Judges & Sponsors

Overall Sponsor-ESB

ESB has been Ireland's foremost energy company since it was established in 1927, driven by an unwavering commitment to power society forward and deliver a net-zero future for our customers and the communities we serve.

Fiction Book Category

Judge- Zoe Miller

Zoë Miller is a contemporary fiction writer living in south Dublin. She has had twelve successful novels published by Hachette Books Ireland and is currently working on her next novel.

Her novels include The VisitorA Husband’s ConfessionThe Compromise and A House Full of Secrets.


Sponsor- JM Agency

JM Agency is a dynamic and comprehensive publishing consultancy, established by Jeremy Murphy in 2018. Based in beautiful Kerry, Ireland, the business has helped hundreds of authors and organisations publish their works to exceptional standards.

Services include writer mentoring, typesetting and cover design, a full suite of editing services, and book marketing services, including author websites. JM Agency also provides a comprehensive self-publishing service, as well as an agenting service for authors seeking publishers.

Non-Fiction Category

Judge- Patricia O'Reilly

Patricia O’Reilly was born in Dublin. She writes fiction and non-fiction, and teaches writing in UCD, the Irish Writers’ Centre, literary festivals and elsewhere.

Her latest novel, Orpen at War, tells of Irish artist William Orpen (1878-1931) at the Somme during World War I as an official British war artist.

In her time Patricia has been a freelance feature writer for newspapers ad magazines, creator of radio documentaries, plays and broadcast scores of Sunday Miscellany pieces.

Sponsor- Orla Kelly Publishing

Orla Kelly is the owner and publisher of Orla Kelly Publishing Ltd, a fully Irish independent publisher living in Cork. Since 2014, she has been self-publishing books for authors from all walks of life, successfully publishing close to 200 books in 30 book categories. Orla takes care of the entire process taking the stress, guesswork, energy and time from her clients so they can focus on doing what they do best. Orla has also published some of her own books so she fully understands the challenges authors face and offers a personal attentive service for each of her clients. 

Children's Book Category

Judge- Emma-Jane Leeson

Emma-Jane Leeson is a Children's Book Author living in Kildare and is founder of the Johnny Magory Company.

Emma-Jane has self-published 12 Children's Books which have sold over 60,000 copies to date. She regularly attends schools and libaries across Ireland and is currently the reader in residence in Kildare Library.

Emma-Jane also hosts workshops throughout the year for adults and children who are looking to become published authors.

Sponsor- Buy the Book

Buy the Book is an Irish owned and Independent online book marketplace established in 2021 for authors to sell their books directly to their readers.

Buy the Book actively promotes Irish authors and is a growing author community and support network. There are over 100 Independent Authors listed on the website.

Anthologies Category

Judge- Orna Ross

Orna Ross is an award-winning historical novelist, poet, and founder-director of the global non-profit for self-publishing writers, the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).

An international bestseller, she enjoys book sales in 120+ countries worldwide and her awards include the Goethe Historical Fiction Grand Prize Award for fiction, Gold Literary Titan award for poetry, the Romantic Novelists Association's Indie Champion Award, The Writers' Digest's Top Websites for Writers, and The Bookseller's Top 100 people in publishing.

Sponsor- Emu Ink Publishing

Emu Ink is an Irish independent publishing company that turns school pupils into real published authors.

To date, thousands of children have been published through their unique online programme, the first and only course of its kind.

The company also produces commemorative books for schools and sports clubs of all kinds, celebrating milestone anniversaries. These books capture their histories as well as make exceptional fundraisers.

Most recently Emu Ink has moved into the world of language schools, turning students into published authors in a language that’s not their first!

For more info log onto emuink.ie or follow @emupublishing

The Aware Prize for Best Book Cover

Judge- E.R. Murray

E.R. Murray lives in West Cork, Ireland. Her novels include Caramel Hearts and the award-winning Nine Lives Trilogy; The Book of Learning (Dublin UNESCO Citywide Read 2016), The Book of Shadows (shortlisted Irish Literacy Association & Irish Book Awards), & The Book of Revenge.

Recent anthology/journal publications include Women on Nature, Ponder Review, Paper Lanterns, Terrain, Not Very Quiet, Reading the Future , HCE Review, Popshots, Banshee, and Ropes. 

The funding for sponsorship of this category has been donated anonymously with the provision that it be on behalf of our charity Aware. 

Aware is a non-profit organisation that provides education, support, and information on mental health, particularly depression, bipolar disorder, and positive mental health.  

Find out more at www.aware.ie