COMPETITIONS

Great News for Irish Writing as Winners for Listowel Writers’ Week Competition Awards 2020 Announced

Listowel Writers’ Week 2020 was due to take place this week, 27th May to 31st May. An online Awards Ceremony, held on Wednesday 27th May at 8pm, honoured all competition entrants and their talented writing, during an incredibly strange and unprecedented year. This could not have happened without the loyalty of our Sponsors and Patrons and we are delighted to say a huge thank you to them all for their sponsorship of, and dedication to, supporting writers at a time when it is most needed.

Our Festival President, Colm Tóibín, spoke fondly via video of his many memories of Listowel Writers’ Week. He spoke about the many enjoyable weeks he has spent, over the years, celebrating the written word in the worthy company of authors and artists who continue to enrich our lives. He remarked that the festival is a beacon of light in Ireland which harnesses energy and excellence and that the written word is transformed and enlightened by the Festival presence in the international calendar.

Chairperson Catherine Moylan announced the winners and shortlist of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award 2020 and the Pigott Poetry Prize Award 2020 online, on the night. She thanked both sponsors, Kerry Group and Mark Pigott KBE, for their continued support and sponsorship of these prestigious literary awards.

We were on the cusp of releasing another wonderful programme of great writers and artists, all of whom were dedicated and excited to bring a jam-packed literary diary of events to the 50th celebration of Listowel Writers’ Week. Although the door of the Listowel Arms Hotel was not open to welcome so many of our literary friends this year, we celebrated and marked the occasion with a very special digital Awards Ceremony to honour the many writers who graced us with their wonderful works of literature. We are already planning for 2021 and look forward to welcoming you again and supporting and promoting writers and the written word.

The close-knit community of Arts practitioners, both here in Ireland and internationally, have all suffered as a result of this pandemic. Writers have missed out on so much with the postponement of many book publications, cancellations of book launches and much-loved Festivals. Here in Listowel we witness first-hand, each year, the delight of our authors and readers who greet each other at book signings and literary events, and meet informally as the sun shines down upon our beautiful town. So many are doing their level best to help, and Irish independent bookshops continue to do a wonderful job in supporting writers through facilitating and feeding our love of reading.  We will miss the buzz in Listowel this year, but we’ll be back in 2021 ready and eager to welcome you to what will still be our 50th Festival.

 

The Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award 2020

The winner of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award 2020 was announced. Well known and much loved author Edna O’Brien, with her novel Girl, scooped the large literary purse of the evening – €15,000. Her lifetime of writing spans six decades and she has created many great works of literature over this time.

Frank Hayes, representing sponsor Kerry Group commented:  “In celebrating the 25th anniversary of our Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award, we are pleased to salute the five shortlisted writers selected by Carol Drinkwater and Ian McGuire. Congratulations to each of them for their wonderful novels which greatly augment the prestige of the literature of Ireland and most especially to our 2020 Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award winner Edna O’Brien for her brave, compelling work GIRL.

He also thanked this year’s adjudicators Ian McGuire and Carol Drinkwater for their great work and dedication to the adjudication of all competition entries.

 

The Pigott Poetry Prize Award 2020

What Planet by Miriam Gamble was awarded The Pigott Poetry Prize Award 2020. This is Miriam’s third collection of poetry. Her first two collections of poetry are The Squirrels Are Dead and Pirate Music. She grew up in Belfast and currently lectures at Edinburgh University in creative writing. This prize is for an Irish poet who has published a collection of poetry, kindly sponsored by Mark Pigott, KBE and Executive Chairman of PACCAR Inc. With family origins in Listowel, Mark’s family emigrated to the United States of America in the late 1980’s.

Mark Pigott said: “It is a blessing to be able to support this wonderful literary award and recognise the leading poets of Ireland. This is the 7th year of the prize and the competition is world class. I would like to thank our adjudicator, Ian McMillan, for his hard work and thorough review of all the entrants and congratulate him on his excellent selection of this year’s shortlist which showcases the beauty, diversity and strength of Irish Poetry“.

 
The Full List of Literary Award Winners on the Night

The Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award 2020

Winner:

Girl by Edna O’Brien

Shortlisted: 

Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor

Leonard & Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession

Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry

The River Capture by Mary Costello

 

The Pigott Poetry Prize Award 2020

Winner: 

What Planet by Miriam Gamble

Shortlisted:

When the Tree Falls by Jane Clarke

Pigeon Songs by Eoghan Walls

 

Listal – Single Poem Award 2020

Winner:

Terminarch by Jo Burns

 

Kerry County Council – The Bryan MacMahon Short Story Award 2020

Winner: 

Grace by Angela Lyons

 

Foras Na Gaeilge – Duais Foras Na Gaeilge Award 2020

Winner:

Iarlais by Áine Ní Ghlinn

 

Tim Costello, Profile Developments – The Poetry Collection Competition Award 2020

Winner:

Mating on the Wing by John D Kelly

 

Bill Walsh & Family, Aspire Technology Limited – Eamon Keane Full Length Play Award 2020 in Association with Siamsa Tire

Winner:

Giddyups Way by Ciara Cassoni

 

Listowel Writers’ Week Originals Humorous Essay Award 2020

Winner:

The Cow as a Political Actor by Gavin O’Toole

 

The Nilsson Family – The Nilsson Local Heritage Writing Competition Award 2020

Winner:

Capard, An Irish Country House and Estate by Ciaran Reilly

Second:

School at Slyne Head by Colm Wallace

 

Kerry County Council – Creative Writing Competitions for Youth Award 2020

Age 9 and Under:

1st:  Winter Woolies by Ellie May Walsh

2nd:  The Dog Who Hurt His Paw by Aoibhinn May Smith

3rd: The Great Famine by Charlie O’Neill

Age 12 and Under:

1st: Outside My Window by Anna O’Sullivan

2nd: The Pocket Watch by Ciara Kelly

3rd: A Day with Dinosaurs by Siena Ryan

Age 15 and Under:

1st: The Midnight Ball by Ruth McCarthy

2nd: A Filipino Mystery by Sarah Moynihan

3rd: Forgotten Forest by Aleksandra Glebocka

Age 18 and Under:

1st: Girls in the Shape of Birds in the Shape of Girls by Emma Harris

2nd: Old Friends and New Friends by Lauren McDermott

3rd: Funeral by Conor Keane

 

Robert & Olive Pierse – Creative Writing for Special Educational Needs Award 2020 – Age 18 and Under

1st: Connemara by William O’Connor

2nd: Supergran by Oisin O’hAolain

3rd: One Moment in Time by Sarah O’Leary

 

Pierce Fitzgibbon Solicitors – Creative Writing for Adults with Special Needs Award 2020

1st: Childhood by Joseph Ganley

2nd: Disability by Paul Manning

3rd: Flame of a Rainbow by Dean Kiely

 

Huge thanks to all of our generous Sponsors and Patrons who support our great literary awards every year.

Congratulations to all award recipients. Thank you to all writers’ that submitted their creative literary works, continue writing and keep the written word alive!

 

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