Irish writer nominated for Sunday Times Young Writer Award 1 year ago

Irish writer nominated for Sunday Times Young Writer Award

Sally Rooney (Normal People, Conversations with Friends) won the award in 2017.

An Irish writer has been shortlisted for the Sunday Times Charlotte Aitken Young Writer Award.


Megan Nolan, from Waterford, was nominated for her debut novel, Acts of Desperation.

The book, a story of a toxic relationship, was critically acclaimed when it first released in 2021, going so far as to be added to Time's 100 must read books of the year.

Critic Andrew Hagan wrote of the book; “If readers feel they have the lowdown on young, female, Irish literary voices, they should think again.

"Nolan has written a fully contemporary novel that is international in scope and fearlessly questing.


"It marks the beginning of a wonderful career.”

The Sunday Times' Claire Lowdon said that "Nolan’s book describes a very particular experience and it does so with rare intelligence and courage."

An Irish writer has not won the prestigious award since Sally Rooney for her debut, "Conversations with Friends".

A television series based on Rooney's novel is set to arrive some time in 2022.


There are five writers in total on the shortlist for the award, who the Times describes as "the young literary stars of their generation".

The full list of nominees and books nominated for the award are:

  • Megan Nolan, Acts of Desperation;
  • Anna Beecher, Here Comes The Miracle;
  • Cal Flynn, Islands of Abandonment;
  • Rachel Long, My Darling From the Lions;
  • and Caleb Azumah Nelson, Open Water.

The award recognises "a work of outstanding literary merit" written by someone aged between 18-35 years.

The writer must be a citizen of the UK or Ireland that has published or self published either a work of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.

The winner of the award will receive £10,000 (€11,948), with three runners up receiving £1000 (€1,194) each.

The award is set to be presented to the winning author on 24 February of this year.