Irish Book Awards

Frequently Asked Questions

What are The An Post Irish Book Awards?
The Irish Book Awards comprises seventeen categories of literary awards aimed at promoting and celebrating excellence in Irish writing on an annual basis. The Awards are industry recognition awards, adjudicated upon by a broad and democratic electorate, including booksellers, librarians and general readers, via public voting. It is the only set of literary awards which enjoys the full support of all sections of the Irish book industry.

Who runs The An Post Irish Book Awards?
The awards are owned by Irish Book Awards Ltd, a not-for-profit company presided over by a board comprising Executive Director: Alastair Giles, current Chair: John Treacy, Larry McHale, Brendan Corbett, and the current Irish BA president. These individuals also attend an advisory board along with representatives from publishers, sponsors and partners. The awards are administered by Bert Wright.

How are titles submitted for consideration?
Submissions are welcomed during a two-month window (usually between July and the end of August,) provided the title satisfies the eligibility conditions. While there is no limit on nominations, please nominate only those titles you feel have a reasonable chance of winning. Entries should be submitted online by clicking the Submissions tab on the home page.

Are there any constraints on submissions?
There are three fundamental eligibility conditions: title must be published within the awards year which runs from November to November each year; author must be Irish by birth, citizenship or long-term residence; the book must be original, ie not a reprint or previously published material. Certain categories have additional rules which can be examined by clicking on the Submissions tab on the home page.

Can I submit in more than one category?
Yes. The Best Newcomer and Best-Irish published categories are open to titles submitted in their generic categories: so, for instance,a first novel can be submitted for a fiction category and the Best Newcomer category; a nonfiction title can also be submitted for Best Irish-published. In general terms, it’s best to submit in the most appropriate categories. Speculative submissions in several categories are not encouraged.

As a submitting publisher do I have to supply copies of the books?
Only if your title becomes shortlisted, in which case you will be asked to send us 13 copies which will be used for promotional purposes.

How are the shortlists compiled?
The shortlists are compiled by a​ combination of two panels​ ​from over 400-500 books submitted annually​ by publishers. ​O​n​e is an​ industry panel of booksellers and librarians​, but from 2015 onwards, to ensure the widest spectrum of opinion, a group of literary journalists and critics are ​also ​invited to submit their candidates for inclusion on the shortlists. ​The pane​ls​ select the books which, on merit, represent the best of Irish publishing in a given year including titles which have raised the profile of books, both in terms of publicity coverage and performance. These will often include books published late in the year which are widely expected to make a substantial impact. Such books will have been presented to ​individuals on the​ panel​s​ months before publication date.

How are the winners selected in each category?
The winners will be decided by a combination of the public and Voting Academy votes, weighted equally. In the final adjudication, the highest-polling title in each voting group will earn 6 points down to 1 point for the 6th placed title. The public and academy points are then aggregated and the title with the highest number of points overall wins. In the event of a points tie, the highest score in the academy vote counts as decisive.

How is the winner of the Book of the Year selected?
The winners of the individual categories go forward to compete for the title of the overall Irish Book of the Year.  The winner is decided by a combination of a public and Literary Academy vote.

What is the Voting Academy?
The Voting Academy is an aggregate of around 200 bibliophiles – booksellers, librarians, non-shortlisted authors, reviewers, journalists and cultural commentators – who are invited to vote for their preferred winner in each category.

How do I vote?
Public voting on the category awards will be conducted online at the Irish Book Awards website.  Voting for the An Post Book of the Year will also be conducted via the An Post website

Who do I talk to about sponsorship?
Any company wishing to be considered as a sponsor should contact either the Executive Director or The Administrator. Sponsorship proposals not specifically related to an award will also be considered.  Contact us.

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