Children's Books Ireland with Sarah Webb
A Day for Children’s Writers & Illustrators | Ireland

So, You Want to Write a Proper Book?

A practical, information day developed by Children’s Books Ireland in collaboration with Sarah Webb, dlr Writer in Residence for 2016/2017. How much do writers get paid? How important are events and social media? What are publishers and agents looking for in 2017? First successfully presented in Dublin in February 2017, this practical workshop will appeal to writers and illustrators in the West, emerging and experienced. 

All children’s writers and illustrators are welcome to this information packed day – new, emerging and established alike. How can books earn you money? Do you need to present at events and be active on social media? What are publishers and agents looking for when it comes to picture books and chapter books? Have all these questions and more answered by our expert speakers.

10.30am Registration & Tea/Coffee

11.00 – 11.15 Introduction

Aislinn Ó hEocha, Executive Artistic Director, Baboró International Arts Festival for Children

11.15 – 12.15 Where Do I Go for Help and How Do I Pay the Bills?

A panel discussion to kick off the day, discussing the various resources and income streams available to prospective children’s authors and illustrators.

Sarah Webb (Chair) - Sarah is an award-winning children’s books champion and writes for both children and adults, having worked in the children’s books trade for many years. Her most recent book is A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea, illustrated by Steve McCarthy.

Aoife Murray, Programme and Events Manager at Children’s Books Ireland - CBI is Ireland’s national children’s book organisation and co-presenter of this event. CBI is celebrating 20 years providing support and professional development services to children’s authors and illustrators.

Liz Dunn became the Chairperson of Listowel Writers’ Week in 2015 having previously chaired The National Children’s Literary Festival at Listowel Writers’ Week since 2013. Listowel Writers Week is one of Ireland’s best loved and acclaimed international literary festivals.

Jane Mitchell - an award-winning author of books for children and young people. Her latest book is A Dangerous Crossing.

Conor Hackett, Hackett Flynn Publishers Agency - since 1999 Hackett Flynn has represented publishing houses like Walker Books, Barefoot Books, Chicken House and Little Island books in Ireland.

12.15 – 1.15 Talking About Children’s Picture Books

Some information from the experts about children’s picturebooks in 2017, how to get your idea noticed and what publishers are looking for.

Aoife Murray, Children’s Books Ireland – (Chair)

Tadhg Mac Donnagháin, Futa Fata - Tadhg is an author, musician and publisher at Futa Fata Irish language publishers.

Margaret Anne Suggs - Margaret Anne illustrates children’s books, most notably Pigín of Howth, written by Kathleen Watkins. She is also an active member of Illustrators Ireland.


1.15 – 2.15 Lunch

2.15 – 3.15 The Life of a Children’s Writer

Join author and children’s books advocate Sarah Webb to find out more about the nitty-gritty of being a professional children’s writer.

3.15 – 4.15 Talking about Children’s Chapter Books

What’s the secret to a successful chapter book? Who are they for? What trends or themes are publishers looking for?

Patricia Forde (Chair). Patricia is a dual-language author and former Director of the Galway Arts Festival. Patricia’s most recent novel is The Wordsmith.

Dave Rudden - is the best selling author of The Knights of the Borrowed Dark series and is also a renowned story-teller.

Ivan O’Brien - is Managing Director of The O’Brien Press, Ireland’s biggest publisher of both adult and children’s books.

Mary Esther-Judy, Children’s Section Manager, Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop – Mary manages this busy area of one of Ireland’s best loved book shops. She is organizer of Children’s Book Clubs and the popular weekly Storytime.


Tickets: €25 including light lunch

Presented in association with Children’s Books Ireland and supported by Creative Ireland.

So, You Want to Write a Proper Book?
Made possible with the support of the Creative Ireland Programme