Listowel Writers’ Week and Kerry Group today announced details of The 2014 Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year, Ireland’s most prestigious and valuable literary prize for a work of fiction by an Irish Author.
The coveted €15,000 Kerry Group Award is the largest monetary prize for fiction available solely for Irish authors. Established in 1995 and sponsored by Kerry Group, the prize is awarded annually to the best Irish Novel of the year.
Frank Hayes, Director of Corporate Affairs at Kerry Group said, “Kerry Group is delighted to sponsor the 2014 Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year. Now, in its 19th year, the award attracts books of exceptional merit from both accomplished and aspiring Irish writers. We are very proud to be associated with this literary prize and we look forward to the 2014 festival which really showcases the wealth of talent that exists amongst Irish writers”
This year’s Adjudicators are; literary critic with the Irish Times, Eileen Battersby and Award Winning Novelist David Park. Speaking about the Award, David Park stated “The Kerry Group Irish Novel Award continues to be one of our most prestigious prizes with a formidable roll of honour of previous winners, and it is both a pleasure and a responsibility to be involved with the judging. In a time of financial austerity Ireland continues to have a wealth of literary talent and I’m sure it will prove a significant challenge to arrive finally at a single winner.”
Eileen Battersby said, “I am delighted to again be judging this prize, having previously adjudicated in 2002 and 2003. This is a very important award; not only because it supports Irish fiction, but because it is itself supported and sustained by Irish fiction.”
Entries are now being accepted from authors who must be from the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland or hold an Irish Passport and have published a novel between the 1st February 2013 and 1st February 2014. Full details of the criteria are available here.
The 2013 winning novel was This is the Way by Gavin Corbett who said “Winning the Kerry Group Novel Award has been the best thing that has ever happened to me as a writer. Next year the judges will select a new winner, but it is an honour conferred on you for life and something that I will proudly brandish for the rest of my days.” Previous winners included Christine Dwyer Hickey, Neil Jordan (twice), John Banville, Joseph O’Neill, Roddy Doyle, Sebastian Barry and John McGahern.
Festival Chairman, Sean Lyons said of the Award, “this award kindly supported by Kerry Group means that Listowel Writers’ Week can continue to support Irish writing through difficult times and this award is a fantastic boost for Irish writers, established and emerging. Kerry Group themselves are a fantastic success story and this award encourages and inspires Irish writers on the road to success which was also the vision of Listowel Writers’ Week since its inception.”