Hilary Fannin and Mark O'Rowe have been named as the recipients of this year's Abbey Theatre Writer-in-Association award.

This is the first time two writers have been chosen and both Fannin and O'Rowe receive a cash award of €11,000.

Fannin's works include 'Mackerel Sky', 'Sleeping Around' and 'Doldrum Bay', while O'Rowe has written 'Made in China', 'Howie the Rookie' and the screenplay of the hit Irish film 'Intermission'.

Previous recipients of the award, now in its 17th year, include Declan Hughes, Paul Mercier, Marina Carr and Frank McGuinness.