Dublin’s An Post Irish Book Awards: The 2023 Shortlist

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The An Post Irish Book Awards are to name their top prize-winner on December 6, having chosen 20 category winners for 2023.

Image: An Post Irish Book Awards

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Booker-Shortlisted Paul Murray in Contention
The An Post Irish Book Awards classify themselves as “exclusively Irish, inclusive in every other sense.” Created in 2006 by a group of booksellers, it’s a nonprofit award regime with a strong following, and we’re picking up on coverage of it shortly before the program names its An Post Irish Book of the Year award on Wednesday (December 6).

Some of the categories from which the book of the year is drawn are sponsored, as is the overall program: An Post is Ireland’s postal service.

Ironically, listing this year’s category winners ahead of Wednesday’s big night means closing our week with a winning Irish author named Paul, just as we opened the week with Ireland’s Paul Lynch and his Booker Prize for Fiction win for Prophet Song. In fact, Prophet Song—from Juliet Mabey‘s Oneworld Publications—was shortlisted for the An Post Irish Book Awards in the novel category, but one of the “other Pauls” on the Booker shortlist, Paul Murray, has won the Eason Novel of the Year prize in Dublin for The Bee Sting (Penguin Random House / Hamish Hamilton).

Submissions are limited to books by authors who are Irish by either birth, citizenship, or long-term residence. A book must have been published between November and November of a given year’s competition.

The original categories’ shortlists are generated by two voting bodies: one is an “academy” of booksellers and librarians, the other a group of literary journalists and critics. The public then votes, as does the “academy” of publishing industry people, on the works winning in each category.

When it comes time—as now—for a book of the year winner to be chosen from that shortlist of category winners, the selection is made by a jury. That jury this year:

  • Madeleine Keane, chair
  • Sinead Moriarty
  • Rick O’Shea
  • Cyril McGrane
  • Elaina Ryan
  • Tomás Kenny
An Post Irish Book Awards 2023 Shortlist

In commentary around the An Post Irish Book Awards, you’ll see the shortlist referred to as “winners.” This is because each shortlisted title has won its place in its own category.

Eason Novel of the Year

  • The Bee Sting, Paul Murray (Penguin Random House / Hamish Hamilton)

TheJournal.ie Irish-Published Book of the Year

Bookselling Ireland Biography of the Year

  • Poor, Katriona O’Sullivan (Penguin Random House / Sandycove)

Cookbook of the Year

Bookstation Lifestyle Book of the Year

Dubray Nonfiction Book of the Year

Eason Sports Book of the Year, in association with Ireland AM

Library Association of Ireland Author of the Year

Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year

Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year

  • Kala, Colin Walsh (Atlantic Books)

National Book Tokens Popular Fiction Book of the Year

Foras na Gaeilge Irish Language Fiction Book of the Year Award

The Last Word Listeners’ Choice Award

  • Poor, Katriona O’Sullivan (Penguin Random House / Sandycove)

New Voices: The An Post Writing Prize

  • The Border / Кордон, Valeriia Shmyrova

International Education Services Teen and Young Adult Book of the Year

Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year, junior

Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year, senior

Writing.ie Short Story of the Year

Listowel Writers’ Week Poem of the Year

  • Vectors in Kabul, Mary O’Donnell

An Post Bookshop of the Year

  • Halfway up the Stairs, Greystones, County Wicklow

The Book of the Year announcement is to be made in an RTE broadcast on Wednesday, hosted by Oliver Callan.

More from Publishing Perspectives on book and publishing awards is here, more on the Irish market is here, and more on publishing and Europe is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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