'Keeping the culture alive' as new writers vie for accolades
THE judges of the 43rd Hennessy Literary Awards have met in Dublin to decide the winners in three categories – First Fiction, Emerging Fiction and Poetry.
Poet Theo Dorgan, London-based literary agent Peter Straus and 'New Irish Writing' editor Ciaran Carty said they came to a consensus in their judging session.
The finalists are chosen from entries to the New Irish Writing series, published in the Irish Independent on the last Saturday of every month.
"One of the great joys of this series," said Mr Dorgan, "is to see that newspapers, which are supposed to be purely profit-driven, can and do contribute to keeping the culture alive."
Mr Carty said the importance of the award lies in being exclusively for new and emerging writers.
"The fact that these stories and poems appear in a national newspaper suddenly legitimises you as a writer in the eyes of the country."
The winners will be announced on Tuesday, April 8, and will receive a Hennessy trophy and €1,500. An overall winner will also be chosen and will receive an additional prize of €2,500 and a trophy.