Flip it! Bettystown writer wins debut fiction prize

In the 48th Hennessy Literary Awards, Eamon Doggett is the winner of the First Fiction category, Audrey Molloy for Emerging Poetry, and Colin Walsh for Emerging Fiction. From the three winners Colin Walsh was named the Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year. The winners were chosen by authors Martina Evans, Eoin McNamee and The Irish Times New Irish Writing page editor, Ciaran Carty. 

From Galway, the Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year Colin Walsh wins for his work, 'Between the Waves'. He currently lives in Belgium and is writing his first novel. In 2017 he won the Francis Mac Manus Short Story Award. Commenting on his winning story he said: “My story started with images; embers coursing through night trees, ice cream on a lip. I was lathered in my bed with high fever and realised I should tell the story like a braid of glimpses.”

Australia based Audrey Molloy, who grew up in Wexford, receives the Emerging Poetry award for her poem At the Shell Midden. In addition to being published on the Hennessy New Irish Writing page in the Irish Times, her poetry has recently appeared in the Moth and Crannog, among others. She was nominated for the Forward Prize and chosen for Best New British and Irish Poets 2018. On her poetry she said: “It is the alchemy of poetry that I really enjoy - starting with nothing more than an emotion or thought and converting it into first an image, then raw words and finally a poem that I hope will resonate and linger in the reader's mind.” Audrey’s father Tom accepted the award on her behalf.

The First Fiction winner Eamon Doggett wins for his story Flipping Burgers. From Bettystown in Meath, he works as a digital sports reporter in Dublin and holds a Masters in Writing from NUI Galway.

“My story was loosely based on a friend's work experience and times I spent in a Burger King in Dublin," he says. "Fast food places have their own tics and customs, and aspirations seem to me to hang in the air; people swaying between dreams and their own destruction and the world’s.”

Elaine Cullen, Market Development Manager Moët Hennessy said: “Hennessy has been a strong supporter of Irish culture and for many years and the Hennessy Literary Awards is always a special evening where we get to honour some of Ireland’s best new writers. We congratulate Colin, Audrey and Eamon on their awards and the wonderful pieces of literature they created.”

Since 2003, the Hennessy Literary Awards has also celebrated the success and achievements of established Irish writers and poets by inducting one eminent nominee each year into the Hennessy Literary Awards Hall of Fame. This year’s inductee is writer Mike McCormack. In 1993 New Irish Writing published his first fiction, 'Thomas Crumlesh 1960-1992: A Retrospective', a surreal story about a body artist who kept self-harming at exhibitions until none of his body was left. Mike’s virtuoso third novel, 'Solar Bones', the story of a dead man returning to rural Mayo on All Souls' Day, was voted novel of the year at the Irish Book Awards and won the Dublin Literary prize of €100,000, the largest literary prize in the world for a single novel published in English. His writing has also won the UK's prestigious Goldsmiths Prize and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.

Edward Dillon, distributors of Hennessy in Ireland also confirmed that its term as title sponsor of the New Irish Writing page and Hennessy Literary Awards has come to its end.  Andy O’Hara, CEO of Edward Dillon, said “Through working with Ciaran and the New Irish Writing page we have worked to showcase and support emerging literary talent in Ireland. It has been an excellent partnership and Hennessy is privileged to have been able to play a part in nurturing the careers of so many great Irish writers over the last 48 years. As the market evolves and Hennessy’s consumer audience changes, Hennessy continuously reviews its promotional activities, and after much consideration we have made the difficult decision that 2019 will be the final year of our sponsorship of New Irish Writing and the Hennessy Literary Awards. But we will continue the brand’s legacy in Ireland with artistic collaborations.”

The full shortlist of finalists for the Hennessy Literary Awards was: 

First Fiction:
•    Daire McNally based in London for A Noodle of Truth
•    David Horgan based in Cork for Indigo
•    Eamon Doggett based in Co Meath for Flipping Burgers
•    Jamie Samson based in Dublin for The Cliffs 
•    Lauren MacKenzie, based in Dublin for How We Met
•    Serena Lawless based in Galway for Brother

Emerging Fiction: 
•    Anne  O’Brien based in Belgium for Who is the Fairest of Them All?
•    Colin Walsh based in Belgium for Between the Waves
•    Helen de Burca based in Switzerland for The Ride Home
•    Michelle Coyne based in Galway for Smoke
•    Neil Bristow based in Berlin for Waste Disposal
•    Trisha McKinney based in Dublin for Bird by Bird

Emerging Poetry
•    Anne Walsh Donnelly based in Mayo for Being in Love at Fifty
•    Audrey Molloy based in Australia for At the Shell Midden
•    Ilyana Kuhling based in Limerick for Fixed Vortex and Ingrained
•    James Finnegan based in Donegal for you can’t blame the water and ‘what Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) does not know is  
•    Jennifer Matthews based in Cork for Monsters
•    Laura McKenna based in Cork for Mum, Jasper in the Morning and Brent 
•    Siobhan Mac Mahon based in Dublin for Ars Poetica and Ultrasound