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New Arts Council Laureate Award for Irish Fiction

The Art Council has announced that it is to set up a €150,000 Laureate award for Irish Fiction. It is hoped the award will help to encourage the next generation of Irish fiction writers. The award is supported by University College Dublin (UCD) and New York University (NYU). The Irish Times will be the media partner of the award.

The award will be awarded by the Arts Council to Irish writers of national and international distinction, writing in English. The honour will promote Irish literature nationally and internationally and to help encourage the public to engage with high quality Irish fiction.

The Laureate will have a 3 year term. The Laureate will teach creative writing at UCD and NYU. Develop their own work and participate in a number of workshops and events.

Nomination process will begin immediately and the judging panel will include high profile Irish and US writers, a member of the Arts council, UCD, NYU and The Irish Times.

Following the announcement, Ms Pat Moylan, Chair of the Arts Council, said: "I am very proud that the Laureate for Irish Fiction has been created by the Arts Council. The Laureate represents a milestone for Irish literature and will place Irish writing at the forefront of global public thought."

Mr Denis Staunton, Deputy Editor of The Irish Times said the newspaper is honoured to support the project.

"The Irish Times has a proud tradition of excellent writers and we are delighted to support this. The Laureate will build on the illustrious literary history of the Irish and aim to encourage the next generation of Irish writers."

Dr Hugh Brady, President at University College Dublin, said: "Through this initiative, the Laureate will raise the profile of Irish writing globally. I am confident that this programme will contribute to enhancing Ireland’s global reputation and most importantly, the reputation of Ireland as the centre of excellence for literature."

Deborah Landau, Director of the Creative Writing Program at New York University, said: "The NYU Creative Writing Program is honoured to partner with these respected literary organisations to bring a distinguished Irish writer to our campus. NYU is uniquely placed to raise the profile of Irish writing globally."