21 Top Irish Book Publishing Companies Accepting Submissions
You craft a masterpiece with the hope of getting it before thousands or even millions of eyeballs out there. You comb the internet and manage to submit it to some publishers.
What follows is radio silence.
If you ever hear from them, it’s probably a decline email. You end up giving up on your dream to be a bestselling author because no one seems to appreciate your work.
Sounds familiar? Well, you are not alone.
Talented writers are letting their best manuscripts accumulate dust on their home shelves or worse, fill up the publishers’ trash bins every day.
The reason the work of many authors can’t see the light of the day has nothing to do with lack of talent. Most of these publishers accept content from both budding and established writers. So, you don’t have to be another John Banville, James Joyce, or Anne Enright to submit your book to them.
Instead, the reasons most of the submissions are declined are: authors are pitching the wrong publishers, they are not reading the fine print in the submission guidelines provided by various publishers, or they are sending the right piece of work to the wrong publisher, such as sending a non-fiction title to a publisher that only accepts fiction titles.
Here is a list of the best, handpicked top Irish book publishing companies accepting submissions. These publishers won’t ask you to pay anything to submit your work except paying attention to their submission guidelines.
Based in Cork, Mercier Press is the oldest independent publishing company in Ireland. Captain Sean and Mary Feehan founded it in 1944. The press was named after Belgium’s Cardinal Mercier: a man whose mind expressed interest on any subject related to humanity, but also a man whose actions shone before the world. Therefore, Mercier Press derived inspiration from him for their own publication programme. One of the most first, yet powerful books to be published by Mercier Press include The Music of Life by Fr. James that influenced Irish life in 1940s because it challenged the accepted Catholic dogma. Mercier Press also published the classic of Irish Literature titled The Tailor and Ansty by Eric Cross, and Nuala Fennell’s Irish bestseller, Marriage How Are You?
Mercier Press accepts submissions in adult and young adult fiction. They also accept nonfiction submissions on history, lifestyle, biography, food and drink, sport, business, memoir and autobiography, and politics. Interested authors should only submit their requests in Google Doc or Word format. Read their submission guidelines on this page.
Founded in 1971, Blackstaff Press is deemed as one of the leading publishers of quality Irish books. Their wide-ranging publishing programme embraces both non-fiction and fiction titles. Blackstaff Press has published more than 800 titles since its inception in 1971; the published titles cover several subjects, such as history, sport, cookery, travel, politics, memoir, fiction, and poetry. The Arts Council of Northern Ireland gives generous support to Blackstaff Press to enable the company support, encourage, and publish Irish literature and Irish writers. Blackstaff Press is among the few Irish publishing companies that accept unsolicited manuscripts from authors. They have published many books that were submitted this way with some of the best being Michael Faulkner’s The Blue Cabin and Kate O’Hanlon’s Sister Kate. They only publish books that appeal to the Irish market, and particularly north and south Ireland. Read more on their submission details here.
In 2013, Penguin and Random House amalgamated to become the first global publishing company in the world. Penguin Ireland is one of the imprints of Penguin Random House Ireland. Using printed books, audio books, eBooks and other media, they bring stories and ideas to life in a compelling and modern fashion. Penguin Ireland publishes up to 20 titles every year. They choose, edit, and promote a book meticulously. The publisher has an unmatched list of bestsellers, new discoveries, and prize winners. They consider proposals and manuscripts in all genres. Penguin Ireland has published books by some of the most talented authors including Selina Guinness’s debut memoir, The Crocodile by the Door and David and Stephen Flynn’s bestseller, The Happy Pear. The submission guidelines are found here.
The O’Brien Press has been in the book publishing business for over 40 years. They contribute immensely to the long-term success of authors’ careers through careful editing, gorgeous design, and rigorous marketing and sales. The many awards the published books have won testify to this. Almost 50 percent of the books published by The O’Brien Press are still available. The Press strives for the widest market for authors and have a broad network of overseas rights agents to represent the books for all major territories and languages. The O’Brien Press published Arimathea by Frank McGuinness, which was shortlisted for Eason Novel of the Year. They also published Neil Richardson’s A Coward if I Return, A Hero if I Fall that won the prestigious Irish Book Awards. Authors should read these guidelines before submitting a book.
