2018 shortlist

Ewart-Biggs Prize 2018

The winner of the twenty-fifth Christopher Ewart-Biggs Literary Prize, worth £5000, will be announced on 11 April 2018, in Belfast.

This year the work eligible covers a three-year period (2015, 2016 and 2017) and has produced a wide and stimulating variety of entries. In arriving at a final short-list the judges stressed that they had chosen works that embodied the objectives of the Prize, which are to promote and encourage peace and reconciliation in Ireland, a greater understanding between the peoples of Britain and Ireland, or closer co-operation between the partners of the European Community.  These are the ideals which inspired Christopher Ewart-Biggs and to which his widow Jane subsequently dedicated herself.

Speaking for the Judges, Professor Roy Foster said:

“This year’s short-list, covering work published over a three-year period, once again reflects a wide range of genres, though the themes of memory and history predominate. There is an important study of the Sunningdale power-sharing initiative, by someone closely involved at the time; a memoir of Derry’s Bloody Sunday, from an unbearably close vantage-point; a study of the local history of the Irish revolution, blending family and national experience; an original and atmospheric social history of the Irish border; a collection of poems from a distinguished poet who has observed his surroundings with a powerful and consistent intensity over many years; a pioneering  study of  the Ulster Protestant imagination, concentrating on drama but suggesting much wider implications; and an analysis of the way television both reflected and influenced the Troubles. Each of these works represents the kind of creative analytical effort which the Ewart-Biggs Prize was founded to recognize.”

The seven short-listed works are:

Noel Dorr, Sunningdale: the search for peace in Northern Ireland (Royal Irish Academy)

Tony Doherty, This Man’s Wee Boy: a childhood memoir of peace and trouble in Derry (Mercier Press)

Fergal Keane, Wounds: a memoir of war and love (William Collins)

Peter Leary, Unapproved Routes: histories of the Irish Border 1922-1972 (Oxford University Press)

Frank Ormsby, Goat’s Milk: new and selected poems (Bloodaxe)

Connal Parr, Inventing the Myth: political passions and the Ulster Protestant imagination (Oxford University Press)

Robert Savage,  The BBC’s ‘Irish Troubles’: television, conflict and Northern Ireland (Manchester University Press)

This year there will also be a special award in recognition of a body of work which has  advanced the ideals to which the Prize is dedicated.

The winner will be announced at a reception at the Titanic Centre, Belfast, on the evening of 11 April 2018. The Judges will be available for interview. Please contact Mathilde Rimbert, email: rimbert.mathilde@gmail.com.