Following the great interest and success of the Novel Fair the past three years, we are happy to announce the launch of the 2015 Novel Fair.
The Novel Fair is an initiative by the Irish Writers’ Centre launched in 2011. It aims to introduce 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.
The 2014 Fair was attended by representatives from: Curtis Brown, Diane Banks Literary Agency, Hachette Ireland, Jonathan Williams Literary Agency, Liberties Press, Lilliput Press, Lisa Richards Agency, Marianne Gunne O’Connor Literary Agency, New Island, O’Brien Press, Penguin Ireland, Poolbeg Press, The Book Bureau and Transworld Ireland.
Twelve shortlisted entrants will be anonymously selected by a judging panel to take part in the Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair on 21 February, 2015. Each writer will have a stand at the Fair where they will present the synopsis of their novel, the finished novel itself and biographical material. Top Irish publishers and agents will be invited to the Irish Writers’ Centre to meet these writers in person. To fully prepare them for the day, the winners also receive a place on a seminar on ‘How to Pitch Your Novel’, two weeks in advance of the Fair (7 February, 2015).
This year we are extending the prize to those who make the longlist. Twenty-four applicants who are longlisted and who do not proceed to make the shortlist of twelve will have their work evaluated and critiqued by the judging panel.
The entry fee is €45 (€40 for members) and can be paid by PayPal, cheque, postal order, credit or debit card or cash (paid in person) at the Irish Writers’ Centre.
The closing date for entries is 24 October, 2014.
There is no limitation on style, genre, or target market, the only requirement being that the writer has not published a novel before.
To enter, you will need to send a synopsis and up to 10,000 words of a novel.
Before you submit your work, you should familiarise yourself with the Terms and Conditions overleaf. If you meet all the conditions you should send us two copies of your sample work along with three copies of a synopsis and an entry form which is available www.writerscentre.ie/novelfair.
Best of luck!
The twelve finalists, selected from more than 300 applicants, are as follows:
Colm by Evan Cody
Wolf by Simon Fay
Botox For Dancers by David O'Brien
Out of Nowhere by Alan Gorevan
Stolen Sister by Geraldine Hogan
The Edge of Heaven by Rachael Kelly
Eggshells by Caitriona Lally
The Shadow of Darcy Anne by Blathnaid Nolan
Letters to Lucy by Nathan O'Donnell
Dawn in Temper by Lisa Parker
North to Midnight by Grey Phelan
The Silver Girl by Aine Tierney
The judging panel, whose identity was kept under wraps while the shortlisting process was taking place, can also now be revealed as Rachel Pierce, owner/editor owner of Verba Editing House; Anthony Glavin, editor and writer; and Sarah Davis-Goff, publisher and founder of Tramp Press. Since the October 16th deadline, the judges have read through every page of the 306 synopses and opening chapters received and have had the unenviable task of whittling it down to a winning twelve.
Judge Anthony Glavin described their final selection 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!” The work chosen includes literary fiction, children's fiction, historical fiction, SciFi, 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!
In addition to the twelve finalists, the following novels were all placed on the judges' longlist and have been Highly Commended:
Summer of Stan by Anthony Brophy
Railway Park by Erica Coughlan
Child of the Slums by Aisling Cronin
Rising by Brian Kirk
Essex Road by Guy Le Jeune
Jesus of the Lavatory by Donall Mac Lochlainn
Loyalties by Niall McCann
Happy-Cry with my Brilliant Life by Paul McCarrick
Tider by Sinead O'Hart
Statistical Anomalies in the Probability of Love by Tara Sparling
Novel Fair 2014 will take place on February 22nd in the Irish Writers’ Centre. Now in its third year, the event aims to introduce 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. It presents a unique opportunity to gain face time with some of the most influential people in Irish publishing, and could truly kick-start a literary career for this year’s winners.
Last year’s Fair was attended by representatives from Penguin Ireland, Hachette Ireland, Transworld Ireland, Picador, 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 event was launched in 2011 and has seen the publication of an ever-growing number of novels as a direct result. Last year alone saw the publication of previous Novel Fair winners Niamh Boyce (The Herbalist), Janet E. Cameron (Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World), Ian Flitcroft (The Reluctant Cannibals) and Kevin Curran (Beatsploitation). Daniel Seery’s A Model Partner is due to hit bookshelves in March.