It was founded in 1984, and it started as an adjunct press to a literary magazine known as Review of Contemporary Fiction. Founded by John O’Brien, Lowell Dunlap, and John Byrne, initially, the press was committed to highlighting authors who the mainstream critical establishment had overlooked. It printed the works of these authors in the review, but later on branched out to lots of other works including original pieces of work that had not undergone any publication. To date, Dalkey Archive Press has offices in Ireland as well in the UK and US. Their catalogue contains books in categories such as fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, literary criticism, philosophy & theory, biographies & memoirs. Alona Kimhi, the bestselling novelist’s book titled Lily la Tigresse and Eshkol Nevo’s Homesick are a few of the great books ever published by this press. They have published books from many countries, and their submission guidelines are straightforward.
Many people who win the lottery have nothing to show for it. But, that’s not the case for the founders of Word On The Street. This publishing company was founded in 2006 from a national lottery win of 400 Euros. In addition, the company name was derived from the suggestions of a few literary friends in a pub on a Saturday afternoon.
Patricia Burke Brogan’s Requiem of Love was their first book to be published. On their bookshelf, you will also find Take This Life by Anne Tannam, Calling the Tune by Maureen Gallagher and many others. Beside each published book on their shelf, you will find a brief history about the author, making it easy for buyers to select their best books. They accept submissions for novels/novellas, poetry collections and short story collections. All submissions should be made by post and not by email. Check out their submission page.
UCD Press is popularly known for publishing contemporary scholarly writing in a wide array of disciplines, such as history, science, music, and literary studies. Their special focus is on Irish Studies. They produce their books to the highest standards of editing, printing, and design while receiving publicity at national and international levels.
Their location is at the UCD Humanities Institute found on the UCD Campus within Belfield, Dublin 4. This press has several successful titles, such as Something to Chew On and The Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland. The UCD Press collaborates with the respected Ireland Chair of Poetry in ensuring that the public lectures of the Ireland Professors of Poetry go into publication. Examples of books published here include Irish Homes and Irish Hearts by Fanny Taylor and Words of the Dead Chief by Charles Stewart Parnell. They publish books on Gender Studies, Biography, History and Politics, Literature and Criticism, Music, Science, Religion and more. Before submitting, check out their proposal guide.
Cork University Press started publishing back in 1925. Being Ireland’s oldest university press, it stimulates Irish learning by showcasing distinguished and distinctive scholarship on its lists. While the publisher specializes in Irish Cultural Studies, its range of subjects also extends to Poetry, Music, Literary Criticism, and History. However, their list focuses mostly on Irish Cultural History, Landscape Studies, and Archaeology.
Cork University Press publishes about 15 books annually and one journal – The Irish Review. Examples of its books include Bird’s Next Soup by Hanna Greally and Irish Blood, English Heart: Second Generation Irish Musicians in England by Sean Campbell. You can read about their submission procedure here.
9. Tramp Press
Sarah Davis-Goff and Lisa Coen launched Tramp Press in 2014, and they first published Oona Frawley’s Flight. Their commitment is to find only the finest and most deserving books, by both budding and established authors. They have already published critically acclaimed writers including Sara Baume, Mike McCormack, Thomas Morris, and Joanna Walsh.
Tramp’s authors have won Irish Book Awards, the Edinburgh First Book Award, a Lannan Fellowship, and more. The press distributes its books across Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They have been featured in Irish Times, Guardian, TLS, Literary Review and more. They are more interested in excellent fiction writing from both Irish and non-Irish writers. While they receive thousands of submissions from writers, they are ridiculously picky, which is why they only publish three books a year. Find out more about their submission guidelines here.
