In December 2023, we announced the twelve emerging writers selected for Novel Fair 2024, as selected by the judging panel Sharmilla Beezmohun, Eoin McHugh, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne and Susan Tomaselli. The panel additionally selected twelve runners-up and twelve highly commended as follows. These writers will receive a short critique of their work from one of the judges.

Judge Eoin McHugh observed:
“Reading through so many well written, diverse and engaging pieces of fiction was a pleasure. Judging between the many submissions, however, was no easy task, especially given the fine quality of the work. The winning selection offers clear evidence of the strength and range of talent coming through and to the fact that we can all look forward to some great reading in the near future.” 


Novel Fair 2024: Runners-Up & Highly Commended



Roof Knocking by Raymond Dolphin

Laundry Day by Delphine Gauthier-Georgakopoulos

The Cure for Bleeding by Siobhan Hoy

Conor’s Skeleton by Shane Leavy

The Breeders by Freya McClements

The Playboy of West Belfast by Paul McMahon

Missed Connections by Ciara Mullaney

Too Soon For Snowdrops by Linda O’Sullivan

The Talents by Jamie Samson

The Descent by Aoife Sheehan

So Beautiful or So What by Tom Tierney

The Hanny Simulation by Mairead Whelan


Highly Commended

Bordered Hearts by Aneesa Agha

Face the Darkness by Cormac Culkeen

Traumadors by Ita Delogu

Forest on the Edge by Aleks Koutny

The Translator by Dalia Kuoraite

When the Boys Come out to Play by John Mackel

Occupied Space by Sophie Moran

Copperopolis by Carolyn Morgan

Confluence by Mary O’Sullivan

Loved Up by Jerome P Sullivan

Blood Floral by Claire Shevlin

Origins by Ailsa Spindler


Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair

The Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair, now in its twelfth year, is an annual competition that introduces twelve 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. At the annual Novel Fair 2-day event, winners will engage in a speed-dating-style set-up where each writer is given the opportunity to pitch their novel to approximately 20 publishers and agents.

Submissions to IWC Novel Fair are open annually during September (the next submissions period will be Sunday 1st September 2024 – Monday 30th September 2024) and will require applicants to submit a 10,000-word extract of the novel, as well as a 300-word plot synopsis. Entries are welcome from anywhere in the world.

Find out more about the Novel Fair here.