Laureate na nÓg

Laureate na nÓg is an initiative of the Arts Council. It is managed and delivered on Council’s behalf by Children’s Books Ireland, and also supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. By honouring an artist of exceptional talent and commitment, Laureate na nÓg champions and celebrates literature for children and young people, inspiring generations of writers, illustrators and readers .


  • To honour an exceptional writer or illustrator of literature for children and young people in the Irish or English language
  • To champion literature for children and young people nationally and internationally
  • To engage and inspire children, young people and their communities through literature
  • To encourage new generations of writers and illustrators


The Arts Council and Laureate na nÓg believe in:

  • every child’s right to discover and delight in literature
  • work of quality and ambition for children and young people
  • writers and illustrators having productive and rewarding careers
  • the inclusion of all voices and cultures that make up Ireland today


In 2008, as part of the mid-term review of Partnership for the Arts, the Arts Council led a consultation process to develop a comprehensive vision, strategy and action plan for children’s literature. Central to the resulting policy and strategy was a proposal to establish a children’s laureate, a role which would celebrate children’s literature and its contribution to cultural life.  Laureate na nÓg was established in 2010.

Siobhán Parkinson was awarded the honour of being Ireland’s first Laureate na nÓg. Since that time there have been five other laureates – Niamh Sharkey, Eoin Colfer, PJ Lynch, Sarah Crossan, and Áine Ní Ghlinn. Each has contributed in their own ways to the aims of the programme, and the Laureate is recognised as the highest honour that can be awarded to a children’s writer or illustrator in Ireland.

The seventh Laureate na nÓg, Patricia Forde, was announced in May 2023. Her programme is currently underway.