The Arts Council has announced that it has established a new award which will honour an outstanding Irish fiction writer, and encourage the next generation of Irish fiction writers.
The Laureate for Irish Fiction has been developed by the Arts Council and is supported by University College Dublin (UCD) and New York University (NYU). The Irish Times is media partner for the Laureate.
The Laureate will be awarded by the Arts Council to an Irish writer of national and international distinction. The honour will be used to promote Irish literature nationally and internationally and to encourage the public to engage with high quality Irish fiction.
The Laureate will have a three-year term. Over the period, he or she will teach creative writing to students at University College Dublin and New York University, will spend time developing his or her own work, and will participate in a number of major, public events and promotions. The Laureate will receive €150,000 over the three years.
The Arts Council will coordinate the nomination process which will begin immediately and include key members of the literary community as well as a spread of national organisations.
The judging panel for the final selection will include a high profile Irish writer, a high profile US writer and representatives from the Arts Council, UCD, NYU and The Irish Times.
Following the announcement in December, Pat Moylan, Chairman 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."