Wednesday, November 06, 2019

The shortlist for the An Post Irish Book Awards 2019 features Mayo native Norah Patten whose children’s book “Shooting for the Stars – My Journey to Become Ireland’s First Astronaut” was published earlier this year.

Ballina scientist astronaut candidate and author, Dr Norah Patten

Ballina scientist astronaut candidate and author, Dr Norah Patten, pictured with her children’s book, “Shooting for the Stars” which has been shortlisted for an An Post Irish Book Award.

The An Post Irish Book Awards consist of a diverse mix of exceptional writing from new and established writers across 16 categories, including Novel of the Year, Children’s, Cookery, Crime Fiction, Popular Fiction, Nonfiction, Sports, Short Story, Poetry, Teen and Young Adult and Irish Language.

Norah, who grew up in Ballina, is an aeronautical engineer and a high profile STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) advocate.

She has aspired to be a scientist astronaut ever since visiting NASA in the US while on holiday as a child.

Today she is closer than ever to realising that dream being one of 12 international participants in the Florida-based scientist astronaut training programme known as Project Possum.

“Shooting for the Stars” is one of six titles nominated for the Specsavers’ Children’s Book of the Year Award (Senior) this year.

The awards celebrate and promote Irish writing to the widest range of readers possible, connecting a huge community with a shared passion for books, ranging from  readers to authors to booksellers to publishers and librarians to recognise the very best of Irish writing talent.

To tie in with the announcement of the An Post Irish Book Awards shortlist, the public is now being asked to vote online for the best books of the year on the An Post Irish Book Awards website anpostirishbookawards.ie.

All voters will be entered into a draw to win one of four €100 National Book Tokens vouchers.

Votes may be cast until November 13 and the winners will be announced at the gala ceremony in the Convention Centre Dublin, Spencer Dock, on Wednesday, November 20.

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