The Publishing Post
Upskilling Tips: Publishing in Ireland
By Meghan Capper, Misha Manani and Joe Pilbrow
One of the regions rarely spoken about in the publishing industry tends to be Ireland. It has a small publishing scene, unlike London and Oxford. Consequently, there is a lack of awareness about the sector and regional work opportunities. However, there is a demand from people in this area hoping to pursue a career in publishing without moving to another part of the UK. The Upskilling team shares various job openings, the top publishing resources and advice for working in Ireland. We hope this equips you with the knowledge and tools to take your next steps!
Work Experience and Internship Opportunities/Companies
Publishing Ireland: This membership network represents book publishers throughout Ireland and aims to share resources, training and opportunities. They run a variety of training courses on everything from book pitches and selling book rights to advertising on TikTok. The organisation also has a careers page for current vacancies at Irish publishing companies.
The Black Staff Press: Located in County Down, this leading publisher of Irish books covers a range of genres from fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, autobiographies, historical and political. Although there are no live internships currently on their page, keep an eye out on their Twitter and Facebook where they have previously posted vacancies.
No Alibis Press: This Belfast-based indie press evolved from the No Alibis bookstore and is proud to represent books with strong voices and “attitudes.” Although they have not advertised any internship opportunities, they have had vacancies in their store for bookseller positions which could be a useful foot in the door!
Penguin Ireland: Although there are no Northern Ireland offices, Sandycove is the leading Irish-based publishing imprint at Penguin Random House in Dublin.
Indie Presses in Ireland: There are a variety of independent presses outside of Northern Ireland that are worth looking into. For example, Dublin-based New Island Books focuses on literary fiction and Irish-interest non-fiction. Bullaun Press in Gallway represent literature in translation and are currently looking for a part-time publicity assistant. The Lilliput Press specialise in biography, historical non-fiction and memoir. Finally, The Stinging Fly Press Imprint/Magazine; lovers of short stories and champions of emerging writers.
Organisations and Resources
Pathways - Northern Ireland: This is a two-year training and mentoring programme for LGBTQIA+ sixteen-to-twenty-six-year-olds interested in publishing inclusive and diverse children’s books. They learn about the publishing process from leading experts and finish by launching their publishing enterprise. It started in December 2022 and will end in 2024, but there could be another cohort following its completion, so keep an eye on application dates.
The Society of Young Publishers (SYP) Ireland: They host a variety of events and socials in Northern Ireland and Ireland. Sign up for their newsletter!
Queens University Belfast: There is a dedicated careers page for students interested in publishing. This includes two organisations; The Publishing Training Centre and Professional Publishers Association (PPA). They also have blogs with different roles in the sector.
The National Collection of Northern Ireland Publications (NIPR): On the Resources for Authors page, they have a list of organisations, e.g. The Editors’ and Proofreaders’ Alliance of Northern Ireland (EPANI), and a list of Northern Ireland publishers. There are even some bookshops where you could work or volunteer for the experience or visit to understand the bookselling scene.
Libraries - Northern Ireland: Libraries are great places to understand what consumers are reading. You can find your nearest library in Northern Ireland. They hold general events, some for World Book Day and virtual webinars. If you are not a member yet, join here!
Network: Reach out to those in the industry on LinkedIn, create opportunities by applying speculatively to publishers, attend bookish events and author talks, and keep up to date with industry news on Twitter.
Volunteer at bookshops: There are a bunch of great bookshops in Northern Ireland for you to develop your bookselling skills such as No Alibis, Keats and Chapman, The Bookwell, Bookfinders, ICM Books, Little Acorns Bookstore and The Secret Bookshelf.
Do your research: Tailoring your reading and showing you have researched regional Irish literature is a great way to demonstrate your passion for the local publishing scene. Make sure you're aware of up-and-coming Irish writers and talent which is a good way to showcase your knowledge and interest in interviews.
Festivals: Volunteering at local book festivals across Ireland is a valuable way to show your passion for books. Here are some that may be local to you: Belfast Book Festival, International Literature Festival Dublin, Dublin Book Festival, Cork World Book Festival, Festival of Writing & Ideas (Co. Carlow), Limerick Literary Festival.
Thank you for reading issue sixty-eight! Join us again for issue sixty-nine, where we will cover Upskilling Tips for London Book Fair.