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Introducing The Irish Writers Handbook!

The Books Ireland team are delighted to announce the publication of The Irish Writers Handbook 2024: The Books Ireland Guide

“The Handbook is an essential tool for all Irish writers”—John Banville.

In one of the biggest collaborations in Irish writing for years, Ruth McKee, Books Ireland editor, has gathered together some of the country’s most talented authors, editors, publishers, and creative professionals to create a resource full of insight and practical advice for writers.

Whether you’re just getting started or are ready to take the next step, this guide speaks with the voices of 50 different industry experts to instruct and advise, as well as featuring comprehensive and up-to-date contacts and listings for all the publishers, writing services, and competitions every Irish writer should know.  

Skipping the usual ‘show don’t tell’ narrative, this guide focuses on the practicalities of your writing life, exploring in-depth what a commissioning editor is looking for, how to start reviewing for newspapers and exactly how the Irish publishing process works. Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, illustrate books for young people or are an emerging poet or dramatist, this book will be your reliable guide along the way.  

Featuring advice from fifty contributors, including Donal Ryan, Jan Carson, Kevin Power, Kit de Waal, Madeleine Keane, Nuala O’Connor, Patrick O’Donoghue, Una Mannion, Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, Brian Langan, David Butler, Deirdre Nolan, and many more, readers can learn from the full spectrum of the Irish book industry’s experience.  

Commenting on the decision to undertake this project, editor Ruth McKee said it has been a privilege to collaborate with some of Ireland’s finest and brightest authors and publishing professionals.

“There is so much information about writing and publishing out there, and sometimes it can be hard to know what to trust—this is a book that is full of reliable practical information from industry professionals, as well as beautiful, inspiring essays on craft from experienced authors. It offers realistic expectations as well as being encouraging and uplifting to writers navigating the literary world. And it’s just the beginning—The Irish Writers Handbook will be an annual publication, building each year with new articles and insights, covering ever more ground, and updating all the listings of publishers and resources.”

Books Ireland has been bringing the book community together under one publication for decades – writers, publishers, booksellers, literary organisations and readers. ‘Inspire, ignite and inform through excellent writing’ is our mission statement: The Irish Writers Handbook is the next step.

The Irish Writers Handbook is available to pre-order now, and will be available for purchase in November 2023 in all good bookshops.