Tag Archives: the non-fiction market

March 11th: Insights into Non-fiction publising

Irish PEN presents: A Fact-Finding Mission:  Insights into the World of Non-Fiction publishing.

Was Dickens’s Thomas Gradgrind secretly the first non-fiction commissioning editor, when he exclaimed: ‘Now, what I want is, Facts…. stick to Facts, Sir!’? Or did he just have a healthy respect for the breadth and wondrous world of communicating factual information, recording lives and historical events, exploring and enthusing over hobbies, art, music or architecture?  Not to mention the ‘how to’ books on a range of topics from personal finance to making your will, guides to relationship survival or growing your own vegetables.   

Irish PEN is delighted to invite writers of all genres to attend this very informative and broad-reaching discussion on non-fiction publishing in Ireland.  Our panel on the evening will include: 

Ivan O’Brien, publisher and MD of The O’Brien Press;  Seán O’Keeffe, publishing director of Liberties Press, Joe Armstrong, non-fiction author and commissioning editor for international academic publisher Peter Lang and Gillian Hick,  a vet who has penned her memoirs, Vet on the Loose  and a forthcoming title Vet Among the Pigeons.

WHEN:         8.00pm.  Thursday, March 11th 2010

WHERE:       United Arts Club, 3 Upper Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 2.

COST:          €3 members, €5 non-members.


Tel:  087-9660770,  email:irishpen1@gmail.com

The Panel:

Ivan O’Brien is Managing Director of O’Brien Press, Ireland’s leading independent publisher of books for adults and children.  Born into the family firm, Ivan started his own publishing at the age of eight – and sold copies in the Hodges Figgis.  After an extended academic interlude, he began to work full-time at O’Brien Press in 1997, where he was held roles in production, sales and IT before becoming MD.

Seán O’Keeffe is the publishing director of Liberties Press and has been working in book publishing for 15 years.  He is also a published poet.  Seán co-founded Liberties in 2003 with his business partner Peter O’Connell. The press has quickly become one of Ireland’s leading non-fiction publishers, with more than 100 titles in print across a range of genres, including best-sellers by Garret FitzGerald, Richard Crowley and Michael D. Higgins. Liberties Press has an active foreign-rights programme and will be launching a fiction list in spring 2010.

Joe Armstrong’s book  Men’s Health – the Common Sense Approach was published by Gill & Macmillan in 1999 and translated into several languages. He also self-published Write Way to Stop Smoking in 2004. He co-authored another non-fiction book in 2009: From Special Care to Specialist Treatment – a History of Muckamore Abbey.  For the first title, he was commissioned by a publisher. For the second, he set up his own imprint. For the third, and most lucrative, he was paid by the hour. In his role at international academic publisher Peter Lang, Joe commissions books for publication and in 2009 commissioned 45 new titles in Ireland.

Gillian Hick was born in Dublin and has practised as a vet both in Dublin and in Wicklow for the past seven years, where she now has her own practice. She also works for the Irish Blue Cross. Her first humorous memoir was Vet on the Loose, and her second title Vet among the Pigeons will be published this year with The O’Brien Press.

Irish PEN acknowledges the ongoing support of The Arts Council and Dublin City Council’s Arts Office.