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‘Mental’ shortlisted for CAP Award 2017; shortlist


Some weeks just get off to a good start, don’t they?

I was going to bed last night and decided to check my email (bad habit – on this occasion, yielding good results). There was a message telling me that ‘Mental’ has been shortlisted for the Carousel Aware Prize (CAP) 2017!

carousel aware prize logo 2017

See the end of this post for the full shortlist.

The judges for the category in which ‘Mental’ is shortlisted (Best Anthology) were Tanya Farrelly and David Butler. I recently discovered Tanya Farrelly’s work after hearing her read at the Cork International Short Story Festival 2017 (see my previous post about that festival). Her reading and comments were hugely enjoyable and interesting, so I’m pretty chuffed that my book was one of those chosen by her, along with David Butler. He is a writer I’m not familiar with – I’ll have to check out his work.

Congratulations to all the other shortlisted authors! The only one I’m familiar with is Lorna Sixsmith, who is shortlisted for her book ‘An Ideal Farm Husband’. Her previous books about life as the wife of an Irish farmer have done really well. I’m looking forward to hunting down seeking out (!) the other authors and getting to know them on social media – and who knows, maybe in real life too.

The CAP award is run in association with Aware, a non-profit organisation that provides education, support and information on mental health, particularly depression, bipolar disorder, and positive mental health. All proceeds from the competition go to Aware.

The CAP website describes the awards thus: “The [CAP] Awards are committed to acknowledging and promoting excellence in Irish independent book publishing.” The awards are the brainchild of indie author Carolann Copland. Big kudos are due to her, her team of volunteers, and the judges – all of whom who give their time to the awards free of charge.

Full list of shortlistees and judges for the CAP Award 2017

Best Junior Book
Judge: Benji Bennett

  • Alma Jordan & Martin Beckett: Tales from Riverside Farm
  • Emma-Jane Leeson & Kim Shaw: The Adventures of Johnny Magory
  • Kevin Doyle: The Worms That Saved The World
  • Helen C Burke: Billy’s Search for the Healing Well
  • Alan Murphy: Psychosilly
  • Dolores Keaveney & the Keaveney & Lennon children: Dilly the Camper & The Magic Fairy Garden

Best Young Adult Book
Judge: Claire Hennessy

  • Jaq Hazell: My Life As A Bench
  • J.S. Comiskey: Solstice… The Goddess Awakens

Best Anthologies
Judges: Tanya Farrelly and David Butler

  • Orla Shanaghy: Mental
  • Adrienne Vaughan: Fur Coat & No Knickers
  • Kathryn Crowley: Room for One More
  • Compiled by Helen Mc Mahon: Selfies and Portraits
  • Compiled by Eileen Casey: Circle & Square

Best Non Fiction
Judge: Tony Canavan

  • Linda Allen: See You in Two Minutes, Ma
  • John Kenny & Dolores Keaveny Kenny: The Hills Speak; History & Mystery
  • Lorna Sixsmith: An Ideal Farm Husband
  • Elizabeth Egan: Notes from Higher Grounds
  • Breifne Early: Pedal the Planet

Best Novel
Judge: Louise Phillips

  • Simon Bourke: And The Birds Kept on Singing
  • Caroline E Farrell: Lady Beth
  • Catherine Kullmann: The Murmur of Masks
  • Caimh McDonnell: A Man With One of Those Faces

Ooh and I’ll be posting more about this on a future date but for now: please remember independent authors when you do your Christmas book-buying!

I love my blockbusters and big-name authors as much as anyone (I’m currently in the middle of Marian Keyes’ latest). Those authors have the spending power and marketing departments of big publishers behind them – and good luck to them. Independent authors have none of that; we rely on ourselves, our friends and families, and the kindness of strangers, to get our works out there.

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