Press Release

Dalkey Book Festival and Zurich Insurance announce Dalkey Literary Awards 2021 

The Dalkey Book Festival, in conjunction with Zurich Insurance, is announcing the Judging panel for the Dalkey Literary Awards 2021. This is the second year of the Dalkey Literary Awards, a prestigious awards programme for writers in Ireland that boasts a total prize fund of €30,000.

The launch of the Dalkey Literary Awards in 2020 marked a major new step for the highly popular Dalkey Book Festival, which has grown in size and reputation since its 2010 debut with the support of Zurich Insurance.

The awards, held annually, recognise writers in two categories: ‘Novel of the Year’ and ‘Emerging Writer’. Writers resident or born in Ireland and published in Ireland or the UK in 2020, will be recognised by the awards. The winner of the ‘Novel of the Year’ will walk away with €20,000, while the writer crowned ‘Emerging Writer’ will receive €10,000. The Emerging Writer winner will also earn a spot at the Dalkey Book Festival on Saturday 19th June, appearing alongside the three judges of that award with the chance to talk about their work and what winning the award means to them.

The shortlist for each category is proposed by a designated Nominating Panel made up of 19 well-known critics, writers and public figures within the Irish literary scene. Nominations were also accepted from publishers. Each category has three judges who review the shortlisted nominees and select one overall winner.

The judging panel for Novel of the Year are: Róisín Ingle (chair), Paschal Donohoe and Sinéad Gleeson.

The judges for the Emerging Writer award are: Dearbhail McDonald (chair), Declan Hughes and Aideen Howard.

David McWilliams, Co-Founder of Dalkey Book Festival said: “In light of the devastating effect on writers of the pandemic and lockdown, this is a generous act to encourage writing and reward brilliance.”

Sian Smyth, Director of Dalkey Book Festival said: “We understand how difficult it is financially for writers and we hope that this award will serve to provide some financial stability to our most creative minds. These awards are something the festival has always wanted to do and we are delighted that Zurich continues to support the arts in this tremendously difficult year for writers as all book launches, signings and festivals go online without the presence of a physical audience.”

Neil Freshwater, CEO Zurich Insurance plc said: “Zurich is proud to support writers, literature and creativity in Ireland through its longstanding partnership with the Dalkey Book Festival. The success of the inaugural Dalkey Literary Awards in 2020 was built on the passion of contributors to provide support and hope during a very difficult time. In 2021, as an online festival and awards ceremony, we look forward to once again supporting and celebrating the immense talent Ireland has to offer.”

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