An exceptionally strong year for female writing was celebrated at this year's An Post Irish Book Awards, with women authors dominating the winners list for first time ever.

Sally Rooney, Emilie Pine, Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen and Liz Nugent were just some of the winning authors named at the Irish Book Awards ceremony in Dublin, with Rooney's Normal People a popular winner of the Eason Book Club Novel of the Year award, and Pine named Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year for her acclaimed memoir Notes To Self.

 Elsewhere, The Importance of Being Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen bagged the Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the Year gong, while double winner Liz Nugent took home the Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year prize and RTÉ Radio 1’s The Ryan Tubridy Show Listeners’ Choice Award for her latest bestseller, Skin Deep.

Now in its 13th year, the star-studded awards ceremony, presented by RTÉ Six One co-anchor Keelin Shanley, took place in Dublin’s Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, with an audience comprised of writers, publishers, booksellers and media figures, all gathered to celebrate a bumper year for Irish publishing.

Other winners on the night included Lynn Ruane (Onside Non-Fiction Book of the Year, for People Like Us), John Connell (Ireland AM Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year, for The Cow Book), Cora Staunton (Bord Gáis Energy Sports Book of the Year, for Game Changer) and Peter Donnolly (National Book Tokens Children’s Book of the Year (Junior), for The President’s Cat), while renowned poet Thomas Kinsella was announced as the recipient of the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award, and a special award was presented to the family of author Emma Hannigan, who passed away earlier this year.

Full highlights of the An Post Irish Book Awards will be broadcast on RTÉ One at 10.15pm this Thursday, 29th November.

An Post Irish Book Awards 2018 - The Winners:

TheJournal.ie Best Irish Published Book of the Year:

Lighthouses of Ireland by Roger O’Reilly (Collins Press)

National Book Tokens Children’s Book of the Year (Junior)

The President’s Cat by Peter Donnelly (Gill Books)

National Book Tokens Children’s Book of the Year (Senior)

Blazing a Trail by Sarah Webb and Lauren O’Neill (The O’Brien Press)

Dept 51@ Eason Teen / Young Adult Book of the Year

The Weight of a Thousand Feathers by Brian Conaghan (Bloomsbury)

Eason Book Club Novel of the Year

Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber)

Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the Year

The Importance of Being Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen (Gill Books)

Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent (Penguin Ireland)

Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year

Notes to Self by Emilie Pine (Tramp Press)

Onside Non-Fiction Book of the Year

People Like Me by Lynn Ruane (Gill Books)

Ireland AM Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year

The Cow Book by John Connell (Granta Books)

EUROSPAR Cookbook of the Year

Currabinny Cookbook by James Kavanagh and William Murray (Penguin Ireland)

Bord Gáis Energy Sports Book of the Year

Game Changer by Cora Staunton with Mary White (PRH Transworld Ireland)

RTÉ Radio 1’s The Ryan Tubridy Show Listeners’ Choice Award

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent (Penguin Ireland)

Listowel Writers’ Week Irish Poem of the Year

Birthday by Brian Kirk

Writing,ie Short Story of the Year

How to Build a Space Rocket by Roisin O’Donnell (From The Broken Spiral ed by RM Clarke)

The Love Leabhar Gaeilge Irish Language Book of the Year

Tuatha De Denann by Diarmuid Johnson (Leabhar Breac)