The newspaper reported the development on Saturday morning in a comprehensive history of the New Irish Writing concept by its editor of a quarter of a century, Ciaran Carty.
The development marks the latest “transfer” of New Irish Writing, which was founded as a weekly page in the Irish Press by David Marcus in the late 1960s before spending 23 years in the Sunday Tribune stable before that paper’s demise in 2011. After an unconvincing stint in the Irish Independent, it has now moved to the Irish Times, where the first selections will appear in next Saturday’s weekend edition.
Hennessy remains the title sponsor, having been associated with New Irish Writing since backing the first New Irish Writing awards ceremony in 1971.
The list of Irish writers who have seen early (or often their first) stories and poems appear in print thanks to New Irish Writing is almost all-encompassing – Joseph O’Connor, Colum McCann, Dermot Healy, Michael Harding, Patrick McCabe, Deirdre Madden, Sebastian Barry, John Boyne, Frank McGuinness, Desmond Hogan, Neil Jordan, Anne Enright and Mary Costello are among those whose fledgling careers were given impetus by publication in New Irish Writing pages.
It is anticipated that the Irish Times will be a particularly fruitful home – the Saturday edition of the paper is probably the most culturally significant edition of any Irish media outlet, and is certain to mark a major improvement on the format in the Irish Independent, where New Irish Writing was jaded and peripheral, suffering from sloppy subediting and an unattractive midweek supplement format that undoubtedly limited its reach.
The new page will appear in the Irish Times on the last Saturday of each month and submissions are welcome from novice or emerging Irish writers, or writers living in ireland. With no fee required, it will be no easy task for Carty to sift through the volume of submissions he’s sure to receive each month, but such inclusiveness is to be admired.
All pieces selected for publication will receive €130 for prose and €65 for poetry, and published authors will also then be eligible for the annual Hennessy New Irish Writing Awards at year-end, in which prizes will be presented in three categories: First Fiction, for writers publishing their first story; Emerging Fiction, for writers who have yet to publish a book; and Emerging Poetry, for first-time poets or poets still awaiting the publication of their first collection.