Paschal Donohoe among judges for Dalkey Literary Awards

Novel of the year winner, to be announced in June, will receive €20,000 prize

David McWilliams, co-founder, and Sian Smyth, director, of the Dalkey Book Festival. Photograph: Damien Eagers

David McWilliams, co-founder, and Sian Smyth, director, of the Dalkey Book Festival. Photograph: Damien Eagers

 

Dalkey Book Festival has announced the judging panels for the Dalkey Literary Awards 2021, which have a prize fund of €30,000.

Róisín Ingle, Paschal Donohoe and Sinéad Gleeson will choose the novel of the year winner, who will receive a €20,000 prize. The judges for the emerging writer award are Dearbhail McDonald, Declan Hughes and Aideen Howard. They will decide which author will receive a €10,000 prize and also earn a spot at the Dalkey Book Festival on Saturday, June 19th, appearing at the virtual event alongside the three judges to talk about their work and what winning the award means to them.

This will be the second year the awards, sponsored by Zurich Ireland, have run.

David McWilliams, co-founder of Dalkey Book Festival, said: “In light of the devastating effect on writers of the pandemic and lockdown, this is a generous act to encourage writing and reward brilliance.”

Sian Smyth, director of the festival, said: “We understand how difficult it is financially for writers and we hope that 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 Zurich continues to support the arts in this tremendously difficult year for writers as all book launches, signings and festivals go online without the presence of a physical audience.”

The shortlists, which are chosen by a panel of 19 Irish critics, writers and public figures, will be revealed in April and the winners announced in June.

Christine Dwyer Hickey won last year’s novel of the year award for The Narrow Land, and Sinéad Gleeson was named emerging writer for Constellations.

Dalkey Literary Awards website

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