Twelve aspiring novelists have been selected from almost 275 applicants to participate in the Greenbean Novel Fair 2016, an annual Irish Writers Centre initiative which will take place on Saturday, February 20th. Now in its fifth 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 synopses and sample chapters directly into the hands of publishers and agents.
This year’s winners are Alex Reece Abbott, RM Clarke, Breda Joy, James Martyn Joyce, Julianne Knowles, Eoin Lane, Orla McAlinden, Elizabeth McSkeane, EA O’Donovan, Lana O’Farrell, Fiona O’Rourke and Mairead Rooney.
The judging panel was writer and editor Anthony Glavin, writer and journalist Martina Devlin and Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian.
Glavin described the final selection as: “a literary lucky bag with a wide range of genres – historical, contemporary, dystopian and crime – whose deftly crafted narratives unfold from Spain to New Zealand and across our isle from Dublin to the west”.
The 2016 finalists include a British resident and a former winner who will be trying her luck second time round and making her way from Toronto.
Ahead of the fair, the finalists will take part in a preparation day this Saturday, February 6th, to hone their skills, practise their pitches and gain expert advice from this year’s judging panel and former winner Kevin Curran, who has just released his second novel Citizens (Liberties Press, 2016) wand ill be offering a winner’s insight.
In 2015, Greenbean Coffee Roasters became title sponsors of the fair, with The Irish Times as media sponsors. The Greenbean Novel Fair presents a unique opportunity to meet some of the most influential people in Irish publishing and has the potential to kickstart a literary career. This year’s fair will welcome representatives from Penguin Ireland, Hachette Ireland, Transworld Ireland, Curtis Brown, New Island, O’Brien Press/Brandon, Liberties Press, The Book Bureau, Poolbeg/Ward River, Tramp Press, Marianne Gunn O’Connor Literary Agency, Jonathan Williams Literary Agency, Lisa Richards Agency, Feldstein Agency, Author Rights Agency and, for the first time, New York-based agent Regal Hoffmann & Associates.
The Irish Writers Centre is the national resource centre for Irish literature and 2016 marks the Centre’s 25th anniversary year. It supports and promotes writers at all stages of their development, and also welcomes all those interested in literature. The Centre runs a diverse programme of writing courses and workshops led by established writers across a range of forms and genres, including screen-writing, memoir, poetry, playwriting, short stories and the novel. In addition, the Centre offers a variety of seminars, lectures, events and readings all related to the art of writing and has welcomed many award-winning writers through its doors, including Nobel, Costa, Man Booker and IMPAC winners.
Success stories: Greenbean (formerly 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 was on the longlist for IMPAC 2015.
Beatsploitation by Kevin Curran was published by Liberties Press in August 2013. He has just released his second novel, Citizens.
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 published Eggshells by Caitriona Lally in May 2015.
Andrea Carter’s novel Whitewater Church was published by Constable & Robinson (Little, Brown Book Group) in September 2015.
Swimming on Dry Land by Helen Blackhurst was published by Seren in November 2015.