Call for nominations for the next Children's Laureate 2014-2016

Laureate na nÓg is an initiative of the Arts Council, with the support of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Children’s Books Ireland, Poetry Ireland and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Laureate na nÓg is an honorary title conferred on an established and dynamic children’s author and/or illustrator for a period of two years. The first Laureate na nÓg was Siobhán Parkinson and the second Niamh Sharkey.

Aims of Laureate na nÓg:

  1. Introduce high quality children’s literature to a new audience of adults, children and young people
  2. Raise the profile of children’s literature in Ireland
  3. Increase media attention for children’s literature in Ireland and internationally
  4. Bring children’s literature into the mainstream conversation about books and literature in Ireland
  5. Build partnership and cooperation among various players in the children’s literature sector.

The new Laureate na nÓg should:

  • Have created a recognised body of children’s writing and/or illustration;
  • Be Irish or permanently resident in Ireland.

You can nominate your choice for Laureate na nÓg by filling out a nomination form, which can be downloaded from the Laureate na nÓg website at
Nominations should be sent to before 15 February, 2014.

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Mindshift - Professional Development Day for Published Authors, Sunday 17 November

New Island Books and Irish Writers’ Centre at Dublin Book Festival

On Sunday, 17 November, from 9.30-16.00, New Island Books and the Irish Writers’ Centre are hosting a Professional Development Day for published authors as part of the Dublin Book Festival. The event will consist of a series of workshops designed to help writers develop their careers. Eoin Purcell, Managing Editor of New Island Books, will discuss how the publishing industry works, emphasising what it is that publishers seek from authors. Margaret E. Ward, Journalist and CEO of Clear Ink communications agency will cover the practical aspects of promotion for writers and their work through the media. Eoin Purcell and Margaret E. Ward will be joined by journalist and broadcaster, Audrey Carville who will moderate a panel discussion entitled, ‘What Supports do Professional Writers Need?’

In order to book a place on the Professional Development Day you must be a published author with a recognised publisher. To check eligibility for this event please visit the Irish Writers' Centre website here.

For further information please contact or call 01 872 1302.

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Laureate International Library tour of the West

This Spring, the Laureate International Library went on a tour of six primary schools along the west coast of Ireland, with support from the Arts Council’s Touring and Dissemination of Work scheme. Tour manager Tom Donegan captured the flavour of the tour in a short film, see below.

Anyone interested in booking the Laureate International Library for future visits should contact the Laureate na nÓg project manager at

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Three Irish authors longlisted for the Man Booker Prize

On Tuesday, 23 July, three Irish authors were longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize: Colm Tóibín for The Testament of Mary, Colum McCann for TransAtlantic and debút author Donal Ryan for The Spinning Heart. The Spinning Heart is published by Lilliput Press (which receives funding from the Arts Council) and Doubleday Ireland. You can read more about the longlist, the nominees and the award here:

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Pictiúr is an exciting new exhibition of the work of some of Ireland’s leading children’s book illustrators, curated by Niamh Sharkey, Laureate na nÓg. It will visit four venues in Europe during Ireland’s Presidency of the EU, before returning to Ireland to tour.

Pictiúr Chris Haughton

Illustration: I Hope I'll Be Good George Thinks by Chris Haughton

During March, Pictiúr visited the Festival for Young Readers at the Palais Auersperg in Vienna, Austria, before moving on to the Bologna Book Fair, Europe’s most prestigious children’s book event. Then, in April, it visits the European Parliament building in Brussels before moving to the Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe, Ireland’s cultural centre in Belgium. Pictiúr’s European tour is being funded by Culture Ireland as part of its Culture Connects International Culture Programme to celebrate Ireland’s Presidency of the EU.

Its Irish tour, which will begin in September in Draoícht in Blanchardstown and travel to Babaró in Galway in October, finishing in IMMA in Dublin in December, is funded by the Arts Council under the Touring and Dissemination of Work Scheme.

‘We are delighted to have the opportunity to tour the work of some of our finest illustrators, both internationally and within Ireland,’ said Laureate na nÓg, Niamh Sharkey. ‘Showcasing these artists will allow us to demonstrate the range, scope and skill of Irish illustrators and will help to grow our reputation both at home and abroad.’

Pictiúr Michael Emberley
Illustration: And That's The Slimy Truth by Michael Emberley

Pictiúr features the work of 21 children’s book illustrators. Illustrators include P.J. Lynch, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, Olivia Golden, Alan Clarke, Oliver Jeffers and Andrew Whitson. The exhibition will comprise 42 art pieces and will include illustrations from books written in English and Irish.

You can read more about Laureate na nÓg and its projects on the dedicated website

About Laureate na nÓg

Laureate na nÓg is an initiative of the Arts Council with the support of the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Children’s Books Ireland and Poetry Ireland.

The inaugural laureate for children’s literature was announced by President of Ireland Mary McAleese on 10 May 2010. This unique honour was awarded to author Siobhán Parkinson.

The second and current Laureate na nÓg was announced by President Michael D Higgins on 8 May 2012. Niamh Sharkey is a picture book maker who has published fifteen titles and has been translated into over twenty languages.

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The Black Lake, (oil on board) Gerard Dillon, c.1940, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.
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The Black Lake, (oil on board) Gerard Dillon, c.1940, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.

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