22 - 25 February 2018

The shortlist of writers for the Kate O'Brien Award 2018 has been announced. The nominees are :

    Lisa Harding, Harvesting
    Maria Hoey, The Last Lost Girl
    Andrea Mara, The Other Side Of The Wall
    Sally Rooney, Conversations With Friends

The Kate O'Brien Award was established in 2015. It celebrates new Irish writing by a female author. It was established by the organising committee of the Kate O'Brien Weekend to celebrate Irish Women's Writing in memory of Kate O'Brien. It is an honorary award which celebrates debut Irish fiction; this award is a great affirmation for the debut winner and a recognition of the literary quality of the book. There is a presentation to the winner at the Limerick Literary Festival in honour of Kate O'Brien.

It is an award presented for debut book which could be either a book of short stories or a novel. The competition is open to debut female writers so long as they are Irish. There are no age or geographic limitations. The shortlist is announced at the beginning of January and the shortlisted authors are invited to the Festival, where the winner is announced.

The judges are the Committee: Sheila Deegan, Marie Hackett, Eileen O'Connor, Vivienne McKechnie, Eimear Redmond, Denise Whelan, Anne Marie Gill, Valerie Dolan, Donal Ryan.

In 2015, the winner was Martine Madden for her novel Anyush. In 2016, the shortlist was Caitriona Lally with Eggshells, Danielle McLaughlin with Dinosaurs On Other Planets, Doreen Finn with My Buried Life, and Sara Baume with Spill Simmer Falter Wither. The winner was Sara Baume. In 2017, the shortlist for the award was Tanya Farrelly with When Black Dogs Sing, Roisin O'Donnell with Wild Quiet and E.M. Reapy with Red Dirt. The winner of the Kate O'Brien 2017 award was Tanya Farrelly.

We celebrate the shortlisted authors and the winner on the Sunday of the Festival after the Kate O'Brien lecture with photographs and press coverage.