The prestigious Kerry Group Novel of the Year Award, now in its 21st year had a tremendous response to its call for 2016 submissions. The shortlist, which is for a published novel by an Irish author, was announced earlier this month and features the following outstanding novels:
The adjudicators Rachel Cusk and Gerbrand Bakker now have the task of selecting the winner, who will be presented with a cheque for €15,000 at the Opening Night of Listowel Writers’ Week on Wednesday 1st June.
Speaking about the adjudication process, Gerbrand Bakker said “The things I’ve learned about Irish history! And all that without spending one minute in a classroom. It was great!”
Apart from his adjudication role, we’re delighted that Gerbrand will be hosting a very special session in Listowel’s ‘Garden of Europe’ on Friday 3rd June, where he will talk about sense of place and the link between nature and writing.
Kerry Group, who are based in Listowel and have generously sponsored the Award since 1995 said of the shortlist “This prestigious award, now in its 21st year, continues to attract books of exceptional merit from a myriad of accomplished and aspiring Irish writers. With five outstanding novels featured on this year’s shortlist, it is evident that Ireland’s literary tradition goes from strength to strength.”
Pigott Poetry Prize
In addition to the announcement of the Kerry Group Award shortlist, the shortlist for the Pigott Poetry Prize in association with Listowel Writers’ Week has also been announced. Now in its third year, the €5,000 poetry prize is sponsored by Mark Pigott KBE and is awarded for a published collection of poetry by an Irish poet. The adjudicators Gillian Clarke and Christopher Reid announced the shortlist as follows:
Gillian Clarke said of the adjudicating process “As Christmas approached, the books came in parcel-loads. I reduced my pile to a longlist of 20 fine collections to sip slowly. As decision day approached, Christopher Reid and I exchanged shortlists. It had not been easy to set aside so many strong collections, but of my ten favourites, five were also on Christopher’s list. Having reached agreement on our favourite five, we found we had made a mistake. We were allowed to nominate not five books, but three! It was the unkindest cut of all. The result, painfully and pleasurable reached, was unanimous.”
Our sponsor Mark Pigott said “It is a blessing to be able to support this wonderful literary award and recognize the leading poets of Ireland. The Pigott Poetry Prize continues to be a much sought after recognition in the Irish literary calendar. I would like to congratulate our adjudicators for selecting this year’s shortlist which showcases the beauty, diversity and strength of Irish Poetry”.
These two Awards, as well as the winners of all other categories of creative writing competitions, including ‘The Bryan MacMahon Short Story Award’ and the ‘Competitions for Youth’, will be announced in Listowel on Wednesday 1st June, when poet Paul Muldoon will officially open the festival.
Listowel Writers’ Week festival takes place on June Bank Holiday Weekend, 1st – 5th June
The full festival programme is now open for booking and can be found here
We hope you can make it!