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Iron Mountain Literature Festival Julianna Holland.jpg

Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council, Cllr. Justin Warnock presenting the 2023 John McGahern Award to Julianna Holland.


As part of the Iron Mountain Literature Festival and with the support of the McGahern Estate, Leitrim County Council developed the John McGahern Award to encourage the development of emerging Irish writers and to pay tribute to the exceptional contribution of John McGahern to literature, and to Leitrim. Sligo writer, Julianna Holland, received the 2023 award along with a prize of €2,000 at the festival this year.

Previous John McGahern Award recipients

2022 - Angela Finn

2021 - Sonya Gildea

2020 - Niamh Mac Cabe

2019 - Zoë Comyns

2018 - Sean Tanner

2017 - Anne Griffin

2016 - Phil Kearney Byrne

John McGahern is one of Ireland’s most respected and celebrated authors. His fiction is critically acclaimed internationally, has been translated into many languages and has appeared in many anthologies. He was a member of Aosdána and won numerous awards, including the Irish-American Foundation Award, the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, and the Prix Etranger Ecureuil. He taught at universities in Ireland, England, the USA and Canada. Amongst Women, which won both the GPA and Irish Times Award, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and made into a BBC television series.

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