Veritas is the leading religious retailer and publisher in Ireland. The origin of Veritas lies in the Catholic Truth Society of Ireland that was founded in 1899 with the purpose of publishing and distributing religious literature to the Irish people. Veritas Publications was born in 1969, and their first title was Bishop Joseph Duffy’s Patrick in His Own Words. They publish more than 40 books a year on theology, self-help, bible study, spirituality, family, and liturgical resource, among others. Some of the books published by Veritas include Angels and Saints by Scott Hahn and A Year with the Angels by Mike Aquilina. Authors need to send a cover letter, bibliography, 2 to 3 sample chapters, and book synopsis. Read their submission guidelines on this page.
Folens has a rich history of Irish educational publishing. Since its inception in 1958, Folens is among the first publishing companies to produce Irish curriculum books. Folens produces high-quality textbooks to suit the learning needs of primary and post-primary education. They have a broad array of customers including primary teachers, post primary teachers, students, parents, resellers, and retailers. They publish books in multiple disciplines including English, Chemistry, Music, Mathematics, Drama, Home Economics, Business, Biology and more. Examples of popular books published by Folens include Eurobusiness by John Taylor and Romeo and Juliet by Patrick Brennan. They accept submissions through email and their submission guidelines are straightforward.
Created in 2007, Transworld Ireland is an imprint of the highly reputed Penguin Random House. They are committed to publishing a broad array of high-class books of Irish interest. The books are in the fiction and non-fiction categories such as history, humour, spirituality and more. Some of the published pieces include Anna McPartlin’s bestselling book, Somewhere Inside of Happy and Conor O’Callaghan’s richly atmospheric, but brilliantly accomplished debut novel-Nothing on Earth, which the Irish Times once described as an original story that’s brilliantly told; and the Guardian said the story would stay with you like your own shadow.
Transworld Ireland doesn’t publish poetry, fantasy, science fiction or children’s books. Instead, they are seeking new and highly distinctive voices, strong storylines, and original writing. The books they publish should be relevant to Ireland. Visit this page for their submission guidelines.
13. New Island Books
Edwin Higel and Dermot Bolger founded New Island Books in 1992. The company mainly publishes fiction, drama, and poetry. Their crime fiction, literary fiction, memoir, Irish-interest biography, and history are starting to find an international audience. New Island first published Nuala O’Faolain’s memoir, Are You Somebody? This was before it became an international bestseller. They are keen to find and raise exceptional new writers with the latest debut authors being June Caldwell, Lisa Harding, Conor Brady, and many others. After going through their submissions page, authors can submit fiction pieces including novels, short stories and novellas. Their non-fiction category includes history, essays, memoir and autobiography, and biography.
14. Little Island
The company publishes anywhere between eight and ten books a year, both for children and young adults. While most of their readers are aged 4 to 16, they don’t discriminate; anyone including adults do read their books. They publish mainly novels for their older readers who include kids aged 9 to 12 and teens from 13 years onwards. Emerging writers from Ireland author most of their books. Besides, they also publish books for translation from various languages, such as Finnish and Brazilian Portuguese. Most of their books have been nominated for awards or won awards. Great examples include Kevin Stevens’ A Lonely Note that won the YA Book of the Year and Paul Gamble’s Ministry of SUITs that won Eilis Dillon Award in 2017. Their submissions page clearly highlights what they’re looking for.
Antony Farrell founded Lilliput in 1984 in County Westmeath. Around that time, Jonathan Swift stayed in a nearby house for his summers, and derived the term Lilliput from a town land in the neighbourhood. They publish a huge assortment of Irish-interest books, and specialize in biography, memoir, and historical non-fiction. However, they are Ireland’s leading fiction publishers as well. The Lilliput Press is proud to represent great authors including James Joyce and John Moriarty. They are also known for nurturing the best new authors such as Rob Doyle, Elske Rahill, and Donal Ryan. Their submission procedure can be found here.
