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The John McGahern Annual Book Prize 2020


The University of Liverpool’s Institute of Irish Studies is launching a new £5,000 book prize in memory of John McGahern, for the best debut novel or short story collection by an Irish writer or writer resident in Ireland

The prize of £5,000 will be awarded to the best debut work of fiction – either novel or collection of short stories – by an Irish writer, or writer resident in Ireland for more than 5 years, published in a given year.

The inaugural prize will be for fiction published in 2019 and the prize is open to all fictional genres. The winner will be announced during a special event in Liverpool on Wednesday 15 July 2020.

Deadline: Thursday 19 December 2019

The entries will be judged by a panel consisting of Colm Tóibín, who is currently Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, was recently awarded The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence. Colm is a prolific writer, producing both fiction and non-fiction works across a glittering career now reaching its fourth decade at the top. Professor Dame Janet Beer is Vice-Chancellor, the University of Liverpool since 2015. She is a member of the Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel and a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council and was awarded a Damehood for her services to higher education and equality and diversity. She has an established record of research and scholarship in the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century American literature and culture. Professor Frank Shovlin, Professor of Irish Literature in English, Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool who has published widely on various aspects of Irish Literature and is currently involved in two major research projects, one to produce an edition of The Letters of John McGahern and the other to write the authorised biography of John McGahern. Sarah Gilmartin is an arts journalist who writes a weekly column on new fiction for The Irish Times. Sarah lectures in feature writing at Dublin City University and the Irish Writers Centre. She is co-editor of Stinging Fly Stories (2018) and has just finished an MFA in UCD. Her short stories have been shortlisted for the Sean O’Faolain Short Story Award, the Francis MacManus, and the New Irish Writing page at The Irish Times. She recently won Best Playwright in the Wildcard category at the 2019 Short + Sweet Festival Dublin.

Please send entries  for the attention of:

Viola Segeroth

John McGahern Book Prize

The Institute of Irish Studies

University of Liverpool

1 Abercromby Square


L69 7WY



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