Novel Fair 2015 January 27 2015

Announcing the twelve Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair 2015 finalists – as selected by judges Anthony Glavin, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne & Jane Alger

Twelve novelists have been selected from almost 250 applicants to participate in Novel Fair 2015, an annual Irish Writers Centre initiative which will take place on Saturday 21 February. Now in its fourth 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.

The judging panel, who have remained anonymous up until today, can now be revealed as writer and editor Anthony Glavin, writer Éilís Ní Dhuibhne who will be presented with the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature 2015 next month, and Jane Alger, Director of Dublin UNESCO City of Literature.

This year’s winners have been named as:

  • Áine Duffy
  • Lisa Frank
  • Aidan J. Herron
  • Pamela Hobbs
  • Donough MacNamara
  • Barbara Magee-Lovric
  • Gemma Marren
  • Ruth McKee
  • Richard Purcell
  • Kealan Edward Ryan
  • Philip St John
  • Triona Walsh

Judge Anthony Glavin described the final selection as: ‘An intriguing mixture of stellar narrative voices, promising plots, engaging characterisation and some wonderful writing’.

There is a diverse range of genres across the novels including literary fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, thriller, crime and dark comedy. While all of the 2015 finalists are based in Ireland, this year welcomed an increase in international entries notably from the UK, France, Australia and New Zealand.

The Novel Fair itself presents a unique opportunity to gain face time with some of the most influential people in Irish publishing and has the potential to kick-start a literary career for each year’s winners. This year’s Fair will welcome representatives from Penguin Ireland, Hachette Ireland, Transworld Ireland, New Island, O’Brien Press/Brandon, Liberties Press, The Book Bureau, Poolbeg/Ward River, Tramp Press, Marianne Gunne O’Connor Literary Agency, Jonathan Williams Literary Agency, Lisa Richards Agency, Feldstein Agency and Mulcahy Associates.

Listed below are details of the various publications and success stories to date that have arisen through the Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair:

  • Janet E. Cameron’s novel Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World was published by Hachette in March 2013.
  • Niamh Boyce’s novel The Herbalist was published by Penguin Ireland in June 2013 and is on the longlist for IMPAC 2015.
  • Beatsploitation by Kevin Curran was published by Liberties Press in August 2013.
  • Alan Timmons’ novel Here In No Place was released by New Island in September 2013.
  • The Reluctant Cannibal by Ian Flitcroft was published by Legend Press in October 2013.
  • Daniel Seery’s novel A Model Partner was published by Liberties Press in spring 2014.
  • Susan Lanigan's White Feathers was published by Brandon Press in 2014. 
  • Liberties Press will publish Eggshells by Caitriona Lally (2014 winner) in May 2015.  
  • Andrea Carter's novel Whitewater Church will be published by Constable & Robinson (Little, Brown Book Group) in autumn 2015. 
  • Nathan O’Donnell, a 2014 winner, has been shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award marking the most recent success story.

This is the first year where a further 24 applicants will have their work critiqued, extending the prizes from 12 to 36 winners. The longlisted applicants will be announced here by 29 January 2015.

We would like to thank each and every applicant for entering and we wish all aspiring novelists the very best in continuing their writing.