The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest Academic honour in Ireland.

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Michel Déon Prize

The inaugural Michel Déon Prize will be awarded in December 2018 by the Royal Irish Academy to a non-fiction writer domiciled in Ireland and in alternate years the prize will be awarded by the Académie française to a fiction writer domiciled in France. The author of the 2018 winning book will receive €10,000 and give the 'Michel Déon Lecture' in France in 2019.

The Competition

In 2018 the Royal Irish Academy's Michel Déon Prize for non-fiction, funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will be awarded to the author of the book that the judging panel consider to be the best work of non-fiction published in the previous two years from the eligible categories. In selecting the winner, the judging panel will be looking for: originality; quality of writing and contribution to knowledge and/or public debate.

The purpose of the prize is:

- to honour the life of Michel Déon (1919-2016) by continuing his work in supporting and championing writing talent
- to sustain the legacy of Michel Déon in celebrating the richness and diversity of cultural experience in Europe

Eligible Non-Fiction Books

Eligible non-fiction books will have been published between July 2016 and July 2018 and may be from any of the following non-fiction categories: autobiography, biography, cultural studies, history, literary studies, philosophy, travel. Authors of any nationality domiciled on the island of Ireland are eligible. The book must be by a single-author and in the English or Irish languages.

The following categories of book are not eligible:- RIA Publications; self-published books; practical manuals; guides and children’s books. 

The closing date for nominations has now closed and the winner will be announced on 3 December 2018. The Royal Irish Academy will award this prize again in 2020.

2018 Shortlist Announced

The six books on the shortlist for the 2018 Michel Déon Prize are:

  • I Found my Tribe by Ruth Fitzmaurice (Chatto & Windus)
  • The Vanquished: Why the First Word War Failed to End by Robert Gerwarth (Allen Lane)
  • Hard Border: Walking through a Century of Partition by Darach MacDonald (New Island)
  • The End of Outrage: Post-Famine Adjustment in Rural Ireland by Breandán MacSuibhne (Oxford University Press)
  • The Popular Mind in Eighteenth-century Ireland by Vincent Morley (Cork University Press)
  • Notes to Self: Essays by Emilie Pine (Tramp Press)


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