful book shops have been shuttered. But creativity never sleeps and I’m delighted that we are able to recognise our very best during this tempest. Ireland has rarely had such a conveyor belt of literary talent, writers who have shone the light of imagination in these months of darkness. This is our small way of saying thanks and a big, virtual hug from all of us at Dalkey.”

David McWilliams, Co-Founder of the Dalkey Book Festival

“I’m extremely proud to be announcing the books that made the shortlists. These choices display the immense talent out there today; Irish writing is certainly having a moment. As well as the six shortlisted novels, the Emerging Writer category has allowed us to consider an exciting breadth of genres. Inaugurating the Dalkey Literary Awards right now shows that we believe writers are important; books are perhaps especially meaningful at the moment. I’m delighted we at Dalkey Book Festival are strengthening our partnership with Zurich Insurance who are just as committed to giving back to writers.”

Sian Smyth, Director of the Dalkey Book Festival

“At times like this, it’s great to take comfort in the arts, and now more than ever, we can turn to literature for support and to help us draw on the experiences of others as inspiration. In Zurich, we have proudly sponsored the Dalkey Book Festival for the last six years and are delighted to launch the Dalkey Literary Awards, too. It is a reminder of the role literature and culture plays in our society and the essential outlet that they can provide. We are delighted to continue reinforcing our commitment and support to writers, literature and creativity in Ireland.” This is the first year of the Dalkey Literary Awards. Aimed exclusively at Irish writers and with total prize money of €30,000, the Dalkey Literary Awards are the most lucrative in the country. Shortlisted Irish authors will vie for recognition in the two categories, with the winner of the ‘Novel of the Year’ category walking walk away with €20,000 whilst the writer crowned ‘Emerging Writer’ will receive €10,000.

Neil Freshwater, CEO Zurich Insurance plc

Dalkey Book Festival in conjunction with Zurich Insurance are delighted to present the inaugural Dalkey Literary Awards which aim to promote and support Irish writers. The annual awards have two categories: Novel of the Year and Emerging Writer and are for writers born or resident in Ireland and published in Ireland or the UK in 2019. The Dalkey Literary Awards boast an overall prize fund of €30,000.