Meet the Publishers
Dublin Book Festival brings together Ireland’s publishers to answer your questions – how many words should a novel be? What are they looking for? The do’s and don’ts of submitting your manuscript. Fiction, non-fiction, short stories and poetry, meet the publishers behind the scenes. DBF also introduces publishers and journals driven by a vision for social change, that actively embed such a vision into their practices.
3.30pm – 4.20pm – Writing Fiction with Declan Meade, Aoife K. Walsh and Micheal McLoughlin
Cassia Gaden Gilmartin is one of two founding editors behind Channel, a Dublin-based literary journal publishing work in English and Irish that fosters connection between people and the natural world. Conceived in 2019 on the day of the first global climate strike that year, Channel aims to create a space for the emergence of new narratives surrounding nature in the public consciousness and to build a community of writers, artists and readers grounded in shared ecological concern. Aside from publishing Channel in collaboration with a growing editorial team, Cassia also works as Production Executive at New Island Books and builds supports for Ireland’s publishing community as Chair of SYP (Society of Young Publishers) Ireland. Her work as a whole centres on the exploration of publishing as a relational field, capable of reproducing or challenging a society’s dominant values and of sparking transformation.
Aga Grandowicz is an award-winning multi-skilled creative/art director, visual designer, illustrator and artist. In 2016, after spending 19 years as an art director and a graphic designer working for various businesses and advertising agencies, Aga decided to dedicate more time to her lifelong passion for nature and animals. Since then, Aga has worked on many wildlife-related projects contributing to them with her design and illustration skills. This led to the publication of three animal books in Ireland: ‘Dr Hibernica Finch’s Compelling Compendium of Irish Animals’ (2018, written by Rob Maguire), ‘Remarkable Creatures: a guide to some of Ireland’s disappearing animals’ (2021), and ‘Blue tit chick’ (2021, written by Bernardine Mulryan). Aga is also the founder of Natural World Publishing and its sister company –Natural World Design. The newest book published by Natural World Publishing – ‘Wild Wonders, an anthology of short nature stories for children’ is Aga’s most ambitious book project to date. It involved working with twenty two contributors, and resulted in producing ‘a gorgeous gem of a book’, as described by Sara Keating, Children’s Book Reviewer for The Irish Times. Aga regularly facilitates drawing workshops for children at various book and family festivals, and in the schools and libraries across Ireland. You can find her work at aga-grandowicz.com
Michael McLoughlin is Publisher at Sandycove, an imprint of Penguin Books, and Managing Director of Penguin Random House Ireland. He has been with Penguin for over twenty years. Before that he ran his own book publicity company with clients in Ireland and the UK.
Declan Meade is publisher and a founding editor of The Stinging Fly literary magazine, which he established in Dublin in 1997 to publish and promote the best new Irish and international writing. Declan also runs The Stinging Fly Press through which he has edited and published short-story collections by writers such as Colin Barrett, Kevin Barry, Claire-Louise Bennett, Wendy Erskine, Nicole Flattery, Danielle McLaughlin and Cathy Sweeney. He has also edited several highly acclaimed short-story anthologies, including These Are Our Lives, Let’s Be Alone Together, Stinging Fly Stories (with Sarah Gilmartin) and The Writer’s Torch (with Phyllis Boumans and Elke D’hoker).
Aisling Ní Choibheanaigh Nic Eoin is writer and translator from Galway and a recent graduate of the Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture master’s programme in the University of St Andrews, where she studied minority-language preservation and regional environmentalism. She is the Irish Language Editor at Channel magazine, as well as the co-founder and co-editor of a multilingual literary journal called Aimsir, which publishes writing and visual art focused on seasonality and cultural traditions in these islands.
Aoife K. Walsh is the commissioning editor for New Island Books,Dublin, an independent Irish publishing house that publishes literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, poetry, memoir and biography and more. She has been an SYP mentor and an editor-in-residence at the West Cork Literary Festival. In 2023 she was named a Rising Star by The Bookseller. Aoife has a BA in English and Philosophy from University College Cork and an MPhil in Medieval Literature, Language and Culture from Trinity College Dublin. She has also completed courses at theRyerson University Publishing Programme, Toronto. With New Island Books, Aoife is acquiring titles across genre and category for an Irish and international readership, while nurturing writing, editorial and design talent and trying to improve access, diversity and inclusion within and around the publishing industry in Ireland.