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Nero Book awards for Paul Murray, Michael Magee, Beth Lincoln and Fern Brady

Paul Murray, Michael Magee, Beth Lincoln, and Fern Brady win their categories at the Nero Book Awards

News is out about the category winners of the Nero Book Awards. Paul Murray picks up the fiction prize for The Bee Sting, Michael Magee wins the debut fiction prize for Close to Home, while The Swifts, by Beth Lincoln, illustrated by Claire Powell wins the children’s fiction category, and Fern Brady‘s Strong Female Character takes the non-fiction prize.

Fiction category winner

The Bee Sting, by Paul Murray

“Irresistibly funny and wise—a tragicomic novel about family, fortune, and the struggle to be a good person when the world is falling apart.”

Winner of the Overall An Post Irish Book of the Year 2023. Winner of the An Post Eason Book of the Year 2023. Booker Prize Shortlist 2023. 

Debut fiction winner

Close to Home, by Michael Magee

“Devastating, tough and tender, a portrait of modern masculinity as shaped by violence and poverty but also by the courage to love and to survive.”

Winner of The Rooney Prize for Irish Fiction. Shortlisted for The Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize.

Children’s Fiction winner

The Swifts, by Beth Lincoln illustrated by Claire Powell

“Fast-paced, fiercely charismatic and brimming with challenge and heart, The Swifts is everything a book for young people should be.” —Nero Book Awards.

Non-fiction winner

Strong Female Character, by Fern Brady

“Fern is a brilliant, beautiful writer with a unique voice and an even more unique story. Astute, honest and very, very funny.”—Lou Sanders.

Non-fiction winner Books are my Bag Awards 2023. Shortlisted Goodreads Choice Book of the Year. Shortlisted Bookshop.org Indie Champions.

Judges with the non-fiction winning book Strong Female Character, by Fern Brady..

Of the four category winners, one book will be selected as the overall winner and recipient of The Nero Gold Prize, Book of the Year, to be announced at a ceremony in London on Thursday 14 March. A final judging panel led by award-winning author Bernardine Evaristo will select the overall winner. Each category winner receives £5,000, with the overall Nero Gold Prize Book of the Year winner receiving an additional £30,000.

Gerry Ford, Founder and Group CEO of Caffè Nero said that the awards are an important part of their programme to sponsor the arts and support creative excellence.

“The four winning books represent the very best writing from the UK and Ireland and we are proud at Caffè Nero to create a platform that celebrates home-grown talent, and to offer a total prize pot of £50,000. Our judges have selected four brilliant books that will appeal to readers of all tastes. My congratulations to the winning authors, and thank you to our judges, partners and the wider publishing industry for engaging with these Awards so enthusiastically in our first year. It is our goal that these Awards come to represent a badge of exceptional quality which is seen as aspirational for authors and within the industry and a trustworthy recommendation for readers.”

“At a time when literature is under threat from the addictive distractions of social media and the internet, literary prizes not only celebrate individual writers and elevate careers, but draw attention to a beautiful art form that requires and rewards sustained concentration and engagement with words, other people’s lives, and the imagination,” said Bernadine Evaristo. “The Nero Book Awards are a major new prize. I’m looking forward to chairing the Nero Gold Prize, and selecting a book from the category winners that offers readers exceptional riches, one which we judges think deserves to be honoured as the overall book of the year.”