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Elizabeth Reapy awarded Rooney Prize for Irish Literature 2017

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Article by Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin © 26 September 2017.
Posted in Guest Blogs ().

Elizabeth Reapy has been awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature for her debut novel, Red Dirt. The prize is awarded for a body of work by a young Irish writer that shows exceptional promise.

The novel was published in 2016 by Head of Zeus, and has since garnered considerable praise with Reapy named Newcomer of the Year last November at the 2016 Irish Book Awards. Following the announcement of Reapy’s victory, Jonathan Williams, literary agent and chair of the selection committee, said: “Although the Prize is awarded to a writer on the basis of the literary excellence of a body of work, it is not unusual for it to be conferred when the writer has produced just a single book – as has happened in recent years with both Colin Barrett and Sara Baume.” He noted that Reapy’s debut alone was “reason enough for her to be chosen as the winner of this year’s prize. The six members of the selection panel read work by fifteen to twenty eligible writers, but were unanimous in their choice.”

Elizabeth Reapy hails from Mayo, and holds a B.A. in English Literature and History from NUI Galway, a Diploma in Education from University College Cork, and a master’s degree in Creative Writing from Queen’s University Belfast. Reapy also has international experience after spending time in Varuna Writers’ House in New South Wales, Australia. Here, as the Tyrone Guthrie Exchange Irish Writer, Reapy found inspiration for her award-winning debut novel. She is currently working on her second novel.

Order your copy of Red Dirt online here.


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Writing.ie has been developed and is run by Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin who founded The Inkwell Group publishing consultancy and is Ireland's leading literary scout. Vanessa is represented by literary agent Simon Trewin and writes crime as Sam Blake. LITTLE BONES will be published by Bonnier's Twenty7 imprint in May 2016. Vanessa is the Chair of Irish PEN and the Irish and Eurozone Adviser to the international organisation The Alliance of Independent Authors.