Home bookshop focus O’Brien Bookseller of the Year Award open for nominations

O’Brien Bookseller of the Year Award open for nominations

Photo of Brenda Boyne, Sales Manager, The O’Brien Press, presenting winner Alan Johnston, Marketing Director, Bookstation with The O’Brien Bookseller of the Year Award 2022

O’Brien Bookseller of the Year Award—nominations now open

We all know how valuable our booksellers are, and how much our local bookshops bring to our communities. Now is your chance to nominate a bookseller who deserves recognition—the O’Brien Bookseller of the Year Award 2023 is now open!

The award has been presented annually for nearly twenty years for outstanding achievement or an invaluable contribution to the book trade by an individual bookseller.

The winner’s name is added to The Elements, a bronze perpetual trophy sculpted by Rowan Gillespie, one of Ireland’s leading sculptors. The winner keeps the award for the year, and also receives a framed commemorative certificate.

Alan Johnston, Marketing Director Bookstation, winner of the 2021 O’Brien Bookseller Award.

The award

Managing Director of The O’Brien Press, Ivan O’Brien stressed how important booksellers are to us all.

“Whether on the shop floor or centrally buying, in a small independent shop or part of a major chain, a great bookseller ensures the right book ends up in the right hands. We are delighted to be able to present this trophy in-person, at the first Book Trade Conference outside of Dublin since 2008, and look forward to the difficult task of selecting a winner from among the worthy nominees. Get nominating!”

You can read about some wonderful Irish bookshops in our regular feature, Bookshop Focus.

Who is eligible?

Any Bookseller who:

  • Operates on the island of Ireland    
  • Works in, manages or owns a bookselling business     
  • Has a minimum of three years’ experience as a bookseller in Ireland (not necessarily with the same company)


The winner of the 2023 award will be decided by the following jury: 

  • Laura Fitzgerald, Gill Books
  • Sarah Hunt, Argosy Books
  • Eamonn Phelan, Gill Hess
  • Ivan O’Brien, The O’Brien Press

How to Nominate

Download a copy of the nomination form by clicking here.

You can submit your nominations by email to bookselleraward@obrien.ie.

The closing date for nominations is Wednesday 1 February 2023, and the award will be presented at the Irish Book Trade Conference Dinner on 27 February 2023.