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City academic receives prestigious writing award

Lucy Caldwell wins Rooney Prize for Irish Literature
by Hollie Jenkins

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Lucy Caldwell, Senior Lecturer in City University London's MA in Creative Writing, has been awarded the prestigious Rooney Prize for Irish Literature for 2011. 

The award was presented on Wednesday 25th October 2011 in recognition of Lucy's achievement and outstanding promise as a novelist and dramatist. The announcement was made by the Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Patrick Prendergast, at a reception in the Residence of the Ambassador of the United States of America to Ireland.

The Rooney Prize for Irish Literature is awarded annually to an emerging Irish writer under forty years of age, through the generosity of Dr Daniel Rooney, of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh, USA and of his wife Patricia. 

The prize is awarded for a body of work that the selection committee considers shows exceptional promise. In awarding the prize, the judges commented on the way in which Lucy's books address difficult personal issues "in complex cultural settings with a rare combination of sensitivity and acute intelligence".

Lucy's receipt of the award is just one of her recent accolades. Earlier in the month she was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize 2011, for her book The Meeting Point, published by Faber. Lucy was also shortlisted for the prize in 2006 for her prior novel Where They Were Missed

The shortlist of five writers included this year's Orange Prize for Fiction Winner, The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht, published by Orion.

The winner of the Dylan Thomas 2011 prize will receive a £30,000 award, with the recipient due to be announced a ceremony on the 9th November 2011.

Professor Stephen Cottrell, Head of the Department of Creative Practice and Enterprise at City University London congratulated Lucy on her achievements.

"Lucy is not only a great writer, but an accomplished and popular lecturer. She has been teaching at City for over two years and was recently promoted to Senior Lecturer in recognition of her contribution to our MA in Creative Writing and her increasing professional profile.

"At City we pride ourselves on providing our students with access to academics who are also leaders in their profession. These awards demonstrate that Lucy is not only an outstanding writer but also held in high esteem by her peers. I'd like to congratulate her on these well-deserved accolades."

Lucy said she was thrilled to be recognised in both awards.

"I'm honoured to receive the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, it was a great surprise and a delight. To be shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas award is also amazing. I'm in great company amongst the others on the shortlist.

"As my students know all too well, though, the writing life isn't always - isn't often - champagne and roses. Writing can be a very slow and solitary process and this is why I love the buzz that teaching gives me - my students keep me on my toes in all the best ways, make me question my practice, and together we explore what it means to write and to write well."

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