Book Awards

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A General Theory of OblivionInternational Dublin Literary Award
The largest, most international, award of its kind. It involves libraries from all corners of the world and is open to books written in any language as long as they have been translated into English. The winner is announced in June of each year. 1996 was the first year of the Award.

Winner 2017: A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa.

Access current and past issues of 'Fiction Matters', the Award Newsletter.

The Man Booker Prize

The Man Booker Prize is one of the world's most famous literary prizes for contemporary fiction. From 2014 eligibility for The Man Booker Prize was extended to include novels originally written in English and published in the UK, regardless of the nationality of their author.  Previously it was only awarded to the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland.

2017 Winner: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Key prize dates:
Longlist announcement - July
Shortlist announcement - September
Winner announcement - October

The Man Booker International Prize

From 2016 the The Man Booker International Prize is to be awarded annually on the basis of a single book. This follows the decision of The Booker Prize Foundation to join forces with The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.

2017 Winner: David Grossman 'A Horse Walks into a Bar'. Translated from Israeli by Jessica Cohen.

The Man Booker International Prize was established in 2005. From 2005 to 2015 it was awarded biannually to the author for a body of work originally written in any language as long as it was widely available in English. Previous awards were given to Ismail Kadare in 2005, Chinua Achebe in 2007, Alice Munro in 2009, Philip Roth in 2011,  Lydia David in 2013 and László Krasznahorkai in 2015.

The winner is announced in June.

The Irish Book Awards

The Irish Book Awards, which grew out of the Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year Prize, were established in 2006 to "acknowledge the wealth of talent in Irish literature".

2017 Winners:

  • Best Irish-Published Book of the Year: Atlas of the Irish Revolution by John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil, Mike Murphy and John Borgonovo
  • Eason Book Club Novel of the Year: Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty
  • Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the Year: The Break by Marian Keyes
  • Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year: The Therapy House by Julie Parsons
  • Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year: I Found My Tribe by Ruth Fitzmaurice
  • Eurospar Cookbook of the Year: Cook Well, Eat Well by Rory O'Connell
  • RTÉ Radio 1’S The Ryan Tubridy Show Listeners’ Choice Award 2017: he: A Novel by John Connolly
  • Onside Non-Fiction Book of the Year: Wounds: A Memoir of War & Love by Fergal Keane
  • Bord Gáis Energy Sports Book of the Year: The Choice by Philly McMahon With Niall Kelly
  • Ireland AM Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year: Motherfoclóir by Darach Ó Séaghdha
  • Short Story of the Year: Back To Bones by Christine Dwyer Hickey
  • Listowel Writers' Week Poem of the Year: Seven Sugar Cubes by Clodagh Beresford Dunne

The winners are announced in November of each year.

Rooney Prize for Irish Literature

The Rooney Prize for Irish Literature is awarded annually to an emerging Irish writer under forty years of age for a body of work that the selection committee considers shows exceptional promise.

The Prize was established in 1976 through the generosity of Dr Daniel Rooney of the Pittsburgh Steelers (American football team) and of his wife Patricia, and since 2007 it has been administered in Trinity College's Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing of the School of English. It is worth €10,000 to the winner. The winner is announced in the Autumn each year.

2017 Recipient: Elizabeth Reapy

Women's Prize for Fiction

Launched in 1996, the  Women's Prize for Fiction is awarded to a female author who, in the opinion of the judges, has written the best, eligible full-length novel in English.

Winner 2017: 'The Power' by Naomi Alderman.

The winner is announced in June each year.

Costa Book Awards
The selection criteria for these awards is for well-written enjoyable books in five categories which the judges would recommend anyone to read.

Costa Book of the Year 2017 Inside the Wave by Helen Dunmore

Category Winners 2017:

The winners are announced in January for the previous year.

Desmond Elliott Prize

The Desmond Elliott Prize is an annual award for a first novel written in English and published in the UK. Worth £10,000 to the winner, the prize is named after the literary agent and publisher, Desmond Elliott. (extract)

The longlist and shortlist are announced around April/May, while the winner is announced in late June.

