This Saturday marks the third year of the Novel Fair here at the Irish Writers’ Centre – an event that introduces up-and-coming writers to top publishers and literary agents, giving novelists the opportunity to bypass the slush pile, pitch their ideas, and place their synopsis and sample chapters directly into the hands of publishers and agents.
Many novels that were originally pitched at previous Fairs have succeeded in making it from production to publication:
- The Herbalist by Niamh Boyce (Penguin Ireland, 2013)
- Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World by Janet E. Cameron (Hachette, 2013)
- Beatsploitation by Kevin Curran (Liberties Press, 2013)
- Here In No Place by Alan Timmons (New Island, 2013)
- The Reluctant Cannibals by Ian Flitcroft (Legend Press, 2013)
- A Model Partner by Daniel Seery (Liberties Press, 2014)
This year’s twelve finalists have been selected from more than 300 applicants and have been named as Evan Cody, Simon Fay, Alan Gorevan, Geraldine Hogan, Rachael Kelly, Caitriona Lally, Bláthnaid Nolan, David O’Brien, Nathan O’Donnell, Lisa Parker, Grey Phelan and Áine Tierney. A diverse range of genres made the final cut such as: literary fiction, children’s fiction, historical fiction, sci-fi, thriller and crime.
One of the winners will travel home to Kilkenny all the way from New Zealand to take part. For another, it’s her first win after making the long list in two previous years, with a different novel submitted each time!
We’re confident that many of these finalists will be added to the list of success stories, especially as their works have been described by judge Anthony Glavin as:
‘A rich cornucopia of hugely promising premises, plots, characters, insights and outcomes for a dozen novels across all genres, all underpinned by original, engaging, well-executed writing. Not to be missed!’
Like last year, the most influential people in Irish publishing will attend the Fair including representatives from Penguin Ireland, Hachette Ireland, Transworld Ireland, New Island, O’Brien Press, Lilliput Press, Liberties Press, Curtis Brown, The Book Bureau, Marianne Gunne O’Connor Literary Agency, Jonathan Williams Literary Agency and Lisa Richards Agency.
The shortlisted authors have been practising their elevator pitches and have been given expert advice from previous Novel Fair winner Kevin Curran and judges Sarah Davis-Goff, publisher and founder of Tramp Press, Rachel Pierce, owner/editor of Verba Editing House and Anthony Glavin, editor and writer.
Publishers, agents: they’re ready for you. Roll on Saturday!
While the annual Novel Fair is a unique opportunity for emerging authors to meet directly with relevant publishing professionals, we also host a number of other events that offer insights and expert advice to unpublished and emerging writers here at the Irish Writers’ Centre.
Our next Publishing Day takes place on 8 March with a focus on Poetry and Fiction and includes a stellar line-up: Michael McLoughlin of Penguin Ireland, Maureen Kennelly, Director of Poetry Ireland, Sallyanne Sweeney of Mulcahy Associates as well as Paul Fallon and Anthony Glavin. All of our speakers are experts in their fields and will share their knowledge of the industry and tips on how to improve your chances of getting published.
Check out our website for more details and we hope to see you there! http://bit.ly/1chHEl7
About the Irish Writers’ Centre
The Irish Writers’ Centre has long been a hub of literary activity, supporting established and aspiring writers throughout Ireland from its base at the heart of Dublin’s cultural quarter. It is a non-profit organisation, a registered charity, with the remit of promoting Irish writers and literature at home and abroad. The Irish Writers’ Centre was founded in 1987 and its doors opened to the public at 19 Parnell Square, Dublin, in 1991.