Why Was The ‘GRA’ Award Set Up?

The ‘GRA’ award was set up in 2016 by a group of School Librarians working in a variety of Irish second level schools who are passionate about introducing students to great books.  The aim of the award is to highlight new authors and diversify the reading of young adults. It’s also an opportunity for students to voice their enthusiasm about good writing for their age group at a time during the school year when examinations are less pressing.

How Does The  Longlist Come About?

The  longlist is compiled of nominated titles by School Librarians from around the country.  They have to be:

  1. Fiction with YA protagonists.
  2. Published in the past 12 months – so the next longlist will feature published titles between June 2022 and May 2023 (for GRA 2023, presented in early 2024).
  3. Must be easily available from booksellers in Ireland by September 2023.
  4. Debut authors to fiction or established authors who are new to the YA scene.
  5. Works written in English (or, occasionally, in Irish) or translated into English (this includes authors who may have already published YA works in their own language, but have been translated into English for the first time.)

Publishers wishing to submit a title for nomination should fill out the Longlist Submission Form and email the completed form to greatreadsaward@gmail.com.  If a title is successfully longlisted, five copies of that book should then be sent to:

Great Reads Award

Loreto College St Stephen’s Green

53 St Stephen’s Green

Dublin 2

 What Criteria Are Used To Make The Shortlist?

  1. Language and style of writing – accessible, appealing and engaging to YAs.
  2. Universal appeal.
  3. Strong / interesting characterisation.
  4. At least one shortlisted author would be Irish or living in Ireland.

How Are The Winners Decided Upon?

The winning authors will be determined by the second level students (in Ireland and in International Schools abroad) who vote for their favourite book on the shortlist.  There will be two winning authors – one from each category – i.e. one Junior and one Senior.  Voting forms and online voting links will be on the “Rate Your Book” page of this website https://greatreadsaward.com .

Additional Background Information:

The LAI School Library Group is a voluntary organisation and seeks sponsors to cover the prizes for each author.  The reading panel who decide on the shortlist each year are from the school library community and include librarians and teachers. The 2022 reading panel who compiled this year’s shortlist, were:

  • Marie-Therese Carmody, Riversdale Community College, Dublin 15
  • Katie Dickson, St. Dominic’s College, Dublin 7 (now Wesley)
  • Andrea Dillon, Blackrock College, Co Dublin
  • Joan Foley, Mount Anville, Dublin 14
  • Aileen Ivory, Loreto College, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
  • Joan Kelly, The King’s Hospital School, Dublin 20
  • Linda Kerr, Killinarden Community School, Dublin
  • Penny Wiggle, The High School, D6
  • Siobhan McNamara, Gonzaga College, Dublin 6
  • Kathleen Moran, JCSP Demonstration Library Project, CDETB, CDU, Dublin 4
  • Breege O’Brien, Achill, Co Mayo
  • Jane O’Loughlin, Clongowes, Co Kildare
  • Joseph Peelo, Kylemore College, D10
  • Robin Stewart, The Teresian School, Dublin 4
  • Jessica Whelan, Dungarvan College, Co Waterford


We are very grateful to all our sponsors who have very generously donated to the prizes for the winning authors .  They are:

Dubray Books, Ireland

The Book Nest, Cleveragh, Sligo

Interleaf Technology, Bray, Co. Wicklow

Raven Books, Blackrock, Co. Dublin

Bookselling Ireland

Alan Hannas Bookshop

Others will be noted as they come on board.