The 2017 winner was 'Golden Hill' by Francis Spufford.

Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction

The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction is the UK's most important prize for non-fiction (formerly the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize)

Winner 2017: How to Survive a Plague: the story of how activists and scientists tamed AIDS by David France

The winner is announced in November each year.

Crime Writers’ Association Daggers

The CWA Daggers celebrate the best in crime and thriller writing.

Winners 2017:

  • Gold – (best crime novel of the year) Jane Harper for The Dry
  • Ian Fleming Steel – (best crime thriller of the year) Mick Herron for Spook Street
  • John Creasey New Blood (best debut crime novel) Chris Whitaker for Tall Oaks
  • Endeavour Historical – (best historical crime novel) Abir Mukherjee for A Rising Man
  • Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction – Stephen Purvis for Close But No Cigar: A True Story of Prison Life in Castro’s Cuba
  • Short Story - L C Tyler for ‘The Trials of Margaret’ from Motives for Murder, edited by Martin Edwards
  • International – crime fiction translated into English and published in the UK; Leif G W Persson for The Dying Detective, translated by Neil Smith
  • Dagger in the Library – Mari Hannah
  • Debut Dagger sponsored by Orion Books – Sherry Rankin for Strange Fire
  • Diamond Dagger, for a career’s outstanding contribution to crime fiction - Ann Cleeves

Shortlist announced in the summer of each year and winners in the Autumn.

William Hill Sports Book of the Year

Winner 2017: Tom Simpson: Bird on the Wire by Andy McGrath

William Hill Sports Book of the Year award website.

Nobel Prize for Literature

The Nobel Prize for Literature is awarded annually to an individual who 'shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction'

Winner 2017: The Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 was awarded to Kazuo Ishiguro "who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world".

The David Cohen Prize for Literature

The David Cohen Prize for Literature established in 1992 is worth £40,000 and recognises a living writer from the UK or the Republic of Ireland for a lifetime’s achievement in literature. The biennial prize has been awarded to dramatists, essayists, biographers, novelists and poets.

Recipients in recent years:
2017: Tom Stoppard
2015: Tony Harrison
2013: Hilary Mantel
2011: Julian Barnes
2009: Seamus Heaney

Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

"The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize honoured the best work of fiction by a living author, which had been translated into English from any other language and published in the United Kingdom. Uniquely, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize gave the winning author and translator equal status: each received £5,000.

First awarded in 1990 to Orhan Pamuk and translator Victoria Holbrook for The White Castle, the Prize ran until 1995 and was then revived in 2000 with the support of Arts Council England, who continued to fund the award.

The winner of the 2015 Prize was The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky. This was to be the last winner of the The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, it since having joined forces with the Booker Prize Foundation to become the annual Man Booker International Prize (see above).

Goldsmiths Prize

"The Goldsmiths Prize was established in 2013 to celebrate the qualities of creative daring associated with the University and to reward fiction that breaks the mould or opens up new possibilities for the novel form." (Quote) The prize is sponsored by Goldsmiths, University of London in association with the New Statesman.

2017 Winner: H(A)PPY by Nicola Barker

The shortlist is announced in early October with the winner announcement in mid-November.

Rathbones Folio Prize

Rathbones Folio Prize was established in 2013 as the first major English language book prize open to writers from around the world. It is the only literary prize in which all the books considered for the prize are selected and judged by an academy of peers.
Members of the Folio Prize Academy, which comprises more than 300 writers can each nominate novels, which are then assembled into a longlist, from which the judging panel select the shortlist. Previous winners were George Saunders in 2013 and Akhil Sharma in 2014.

Winner 2018: Ghosts of the Tsunami by Richard Lloyd Parry

The winner is announced in May.

The International Dylan Thomas Prize

Launched in 2006, the annual International Dylan Thomas Prize is awarded to the "best published or produced literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under" (quote). The prize is worth £30,000 to the winner.

The shortlist is announced in March and the winner in May.

The 2017 winning book was 'The High Places' by Fiona McFarlane.


Further Reading

Children's Book Awards.

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