The Laureate for Irish Fiction is an initiative of the Arts Council. The role, which was established in partnership with UCD, NYU and the Irish Times, seeks to acknowledge the contribution of fiction writers to Irish artistic and cultural life by:
honouring an established Irish writer of fiction;
encouraging a new generation of writers;
promoting Irish literature nationally and internationally;
encouraging the public to engage with high quality Irish fiction.
The inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction (2015–2018) was Anne Enright. Following a call for nominations in July 2017 and a rigorous selection process, Sebastian Barry was announced being the second Laureate (2018–2021) in February 2018.