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What do publishers and commissioning editors look for now, from large publishing houses such as Penguin and Head of Zeus to small, independent presses such as Stinging Fly? Our experts will discuss strategies for getting published, editing techniques and some of the mistakes authors make when submitting manuscripts. They will also share fascinating stories behind the discovery of acclaimed books.

Neil Belton was born and educated in North Dublin before attending UCD. His book The Good Listener won the Irish Times Literature Prize. his novel Games With Sharpened Knives was published in 2005. He co-wrote The Railway Man by Eric Lomax. He has been a publisher at Cape, Granta, Faber and Head of Zeus.

“It Impressed me deeply, explaining so much about what happened, (and happens), dealing with ugly, distressing material in a calm, and clear way.” – Margaret Forster, The Good Listener.

Fiona Murphy began her publishing career in the UK working at Transworld, Vintage and Quercus where she publicised authors such as Rachel Kushner, Sheila Heti, Laurent Binet, Sarah Knight and Karl Ove Knausgaard. She moved back to Ireland in 2016 where she now acquires literary fiction and narrative non-fiction for Doubleday Ireland, and commercial fiction and quirky non-fiction for Transworld Ireland. Her authors include Donal Ryan, Rosita Boland, Jan Carson, Conor O’Callaghan, Colm O’Regan and TwistedDoodles illustrator Maria Boyle.

This event will be chaired by Declan Meade, publisher and founding editor of The Stinging Fly magazine and press.