Arts Council announces longlist for Irish laureate award

Eligible writers include Anne Enright, Roddy Doyle, Donal Ryan and Eimear McBride

Eligible writers for the Laureate for Irish Fiction include stalwarts such as Anne Enright (above), Roddy Doyle and William Trevor, as well as newer names such as Eimear McBride and Donal Ryan. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Eligible writers for the Laureate for Irish Fiction include stalwarts such as Anne Enright (above), Roddy Doyle and William Trevor, as well as newer names such as Eimear McBride and Donal Ryan. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

 

The longlist for the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction has been announced, with 34 writers eligible for the award. Launched by the Arts Council over the summer, the award of €150,000 over three years is also supported by UCD and New York University (NYU).

It aims to find a writer who has made a significant contribution to Irish literature and with an internationally recognised body of work. Eligible writers include stalwarts such as Anne Enright, Roddy Doyle and William Trevor, as well as newer names such as Eimear McBride and Donal Ryan.

Nominations were made by 119 organisations and individuals, with each providing a reason for their selection. Nominations came from book clubs, bookshops, poets, playwrights, arts organisations and libraries, including Lilliput Press, Ennis Book Club Festival, Dubray Books and various county libraries.

Nominations for Laureate for Irish Fiction

The recipient is expected to have had “a considerably positive impact on readers” and “demonstrated commitment to engaging with the public, the media and the literary sector”.

The director of the Arts Council, Orlaith McBride, said: “The Arts Council is delighted to see the range and breadth of names that have been put forward for the selection panel’s consideration for the first Laureate for Irish Fiction.

“We received over 100 nominations from many sources and their enthusiasm and excitement about this role underlines the need for such an initiative and the strength and reputation of Irish writers of fiction.”

The five judges are Paula Meehan, who is currently Ireland Professor of Poetry, author Blake Morrison, children’s writer and inaugural Laureate na nÓg Siobhán Parkinson, fiction editor with the New Yorker Deborah Treisman and winner of this year’s International Impac Dublin Literary Award, Juan Gabriel Vásquez.

Poet Paul Muldoon is the chairman and will have the casting vote in case of a deadlock.