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Irish @ The Nibbies

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Ireland and Britain have always been closely aligned when it comes to publishing. The two countries tend to be grouped together as a publishing network when considering the worldwide industry and there are close ties in many of the industry associations and groups that servce both. Politics aside, there are very close and well-respected links between the nations when it comes to our publishing outputs. Shared campaigns, events and organisations that run through both countries include:

Books Are My Bag is a campaign run by the Booksellers Assocation which has an Irish arm to represent the needs of Irish Booksellers).

World Book Day is a charity and series of events that operate in the UK and Ireland, sponsored by National Book Tokens.

Nielsen BookData is the organisation that provides a range of services to the book industry internationally, aiding the discovery and purchase, distribution and sales measurement of books. They run the ISBN and SAN Agencies for UK & Ireland.

When the books that we now – not necessarily fairly imo – term being part of the chicklit genre were published in the 90s, a large proportion of the early starters were Irish writers like Cathy Kelly, Patricia Scanlon, Sheila O’Flanagan, and Marian Keyes. These great writers started out publishing in the Irish market and then moved acorss the water to the bigger publishing pool of the United Kingdom. There is a good argument to be made that these Irish writers were at the very forefront of this movement. They undoubtedly paved the way for many more Irish and British female writers to make long-lasting careers in the literary industry.

All that said, here are some of the small presses and independent booksellers featuring in the British Book Awards 2023.

Independent Bookshop of the Year Finalists – Island of Ireland 

Halfway Up the Stairs, Greystones, Wicklow

Image of Halfway Up the Stairs bookshop in Wicklow








Little Acorns Bookstore, Derry, Northern Ireland

Image of Little Acorns Bookstore, Derry






The British Book Awards, aka The Nibbies, is a celebration of books: it affirms, connects and energises the world of reading by showcasing the authors and illustrators who have stirred our hearts and imaginations, and the industry behind the scenes who have brought them to readers. Above all it celebrates the intimate connection between the books, their makers and their audience.

Small Press of the Year Finalists – Island of Ireland 

Banshee Press

Banshee Press logo







Little Island Books

Little Island books logo







New Island Books 

New Island books logo







The Lilliput Press

The Lilliput Press logo







Winners will be announced 15 May 2023.

Also, it must be said in the context of this, that the An Post Irish Book Awards –   an all-Ireland literary awards programme – have done great things since their inception for the book industry in Ireland.


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