Written by Emily Harstone August 6th, 2020

The O’Brien Press: Open to Submissions

The O’Brien Press is an established and respected publisher that is based in Ireland. They favour Irish voices, but are open to international submissions. They publish nonfiction for adults, and fiction and nonfiction for children.

They share this list under the heading, what we are excited about.

Adult Non-Fiction: Humour, sport, photography, Irish history and other Irish-interest titles.

Children’s Non-Fiction: We’re open to almost any topic or theme – although we do ask that it has some particular relevance for Irish children.

Children’s Fiction: We’re looking for great stories across all age groups, from picture books to Young Adult Fiction. There are no limits here and we’re always hoping for our next great children’s book to emerge from the submissions process. We especially enjoy historical fiction (you can see the periods covered by our children’s fiction here: obrien.ie/childrens/history-through-fiction), contemporary stories, humour, fantasy, mysteries and adventure. We’d also like, as much as is possible, to see a diverse range of characters appear in these stories – in terms of background, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical abilities, etc.

If you are submitting to them from outside of Ireland, I would make sure to spend even more time with their catalogue and buy and read a book or two to make sure you are a good fit.

I cannot stress this enough, but please do not submit, particularly if you live outside of Ireland, unless you feel like your work is a particularly good fit. We have had a number of presses close to direct submissions because of mass submissions recently. Mass submissions rarely, if ever, result in your manuscript being accepted.

They are particularly looking for work from diverse backgrounds (BAME, LGBTQ+, authors with disabilities, etc.) and New Irish voices.

They have good distribution within Ireland and internationally. They prefer electronic submissions via email but will accept postal submissions as well.

They usually respond within 8-10 weeks but under current circumstances these goals are less likely to be met. They ask submitters to be patient.

They ask that you send a cover letter, synopsis, and full manuscript via email. To learn more please visit their website here.

Emily Harstone is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript SubmissionsThe 2019 Guide to Manuscript PublishersSubmit, Publish, Repeat, and The Authors Publish Guide to Children’s and Young Adult Publishing.

She occasionally teaches a course on manuscript publishing, as well as a course on publishing in literary journals.

You can follow her on Facebook here.


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