Early novelists and big names among the big winners of the An Post Irish Book Awards

CHEF turned writer Louise Kennedy was bowled over tonight after her debut novel Trespasses won Novel of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards.

he mother-of-two from Co Sligo joined household names – including Marian Keyes, Kellie Harrington, Charlie Bird, John Boyne and John Creedon – who all walked away with gongs at the glittering awards ceremony at the Dublin Convention Center .

Ms Kennedy (53), from Holywood, Co Down, said: ‘It’s a huge honour, it was such a strong shortlist’ after her first novel – set in Belfast in 1975 – was named Eason “Novel of the Year” at the ceremony. She said she wrote the book in her garden shed.

“I didn’t expect to be on the shortlist, let alone anything else,” she told Independent.ie. “I think it’s particularly great that the award is also voted on by the Irish public, so I’m totally delighted.”

After working as a chef for nearly 30 years, Ms. Kennedy released a number of short stories after “being picked up in a car in 2014” by a friend who “took me to a writing group with she”.

“I wrote a short story, expecting the other band members to laugh about it and I wouldn’t have to write another – but they were all very encouraging, so I kept going,” he said. she declared.

She plans to focus on writing, even though she is currently undergoing cancer treatment.

“I just wrote – but it’s something I can do from a bed,” she said. “I’m in treatment, but it seems to be working.”

Meanwhile, journalist Edel Coffey has won the Irish Independent’s Crime Fiction of the Year award for her debut novel Breaking point.

The novel was also shortlisted for the Sunday Independent’s Newcomer of the Year award, which was won by Alice Ryan for There was a little incident.

Ms Coffey said she was also honored to win the prize for her own first novel.

“Three years ago, I was sitting at my dining room table, surrounded by children’s toys and writing like crazy – desperate to achieve that goal I’ve always had, to write a book. .

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“And if I had thought that I would be here tonight, nominated for two awards, I would have laughed and probably cried too – and I certainly wouldn’t have believed you,” she said of winning. price.

Meanwhile, former RTÉ broadcaster Charlie Bird has won biography of the year for his bestseller Time and tidewhich was written with co-writer and longtime friend Ray Burke.

Mr Burke said winning the award “would be huge for Charlie” who is battling motor neuron disease.

“He’s fantastic for focusing, for waking up every day with something new to do,” Burke said.

Among the other 13 book winners, Marian Keyes took home the Popular Fiction Book of the Year award for Rachel againboxer Kellie Harrington for her biography Kellieco-written by Sportsbook of the Year winner Roddy Doyle and RTÉ broadcaster John Creedon for A treasure trove of Irish folklore for best published Irish book of the year.

Award-winning writer John Boyne has been named author of the year by the Library Association of Ireland, while writer Anne Enright has received the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award for her distinguished body of literary work, which includes her novel winner of the Booker Prize in 2007. The meeting as well as six other novels, three collections of short stories and a maternity memoir.

Ms Enright, who was named the inaugural winner of Irish Fiction between 2015 and 2018, joins other Lifetime Achievement Award recipients including Sebastian Barry, Colm Toibín, Thomas Kinsella, Eavan Boland, John Montague, JP Donleavy, Paul Durcan, John Banville, Maeve Binchy, John McGahern, Edna O’Brien, William Trevor, Séamus Heaney and Jennifer Johnston.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Season novel of the year

Offenses –Louise Kennedy

National Book Tokens Popular Fiction Book of the Year

Rachel again –Marianne Keyes

Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year

Breaking point – Edel Coffey

Eason Sports Book of the Year in association with Ireland AM

Kellie – Kellie Harrington, with Roddy Doyle

Dubray Biography of the Year

Time and tide –Charlie Bird, with Ray Burke

Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year

There was a little incident –Alice Ryan

Library Association of Ireland Author of the Year

John Boyne

Odgers Berndtson Non-Fiction Book of the Year

My fourth time, we drowned –Sally Hayden

TheJournal.ie Best book of the year published in Ireland

A treasure trove of Irish folklore –John Credon

Odgers Berndtson Non-Fiction Book of the Year

My fourth time, we drowned –Sally Hayden

Bookstation Lifestyle Book of the Year

An Irish Atlantic Rainforest: A personal journey into the magic of rewilding – Eoghan Daltun

Avoca Cookbook of the Year

The Daly Dish: an audacious kitchen well done – Gina and Karol Daly

Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year – Junior

our big day – Bob Johnston, illustrated by Michael Emberley

Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year – Senior

Girls who kill monsters – Ellen Ryan, illustrated by Shona Shirley Macdonald

Bookstore Ireland Book of the Year for Teenagers and Young Adults

Let’s talk – Richie Sadlier

A post-Irish bookstore of the year

Bridge Street Books, Wicklow

Love Leabhar Gaeilge Irish Language Book of the Year

EL – Thaddée Ó Buachalla

Listowel Writers Week Poem of the Year

Wedding dress –Martina Dalton

Writing.ie Short Story of the Year

This dizzy little life – Nuala O’Connor