Eoin Colfer was announced as the third Laureate na nÓg, Ireland’s laureate for children’s literature, at a special event at the Arts Council on Thursday 8th May 2014. Laureate na nÓg is an initiative of the Arts Council of Ireland with the support of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Children’s Books Ireland, Poetry Ireland and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The honour was established to engage young people with high quality children’s literature and to underline the importance of children’s literature in our cultural and imaginative lives.
Eoin Colfer’s first book, Benny and Omar, was published in 1998, followed by its sequel, Benny and Babe in 1999. He attained worldwide recognition in 2001, when the first Artemis Fowl book was published and became a New York Times Best Seller. His latest novel, W.A.R.P. The Reluctant Assassin, was nominated for the CBI Book of the Year 2014. To date, more than half of his books have reached the New York Times list at least once.
Speaking about his appointment as Laureate na nÓg, Eoin Colfer said: “I feel incredibly honoured and incredibly petrified to be taking on the Laureate mantle after Niamh and Siobhán, (referring to his predecessors, Niamh Sharkey and Siobhan Parkinson). “I feel I am representing my family and my county and indeed all book people in Ireland which is not something I mean to take lightly. I intend to spend my time spreading stories to every nook and cranny in the country. Nobody is safe.”