Welcome to the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2013. Submissions are now officially open and already it’s clear that the new year, struggling to shrug off its winter cloak, is nevertheless full of spring-like literary promise with a succession of early-season titles garnering great reviews and strong sales even in the dreaded “economic climate.” Gloom has become a default mode in recent years but Michael Harding, in his recent book Staring at Lakes, reminds us “The wonderful thing about Ireland is that despite The Famine, the weather, the clergy and the banks, we still possess the brazen optimism to engage with each other.” And where better to engage with each other than through books and reading.
That we can continue to stage this annual celebration of Irish writing is down to the stalwart support of writers, publishers, booksellers, librarians and, of course, our sponsors, and we’re particularly pleased that our headline sponsor since 2010, Bord Gáis Energy, have renewed their commitment for another term. At a time when other major events are losing sponsors, we are extremely fortunate to have them on board. Here’s to another great year for the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards.