It’s been announced that Sebastian Barry will be the new Laureate for Irish fiction for the next three years, hailing what he called the current ‘golden age for prose writing in Ireland’.
The popular author of many books including Birdsong (US – UK) and Days Without End (US – UK) will take over the role from Anne Enright and begins his time as Laureate from 2018-2021 later this month. It’s not just about the honour of being laureate either, part of the role is to inspire a new generation of writers, promote Irish literature internationally and encourage the public to choose Irish fiction.
Speaking at the Laureate ceremony in Ireland, Barry said of the role
“It is no burden to assert, to as many people as possible in as many places as possible, that we live in a golden age of prose writing in Ireland. And I am really happy to be the ambassador of this rather stupendous reality for a few years. Writers reading their own work can make an illuminating music and show something important about it in the very act of ‘singing’ it. I would like to pay homage to this during the course of my laureateship”.
The Laureate for Irish Fiction is supported by the Arts Council and is run in partnership with University College Dublin and New York University.
It’s likely we’ll be hearing a lot from the double Costa winning author during his laureateship and you can expect to hear about some other great Irish authors too.
The prize will honour one work of fiction, or nonfiction that has been translated into English in the US, and begins at the 69th National Book Awards this November. Read More
Author and screenwriter Bridget Lawless created the Staunch book prize which will open to entries on February 22nd until April 15th 2018. Her wish is to change the overused trope of using violence against women as a plot device. The prize will be given to the best thriller novel in which no woman is raped, murdered, or beaten. Asking for something refreshing in the world of thriller fiction, her website states:
“As violence against women in fiction reaches a ridiculous high, the Staunch Book Prize invites thriller writers to keep us on the edge of our seats without resorting to the same old clichés – particularly female characters who are sexually assaulted (however ‘necessary to the plot’), or done away with (however ingeniously).”
The winner will be announced on the 25th of November to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.