Novel Fair 2017

Twelve aspiring novelists were selected from almost 260 applicants to participate in the Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair 2017, an annual Irish Writers Centre initiative which took place on Saturday 18 February 2017.

Now in its sixth 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 2017 judging panel were writer and editor Anthony Glavin, playwright and novelist John MacKenna and writer, producer and broadcaster, Nadine O'Regan.

Congratulations to this year's winners who have been named as:
Patricia Byrne
Dominique Cleary
Georgina Eddison
Jennifer Hall
Fidelma Kelly
Enda Kilroy
Mary Lennon
Sean Mackel
Fintan O'Higgins
Paul Quaid
Sian Quill
Mark Tuthill
 

The twelve winning manuscripts incorporated a diverse range of genres including literary fiction, science fiction, crime, YA and dystopian fiction as well as a psychological thriller. The 2017 finalists are also skilled in other forms of writing with a poet, journalist, screenwriter and a memoirist in the mix and a former winner who tried his luck a second time round at the Fair.  

Novel Fair Finalists

 

What is the 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 number of success stories since the Novel Fair has been established, such as:

  • 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)
  • Andrea Carter's novel Death at Whitewater Church (Constable & Robinson)
  • Swimming on Dry Land by Helen Blackhurst (Seren)

Take a look at our video of Novel Fair 2015 to get a flavour for just how exciting this event can be! 

How can I enter Novel Fair 2018?

Novel Fair 2018 will be launched on 12 April 2017 at the Irish Writers Centre

Read up on Novel Fair 2017 Terms & Conditions here. The Novel Fair 2018 Terms & Conditions will be available once the next Fair is launched.

For more insights into this year's Fair, see our Twitter, or search #NovelFair2017. Or why not hear from a two-time Novel Fair winner about travelling all the way from Canada to participate? Mairéad Rooney gave us some inside tips in a recent blog.

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competition, please ensure that you have read the Terms & Conditions very carefully as the Fair is open to previously unpublished aspiring novelists only. 

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