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Bord Gais Irish Book Awards: The Winners

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Article by Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin © 28 November 2013 .
Posted in the Magazine ( · News for Writers ).
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At one of the biggest nights in the Irish literary calendar, Roddy Doyle, Darina Allen, Paul Howard and Michael Harding were among the winners in the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2013, held at the Double Tree Hilton in Dublin.

Children’s writers Benji Bennett and Derek Landy,  sports writer David Walsh, short story writer Billy O’ Callaghan and Fintan O’Toole were also honoured at the gala ceremony on Tuesday 26th November. Louise Phillips’ crime novel The Doll’s House scooped the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Book of the Year award and first time novelist Niamh Boyce was awarded the The Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year for The Herbalist. The awards, which were presented by RTÉ’s Keelin Shanley and John Murray, were attended a glittering array of authors, agents and publishers from right across the Irish book industry including Bord Gais Energy/writing.ie ticket winner Sheena Lambert whose name came out of the hat at Bord Gais HQ last week.

New Island Editorial Director Eoin Purcell (left) & winner Billy O'Callaghan

New Island Editorial Director Eoin Purcell (left) & winner Billy O’Callaghan

Writing.ie was delighted to sponsor the inaugural Writing.ie Short Story of the Year Award with Billy O’Callaghan taking the trophy on the night. Martina Devlin presented the award, saying “The short story is a clever trick. It looks simple but it’s not. It’s brief, but never flimsy. Economical, but never cut-price. Deceptive, but never untrue. The fewer the words, the more they convey. This is precision craft. It works because of what’s left unsaid.

The short story is the hobbit of the literary family. Sometimes underestimated. Yet heroic, in its way. It’s a survivor. It delivers. It’s tailor-made for the digital era – a compact format which allows for immediacy. Oddly enough, for a people who never knowingly use five words when we can let rip with 500, the Irish have a knack for the short story. It occupies a pivotal place in our literature. Perhaps because, at the core, we’re an emotional people. And short stories alchemise words into feelings which engage with the heart.

All writing practises the art of deception, to some extent. The short story takes that illusion to its outer limits. Reading one, we think we’re stepping into a room – instead we discover ourselves in another world.

And when we reach the story’s end, we never quite leave that world – we carry it with us. Because the best short fiction sparks a pulse of recognition within us. And forever afterwards, it haunts us.”

John Banville (left) Michael Harding & Fintan O'Toole (right)

John Banville (left) Michael Harding & Fintan O’Toole (right)

The fabulous John Banville was presented with the ‘Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award 2013’ by actress Sinéad Cusack for his contribution to Irish literature and a tribute to the late Seamus Heaney was screened during the ceremony which featured accolades from former US President Bill Clinton and Edna O’ Brien.

For the third year in succession,  this year’s awards also included the ‘Bookshop of the Year Award’, sponsored by Bord Gáis Energy which was awarded to The Clifden Bookshop, Clifden, Co Galway.

Here is the full list of winners:

The winners in the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2013 are:

  • Eason Novel of the Year: The Guts by Roddy Doyle (Jonathan Cape)
  • RTÉ Radio 1’s John Murray Show Listeners’ Choice Award: Staring At Lakes: A Memoir Of Love, Melancholy and Magical Thinking by Michael Harding (Hachette Ireland)
  • Louise Phillips

    Louise Phillips

    Ireland AM Crime Fiction Book of the Year: The Doll’s House by Louise Phillips (Hachette Ireland)

  • Avonmore Cookbook of the Year: 30 Years at Ballymaloe by Darina Allen (Kyle Books)
  • National Book Tokens Non-Fiction Book of the Year: Staring At Lakes: A Memoir Of Love, Melancholy and Magical Thinking by Michael Harding (Hachette Ireland)
  • International Education Services Popular Fiction Book of the Year: Downturn Abbey by Ross O’Carroll-Kelly (Penguin Ireland)
  • RTÉ Television Sports Book of the Year: Seven Deadly Sins by David Walsh (Simon and Schuster)
  • Writing.ie Short Story of the Year: The Things We Lose, The Things We Leave Behind by Billy O’Callaghan (The Things We Lose, the Things We Leave Behind & Other Short Stories, New Island Books)
  • Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year: The Herbalist by Niamh Boyce (Penguin Ireland)
  • Best Irish Published Book of the Year: A History of Ireland in 100 Objects by Fintan O’Toole (Royal Irish Academy)
  • Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year: When You Were Born by Benji Bennett (AdamsPrinting Press) [Junior] and Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men by Derek Landy (Harper Collins) [Senior]

Don’t forget to vote for your overall favourite Book of the Year.

Here are some more pictures of the night!

Donal and Anne Marie Ryan

Donal and Anne Marie Ryan

Niamh O'Connor & Caroline Finnerty

Niamh O’Connor & Caroline Finnerty

martina_devlin_&_sarah_webb 200x246

Martina Devlin & Sarah Webb

Caroline Finnerty (left) Andrea Hayes, Vanessa Fox OLoughlin (right)

Caroline Finnerty (left) Andrea Hayes, Vanessa Fox OLoughlin (right)

Sinead Desmond  (left) Sinead Moriarty & Sinead Cusack (right)

Sinead Desmond (left) Sinead Moriarty & Sinead Cusack (right)


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