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 did the longlist come about?
The current longlist contained twenty books which were nominated by SLARI members from around the country. They had to be:-
- Fiction with YA protagonists.
- Published between January 2016 and June 2017 (for GRA 2017).
- Debut authors to fiction or established authors who are new to the YA scene.
- Works written in English or translated into English (this included authors who may have already published YA works in their own language but were translated into English for the first time.)
What criteria were used to make the shortlist?
- Language and style of writing – accessible, appealing and engaging to YAs.
- Universal appeal.
- Strong / interesting characterisation.
- At least one author in each category (Junior and Senior) would be Irish or living in Ireland.
How will the winners be decided upon?
The winning authors will be determined by the second level students 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 are on the “Rating Forms” page of this website https://greatreadsaward.com .
Additional background information:
SLARI is a voluntary organisation and will be seeking 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 2017 reading panel are as follows;
- Siobhan Boyce, Colaiste Eoin, Dublin 1
- Joan Foley, Mount Anville, Dublin 14
- Joan Kelly, The King’s Hospital, Dublin 20
- Doreen Lundon, Our Lady’s School, Dublin 6W
- Sarah McAllister, Mount Seskin Community College, Dublin 24
- Siobhan McNamara, Gonzaga College, Dublin 6
- Kathleen Moran, JCSP Demonstration Library Project, CDETB, CDU, Dublin 4
- Helen Morrissey, Loreto Foxrock, Dublin 18
- Breege O’Brien, Achill, Co Mayo
- Helen O’Kelly, Stratford College, Dublin 6
- Jane O’Loughlin, Clongowes Wood College S.J., Clane, Co. Kildare
- Hazel Scanlon, Mount Sackville, Dublin 20
We are very grateful to all our sponsors who have very generously donated to the prizes for the winning authors . They are:-
Others will be noted as they come on board.