Getting your work published is probably the biggest challenge facing a beginner writer. Here are some suggestions for making the process more straightforward, and ultimately we hope, more rewarding.
- How to make a submission to a publisher or journal
- List of Publishers & Journals in Ireland
- List of International Journals
- Creative Writing Guides
The first thing to remember is that there are only a small number of publishers in Ireland and lots of writers trying to get published. A journal might, for example, only publish 2 or 3 per cent of material received. A book publisher might produce less. Don't let the odds put you off. If your work is good enough you have a shot at getting published. Make your writing so good that the publisher can't turn it down.
You might, however, help yourself by coming to the attention of publishers or agents in advance of sending them a manuscript - winning a competition helps, but the most tried and trusted is to build up a track record of publication in poetry magazines or journals. The magazines and journals that are the hardest to get into are generally the ones with the highest standards and thus the ones with the most impact.
The following is a list of guidelines for submitting original writing for publication:
- Find out what kind of kind or genre of book each publisher produces, e.g. fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, sci-fi, historical fiction, short stories. Get a copy of the magazine or book produced by that publisher and read it. It is much easier to put together a submission when you have some idea of the editor's taste, what the general standard of material published is like etc.
- Read the submission guidelines for each publisher carefully. For example, some publishers will only want to see the first three chapters (but they will want you to have finished the book at the time of sending those chapters), or six poems, or a few stories.
- Most publishers will have specific requirements regarding typeface size, layout, etc. In general, editors prefer not to receive fancy typefaces, handwritten work or work with illustrations.
- Send copies of your work, not the originals, and always keep copies of whatever you send.
- Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope or an International Reply Coupon for a response. Most magazines and journals cannot afford to return manuscripts, which don't have an SAE/IRC.
- Give the editor time to reply. As previously mentioned, editors receive a lot of material: you can reasonably expect to hear in 6 months at the latest.
- With established magazines it is usual to receive a copy of the magazine in which your work appears (you should not normally have to pay for this). Some magazines also offer payment for material, but the sums are usually small. It is not standard practice to pay to have your work published.
An GúmForas na Gaeilge, 7 Merrion Square, D2
Appletree Press LtdThe Old Potato Station, 14 Howard Street South, Belfast BT7 1AP
PO Box 222, Galway
Ballylough BooksChestnut Lodge, Callaghane, Co Waterford,
4c Heron Wharf, Sydenham Business Park, Belfast BT3 9LE
Cooleen, Dingle, Co Kerry
phone: (353) 06651463
Carysfort Press Ltd
27 Villarea Park, Glenageary, Co Dublin
Cois Life Teoranta
The Columba PressThe Columba Bookservice, 55A Spruce Avenue, Stillorgan Industrial Park, Blackrock, Co Dublin
Cork University Press/Attic Press
Youngline Industrial Estate, Pouladuff Road, Togher, Cork
42 Parnell Square, D1
The Educational Company of Ireland
Four Courts Press
Gill and MacmillanHume Avenue, Park West, Dublin 12
The Lilliput Press
62-63 Sitric Road, Arbour Hill, D7
12 Terenure Road East, Rathgar, D6, Ireland
The Penny Dreadful
Poolbeg123 Grange Hill, Baldoyle Industrial Estate, Baldoyle, D13
4 St. Muras Terrace, Strangford Road, East Wall, D3
Shamrock Haiku Journal
The Stinging Fly
Summer Palace Press
Cladnageeragh, Kilbeg, Killcar, Co Donegal
Tramp Pressemail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Yellow NibThe Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, School of English, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, BT7 1NN
Yes! Publications10-12 Bishop Street; Derry / Londonderry BT48 6PW
Wild Honey Press16a Ballyman Road, Bray Co Wicklow
WordsonthestreetSix San Antonio Park, Salthill, Galway
Original WritingSpade Enterprise Centre, North King Street, D7
JOURNALSPoetry Ireland Review
Poetry Ireland, 11 Parnell Square East, Dublin 1
Editor: John F Deane
email: email@example.com [No submissions by e-mail]
Cork Literary Review
The Dublin Review of Books (DRB)
The Stinging Fly
Marianne Gunn O'Connor
Suite 17, Morrison Chambers, 32 Nassau Street, D2
The Lisa Richards Agency
Contact Faith O'Grady, 108 Upper Leeson Street, D4
Causeway Literary Agency
24 East Claremont Street, Edinburgh EH7 4JP
PO Box 833, Maynooth, Co Kildare
The Feldstein Agency
Contact Paul Feldstein, 54 Abbey Street, Bangor BT20 4JB, Northern Ireland
OTHER PUBLISHING RESOURCES
The Portable Creative Writing Workshop
by Pat Boran, Salmon Publishing
Writers and Artists Yearbook
A & C Black, London
by Peter Sansom, Bloodaxe Books
Getting Into Poetry
by Paul Hyland, Bloodaxe Books
(mostly U.S. publications) Writer's Digest Books
The Making of a Poem
by Mark Strand and Eavan Boland, Norton Books USA