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Image / Editorial

Female authors dominate winners list at An Post Irish Book Awards


by Jennifer McShane
28th Nov 2018
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The year 2018 has been fascinating for female writers. A year since #MeToo, there has been a noticeable, pivotal shift in the rallying cries of some remarkable women – both in life and on the page. We’ve always used our voices, but we’re shouting louder; demanding that change is no longer just spoken about, but acted upon too. And when it comes to the writing of words, I’ve felt privileged to see so many amazing books by immensely talented female authors land on my desk. So many, that, in fact, that it became harder and harder to make a selection for IMAGE Magazine – having to whittle down a curated edit of few titles. A good complaint if there ever was one.

So, it was with no surprise that the winners of the 2018 An Post Irish Book Awards were dominated by only some of these female authors. In fact, women authors dominated the winners list for the first time ever.

Related: #IMAGEReads: 4 Irish books made for curling up with during rainy weather

Now in its 13th year, the awards ceremony took place in Dublin’s Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, and naturally, some talented male authors were also awarded, with Roger O’Reilly, Diarmuid Johnson and Peter Donnelly among the winners. Renowned Irish poet Thomas Kinsella was also announced as the recipient of the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award.

But it was the woman who shone; writers such as Sally Rooney, Liz Nugent, Emilie Pine, Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen, Cora Staunton, Sarah Webb and Lynn Ruane took home prizes for their acclaimed books (all of which, I can attest were brilliantly worthy winners, having read them) at the awards held on Tuesday evening, while the family of the late Emma Hannigan accept a special award on her behalf.

If you’re looking for a reading list over Christmas, the below winner’s titles are a heck of a good place to start:

TheJournal.ie Best Irish Published Book of the Year Winner

  • Lighthouses of Ireland by Roger O’Reilly (Collins Press)

National Book Tokens Children’s Book of the Year (Junior)

  • The President’s Cat by Peter Donnelly (Gill Books)

National Book Tokens Children’s Book of the Year (Senior)

  • Blazing a Trail by Sarah Webb and Lauren O’Neill (The O’Brien Press)

Dept [email protected] Eason Teen / Young Adult Book of the Year

  • The Weight of a Thousand Feathers by Brian Conaghan (Bloomsbury)

Eason Book Club Novel of the Year

  • Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber)

Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the Year

  • The Importance of Being Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen (Gill Books)

Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year

  • Skin Deep by Liz Nugent (Penguin Ireland)

Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year

  • Notes to Self by Emilie Pine (Tramp Press)

Onside Non-Fiction Book of the Year

  • People Like Me by Lynn Ruane (Gill Books)

Ireland AM Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year

  • The Cow Book by John Connell (Granta Books)

EUROSPAR Cookbook of the Year

  • Currabinny Cookbook by James Kavanagh and William Murray (Penguin Ireland)

Bord Gáis Energy Sports Book of the Year

  • Game Changer by Cora Staunton with Mary White (PRH Transworld Ireland)

RTÉ Radio 1’s The Ryan Tubridy Show Listeners’ Choice Award

  • Skin Deep by Liz Nugent (Penguin Ireland)

Listowel Writers’ Week Irish Poem of the Year

  • “Birthday” by Brian Kirk

Writing,ie Short Story of the Year

  • “How to Build a Space Rocket” by Roisin O’Donnell (From The Broken Spiral ed by RM Clarke)

The Love Leabhar Gaeilge Irish Language Book of the Year

  • Tuatha De Denann by Diarmuid Johnson (Leabhar Breac)

Read More

  • Related: #IMAGEReads: 5 childhood books you should revisit as an adult (or thumb through with the kids)
  • Related: #IMAGEReads: Pulling an all-nighter? These 6 books are worth staying up to read

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