The Irish Writers Centre is delighted to be the first to announce that the following titles have been shortlisted for the EU Prize for Literature 2015, a prize for emerging talents in the field of contemporary fiction (alphabetical order):

– Mary Costello, Academy Street (Cannongate Books, 2014)
– Donal Ryan, The Spinning Heart (Doubleday Ireland, 2012; originally published by Lilliput Press)
– Deirdre Sullivan, Primperfect (Little Island, 2014)

Ireland is one of twelve countries who will provide a national winner of the EU Prize for Literature in 2015. See the EU Prize for Literature website for more. 

The aim of the European Prize for Literature is to put the spotlight on the creativity and diverse wealth of Europe’s contemporary literature in the field of fiction, to promote the circulation of literature within Europe and encourage greater interest in non-national literary works. 

The €5,000 prize is financed by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union whose objective is to achieve three main goals:

– to promote cross-border mobility of those working in the cultural sector

– to encourage the transnational circulation of cultural and artistic output

– and to foster intercultural dialogue.

The twelve winners will be announced on 14 April 2015 at the London Book Fair. A ceremony will follow in Brussels on 23 June 2015.

President of the Irish Jury, Conor Kostick, said:

‘We were all extremely impressed by the high quality of entries and also struck by the tone of the novels and short story collections published by Irish writers in the last few years, which overall was a dark one. Whether set in contemporary Ireland or in some much earlier, historical period, many of the entries – including those by Donal Ryan and Mary Costello – have a bitter anger surging through them. It feels as though it took the collapse of the Celtic Tiger to galvanise Irish writers to depict characters and dramas with much greater contrast between light and shadow than they did in the boom years.

We are also very pleased that a young-adult novel has made the shortlist. Ireland has a notable tradition of successful literary works for young adults and in Deirdre Sullivan’s work we see an emerging voice of tremendous vivacity.’

The Irish Jury comprised:

President: Conor Kostick. Former Chairperson of the Irish Writers’ Union and board member of the Irish Copyright Licensing Agency, Conor is the author of fourteen books of fiction and history, including the award-winning Epic.

Fergal Tobin was publishing director of Ireland’s largest publishing house for more than twenty years and was president of the Federation of European Publishers from 2010 to 2012.

Nessa O’Mahony has published four volumes of poetry, including a verse novel.

Stephen Boylan is Books Category Manager for Eason’s, the largest suppliers of books in Ireland. He also reviews books for RTE, the national state television and radio broadcaster.

Louise Phillips is bestselling author of the psychological crime thrillers, Red Ribbons, The Doll’s House and Last Kiss. All three novels were nominated for the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Book of the Year at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards. Her second novel, The Doll’s House, won the award in 2013.

For more information contact:

EU Prize for Literature Website 

EU Prize for Literature on Twitter

EU Prize for Literature on Facebook  

Culture portal of the European Union