16. The Liffey Press
From 2001, The Liffey Press has continued to publish top-notch, Irish-interest non-fiction titles in current events, social policy, history, art and literature, education, psychology, sports, biography, current events, and related fields. Some of the published books at The Liffey Press include Galway: A Sense of Place by Roddy Mannion and Inside Irish Aid: The Impulse to Help by Ronan Murphy. The Press begun publishing eBooks, and collaborates with Faber Factory that distributes them to major eBook suppliers. Read their submission instructions here.
This press has been Ireland’s leading academic publisher for more than 40 years, with their focus being Irish history, arts, politics, and literature. In 2012, Irish Academic Press established Merrion Press as their history and general interest imprint. Some of the best books published by Irish Academic Press include War and Revolution in the West of Ireland: Galway, 1913-1922 by Conor McNamara and John Hune in America: From Derry to DC by Maurice Fitzpatrick. They welcome new book proposals from authors, which they subject to a rigorous evaluation process, Submission guidelines are on this page.
18. Hachette Ireland
The company was established in 2002 as Hodder Ireland with only three people on staff. Over the years, it has rapidly grown to become a force to reckon with in Irish publishing, with several bestsellers and an ever-growing team. They work closely with their authors to establish a vision and then work tirelessly with them to make the vision a reality. Their bookshelf features Alison Walsh’s The Weekend Dad and Susan Stairs’ One Good Reason, among many others. They mostly accept fiction submissions, however not unsolicited submissions, so you’ll need someone to represent you such as one of these Irish literary agents. They also accept nonfiction titles as well, but through email only.
The History Press Ireland is devoted to publishing titles on local and specialist history. Formed in 2007, THP Ireland is The History Press Group’s award-winning imprint. Based in Dublin, this press publishes a broad range of books on history, biography, historical fiction, photography, and current affairs. Gill Books distributes their books in Ireland while Macmillan Distribution Limited distributes them in the UK. Some of the great books ever published by The History Press Island include C.M. Boylans’ 1916 and All That and Lisa Burkitt’s The Memory of Scent. They accept submissions through email, and have different guidelines for non-fiction and historical fiction submissions. Read more about their submissions guidelines here.
Based in Cork, The Collins Press is one of Ireland’s independent book publishers. It was founded in 1989, and is tasked with publishing a broad range of Irish-interest, non-fiction books. When assessing a book’s worth, they look at the writing quality, how well the book engages the reader’s interest, and whether it contains original, new or interesting content of Irish interest. Their published books can be found in all good bookshops as well as eBooks on major etailers like Amazon. The Collins Press doesn’t publish poetry, drama, short stories, literary criticism, children’s fiction or fiction in general. Examples of great books in their catalogue include Dublin by John Gibney and A Doctor’s Sword by Bob Jackson. Submissions can be made both in hard copy and via email. Their submissions guidelines are found here.
21. Cois Life
Established back in 1995, Cois Life has been committed to publishing academic and literary titles in the Irish language. They publish 6 to 8 new books a year, which are mainly poetry, books for young people, works of fiction as well as some non-fiction and academic titles. They have published more than 130 titles, which feature new and established writers, and female authors have a good representation in Cois Life’s catalogue. The company has won numerous publishing awards with the authors receiving several awards and prizes. Examples of great titles on their bookshelf include A Learner’s Guide to Irish by Donna Wong, Gonta by Alex Hijmans, and Banana by Mac Mathúna. Authors should download the submissions guide from this page written in the Irish language.
There you have it – a list of the top Irish book publishing companies accepting book submissions. As you can see, some accept submissions through email and post, some through email alone and a few others only accept submissions through post. Before submitting your requests, do your due diligence and read more about the publisher, especially the fine print on their submissions page.
If a publisher declines your submission, don’t take it personal; believe in yourself and the work you wrote. Another publisher in this list will certainly accept you.
Are you an Irish publisher that accepts book submissions without charging authors any fees? Feel free to leave a comment below.
21 Top Irish Book Publishing Companies Accepting Submissions is an article from Writing Tips Oasis.
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