November 23, 2021 | Press Release

Shortlist unveiled for the An Post Irish Book Awards 2021

The shortlist for the An Post Irish Book Awards 2021, announced today via a virtual video, features a diverse mix of exceptional writing from new and established writers across 20 categories, including Novel of the Year, Children’s (Junior and Senior), Cookery, Crime Fiction, Popular Fiction, Nonfiction, Sports, Short Story, Poetry, Teen and Young Adult and Irish Language.

The An Post Irish Book Awards celebrate and promote Irish writing to the widest range of readers possible. Each year it brings together a vast community passionate about books – readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians – to recognise the very best of Irish writing talent and 2021 is no different.

Four new categories have also been added to the initiative this year:
  • The ‘An Post Bookshop of the Year’ category which is designed to acknowledge the significant role played by independent bookshops and local book store chain branches right across the country in helping their local communities to find and savour the titles of their choice, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.


  • The ‘Library Association of Ireland Author of the Year’ category which is aimed at acknowledging an Irish author whose work has contributed significantly to the reader experience and enjoyment of Irish books during 2021. 


  • The ‘Dubray Biography of the Year’ which will celebrate the large number of wonderful biographies from Irish writers.


  • The ‘Bookstation Lifestyle Book of the Year’, a category that covers a range of interesting lifestyle subjects.


As restrictions ease, the An Post Irish Book Awards team is also delighted to announce that a live in-person ceremony to celebrate the winners will take place on Tuesday 23rd November in the Convention Centre in Dublin, subject to any change in government guidelines or any change in circumstances that impact on the safety of our guests. The event will also be live-streamed for those who are unable to attend.

Meanwhile, a one-hour special will be broadcast on RTÉ One television on Wednesday 8th December exploring the six books and authors shortlisted for the ‘An Post Irish Book Awards Book of the Year 2021’, culminating in the reveal of this year's overall winner.

To tie in with the announcement of the An Post Irish Book Awards shortlist, the public are now being asked to cast their votes online for the best books of the year on the An Post Irish Book Awards website All voters will be entered into a prize draw to win one of five €100 National Book Tokens vouchers. Votes may be cast until 5pm on 15th November.

An Post is also continuing with their hugely successful #ReadersWanted campaign, celebrating the value and joy of reading and encouraging everyone to pick up more books, more often. Simply search for the hashtag online to get involved.


John Treacy, Chairperson of the An Post Irish Book Awards, says: 

‘Like most other sectors, the book industry faced severe challenges this year: bookshops were closed; publication dates postponed; events and festivals moved online. The personal touch which we all value so much was sadly missed. But then something wonderful happened. We discovered that books were saving the sanity of thousands of readers during lockdown. Bookshops operated click-and-collect services to keep their customers supplied with the books they wanted. Our booksellers rose to the occasion, sometimes hand-delivering books to their customers. An Post also catered for everyone’s needs, while also supporting booksellers with special rates during the pandemic, which was very appreciated.

Now, thank goodness, the bookshops are open once again and The An Post Irish Book Awards season is upon us. Congratulations to all of the authors who have been shortlisted and we look forward to finding out the winners on November 23rd. In the meantime, don’t forget to vote for your favourites at the awards website.’


David McRedmond, CEO of An Post, says:

‘Books were our best companions through the Pandemic, and as we emerge, they will be our close companions too. The An Post Irish Book Awards celebrate brilliant writing from a diverse universe of Irish authors. At An Post we celebrate the joy of reading for all ages, and recognise those who contribute such richness to our lives from the authors, to the publishers, the publicists to the booksellers. These truly are the best Irish books of 2021.’


Ann-Marie Power, Group Head of Arts and Culture, RTÉ says: 

‘RTÉ is delighted to support the 2021 An Post Irish Book Awards as both official media partner and as sponsor of the RTÉ Audience Choice Award. Books have helped sustain many during the past year and this is a welcome opportunity to celebrate our great writers and the reading public.’


Download the Press Release for full list of shortlisted titles.


Breda Brown

Key Events Manager

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