Minding mental health is so important. And I love that The Carousel Aware Prize is raising the profile of self-publishing. It’s very exciting to have these awards in the writing calendar.”

Anne Tannam (Poet in Residence, Poetry Ireland)

“It was a wonderful honour to win the Book of the Year category and Best Novel at the Carousel Aware Prize 2023 for my debut novel, Magpie. The award has significantly expanded the reach of Magpie and increased its visibility to a larger audience than anything I could have achieved alone. This was evident immediately when the longlist of books was announced on their media channels and beyond.

As a self-published author working alone, navigating the complex world of publishing can be daunting. Independently published books can’t rely on many traditional publicity channels, pathways to market, or publishing awards. Established in recent years, the CAP Awards are an important and welcome step in redressing this imbalance.

Beyond the tangible benefits, winning the CAP Awards has been a source of personal and creative validation. The recognition from CAP and their judging panel of writers and industry professionals has not only validated my decision to pursue an independent path but has also instilled a deep sense of pride in my work, silencing, for now anyway, any notions of imposter syndrome.

I would encourage all self-published authors serious about their work to enter. It is a wonderful opportunity, and the prize-giving ceremony has surely established itself as the pre-eminent night out for the independent publishing sector in Ireland and an important fundraiser for such a great cause, AWARE.”

Alan Ryan. Author of Magpie. Winner of The CAP Awards (Fiction Category) 2023, and winner of The Overall CAP Book Award, 2023.

“The CAP competition came at a good time for me. I published my anthology of Irish short stories in Oct 21. It has sold well and I’ve great feedback from readers. But here was an opportunity to have it recognised in a formal, competitive setting. It was so affirming to have it shortlisted. Self-confidence is great but affirmation resultant from being placed in a competition is a tremendous shot in the arm. Any artistic endeavour can only thrive when judges give the thumbs up. In addition, Smokes and Birds won Best Cover. What a bonus and source of encouragement to me and my artist! I have just completed a debut Derry based novel. The experience of being a finalist in CAP has boosted my sense of anticipation and determination to maintain standards as the launch date approaches for True Colours. Thanks so much for all you do to support independent authors.”

James Simpson. Author of Smokes and Birds. Winner of Best Cover Award, The CAP Awards, 2023.

Cap Awards recently. Our book, Michael’s Story – Dreams and Challenges of Growing Up with Down Syndrome was nominated in the Non-Fiction section. Whilst we did not win the overall award, we were thrilled to reach the final six. We met some amazing people on the night, and the award nomination has given our book credible bookshelf space Nationally.

Avril Smith. Author of Michael’s Story. Shortlisted for The CAP Awards 2023.

“It was an honour to be shortlisted in the fiction category of the Irish CAP Awards 2023. I admire the objective of the competition organisers to bring greater recognition to the self-published book industry in Ireland. Attending the awards ceremony was a special experience and I was delighted to meet so many people involved in the arena of Irish self-publishing. I encourage other independent authors to enter the CAP Awards and I hope it will continue to go from strength to strength.

Susie Murphy, author of A Class Apart. Shortlisted for The CAP Awards, 2023