Home News Simon & Schuster acquires debut by Roisín O’Donnell in nine-way auction

Simon & Schuster acquires debut by Roisín O’Donnell in nine-way auction

Simon & Schuster acquires Nesting, the debut novel by Roisín O’Donnell in a nine-way auction

Simon & Schuster, UK’s Scribner imprint, has acquired Nesting by Roisín O’Donnell in a fiercely contested nine-publisher auction. 

Scribner Publishing Director Sophie Missing acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Eleanor Birne at PEW Literary. Anthea Bariamis, Commissioning Editor at S&S Australia acquired ANZ rights, and North American rights were pre-empted by Betsy Gleick, VP, Publisher and Editorial Director at Algonquin/Hachette US. Translation rights have sold in two territories so far.

Nesting will be published as a Scribner super lead title in February 2025, backed by a major campaign. 

Roisín O’Donnell is the author of the collection Wild Quiet, published by New Island Books in 2016, which was longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2017, listed in the Irish Times’ favourite books of 2016 and was shortlisted for the Kate O’Brien Award 2017 as well as the International Rubery Book Award. Her short fiction has featured in The Stinging FlyThe Tangerine, and the Irish Times.


Nesting is set in Dublin in 2018 during the housing crisis, with rising rents and homelessness on the rise, with families being forced into emergency accommodation.

For Ciara Fay, home is no longer safe. Eight weeks pregnant with a third child, she knows she can’t stay in her marriage. Her family are in England but her daughters can’t leave Ireland without their father’s permission. This is not the first time Ciara has tried to escape. With no money and no job, emergency accommodation at the run-down Hotel Eden is the only option.

Nesting is a powerful portrait of a woman’s fight for freedom for herself and her children that explores the meaning of home. 

Sophie Missing, Scribner Publishing Director, said that she read Nesting in two gulps: “Roisín is a rare talent, an extraordinary writer who balances gravity and humour to devastatingly powerful effect. Like the very best fiction, Ciara’s is a story that not only stays with you but impacts the way you look at the world. The response across S&S was passionate and unanimous. This is a book that is going to speak to people in a profound way.”

Roisín O’Donnell said she is over the moon. “Sophie, Betsy and their teams have really taken Nesting to their hearts, and I feel incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such supportive and lovely people. I’m grateful to my wonderful agent Eleanor Birne, who has been there for me every step of the way…While this all very much still feels like a dream I might wake up from at any moment, I’m excited for the publication journey ahead.”