Novel Fair

4 images of writers sitting at tables pitching their work, underneath a turquoise banner says Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair 2022


Aspiring writers should have their pens at the ready as the Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair returns for another year. Submissions for Novel Fair 2022 will be open from Wednesday 1 September until Thursday 30 September 2021

This year, our online submissions system will allow aspiring novelists from all over the world can submit to us for the opportunity to be fast-tracked into the Irish & UK Publishing world.


What is the Novel Fair?

2022 marks the 10 year anniversary of Novel Fair. Described by The Irish Times as a 'Dragon's Den for writers', the Novel Fair is an Irish Writers Centre initiative which 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.



Over the past few years a range of publishers and agents have attended the Fair including Penguin Random House Ireland, Hachette Ireland, Transworld Ireland, Curtis Brown, New Island Books, O’Brien Press/Brandon, Lilliput Press, Tramp Press, The Book Bureau, John Murray, Tinder Press, Marianne Gunn O’Connor Literary Agency, Jonathan Williams Literary Agency, Lisa Richards Agency, Feldstein Agency and Author Rights Agency as well as New York based agent Regal Hoffmann & Associates.

There have been a huge number of success stories since the Novel Fair has been established, including:

    • Guard Your Heart by Sue Divin (MacMillan Children's Books)
    • Words to Shape my Name by Laura McKenna (New Island)
    • Big Girl, Small Town by Michelle Gallen (John Murray)
    • Janet E. Cameron’s novel Cinnamon Toast (Hachette)
    • Niamh Boyce’s novel The Herbalist (Penguin Ireland) which was longlisted for IMPAC 2015
    • Beatsploitation by Kevin Curran (Liberties Press)
    • Here In No Place by Alan Timmons' (New Island)
    • The Reluctant Cannibal by Ian Flitcroft (Legend Press)
    • Daniel Seery’s novel A Model Partner (Liberties Press)
    • Susan Lanigan’s White Feathers (Brandon Press)
    • Eggshells by Caitriona Lally (Liberties Press) which won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature 2018
    • Andrea Carter's novel Death at Whitewater Church (Constable & Robinson)
    • Swimming on Dry Land by Helen Blackhurst (Seren)
    • Eat the Moon by Breda Joy (Poolbeg Press)
    • The Middle Place by Kealan Ryan (Mercier Press)
    • OONA by Alice Lyons (Lilliput Press)

How can I enter Novel Fair 2022?

Application Process

  • The submission period run from Wednesday 1 September until Thursday 30 September 2021
  • Entry fee for applications is €55.
  • There is no limitation on genre, or target market, the only requirement being that the writer has not published a novel before i.e. has not previously published a novel with an ISBN (see T&C's for more detailed information). 
  • Memoirs, short stories and works of non-fiction will not be considered.
  • Applicants are required to send a synopsis of a max. of 300 words and up to five chapters of their novel, which should be 10,000 words (+/- 10%).
  • You will be asked to submit your manuscript online.
  • There is a limit of one entry per applicant.

Entries are welcome from anywhere in the world, however, in order to be eligible, applicants must be available to attend the Fair on the 11 and 12 February 2022.

Before entering the competition, please ensure that you have read the Novel Fair Terms & Conditions 2022 very carefully as the Fair is open to previously unpublished aspiring novelists only.

Please see a list of FAQs here.