Wednesday 19 June 2019

Literary diary

Book festivals are on the horizon
Book festivals are on the horizon

Madeliene Keane

The only way to survive this time of year, in my view, is to travel, which is why I'll miss the launch of Tramp Press's spring debuts next week. I'm crazy about campus novels so I love the sound of The Red Word by Sarah Henstra, a darkly comic, thriller which has just won the Governor General's Literary Award in Canada. Set in a US college it's reminiscent of the work of Donna Tartt, Tramp's Sarah Davis-Goff tells me.

It's also cheering in the dog days of January to hear the sound of book festivals revving up. The grande dame of them all, Listowel Writers' Week, announced details of its Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award, for the best work by an Irish author published between February 1, 2018 and February 1, 2019. This year's adjudicators are actress Carol Drinkwater (author of the gorgeous Olive Farm quartet) and Ian McGuire who wrote the searing The North Water. Closing date for submission is February 1, and the winner will be presented with a cheque for €15,000 at the opening of Listowel Writers' Week in late May.

Here in books we believe in generous prizes too. Back in November we offered readers the chance to win a €500 EUROSPAR voucher to celebrate its sponsorship of the EUROSPAR Cookbook of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards. The answer to the question - which title won EUROSPAR's Cookery Book of the Year in 2017? - was Cook Well Eat Well by Rory O'Connell. This smashing prize (which included a hamper of all the 2018 shortlisted cookery books) was won by Deirdre Cox, of County Limerick.

Finally a reminder that the closing date for entries for our Christmas Great Arts Quiz is this Friday. There's a five-star break for two at the gorgeous Muckross Park Hotel & Spa to be won.

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