17 – 26 May


Date with an Agent Submissions Now Open

Calling All Aspiring Authors!

Your Chance For A Date With An Agent...

Click here to register.

Have you written a bestseller or a Hollywood blockbuster? If you’re a writer looking for a literary agent and lots of sound advice on to get your book into print or your script to the screen, put Date With An Agent and the associated Getting Published Conference 2019 in your diary now! 

The International Literature Festival Dublin and Writing.ie are inviting SIX top literary and screen agents and TWO top London editors to Smock Alley Theatre on Saturday 25th May 2019 to explain exactly how the publishing industry works, and what you need to do to make it work for you.  Also hear from 3 debut novelists how they got their deals and how things happened for them. This time next year it could be you joining our experts on stage!

We’re changing the format a tiny bit this year with each agent having 10 one-to-one meetings with prospective authors. Send us sample of your work (closing date 1st April 2019, midnight) and you could be selected to meet with an agent. Each agent will meet 10 writers whose work they will receive in advance. Whether you are writing for children or adults, whether your book is speculative fiction, fantasy or sci-fi, women’s fiction, non-fiction or literary fiction, or you’re writing a TV or film script we have an agent for you!

For the first time we are inviting screen scripts and are very excited to be joined by Ellen Gallagher from Casarotto Ramsay & Associates who are an agency who do not accept open submissions from new writers – this is an incredible opportunity to get your work seen by them.

All submissions to the open call will be read by Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin and the Inkwell team who are Ireland’s leading literary scouts and always on the lookout for new talent. The script and screen submissions will be read by experts in the area with the final 10 selected by BBC Script Editor Kieran Grimes who works regularly with Inkwell in this area.

What are you waiting for? Click here to register.

The Agents

Sallyanne Sweeney: MMB Creative


Sallyanne Sweeney grew up in Dublin and studied English at Trinity College before completing an MPhil in American Literature at Queens' College, Cambridge. After graduating she joined Watson, Little Ltd, becoming a Director of the company in 2011. She joined Mulcahy Associates in 2013 where she is now a Director, and is growing her list of authors and illustrators for children (picture books to Young Adult) and adults. Awards her clients have won or been shortlisted for include the Irish Book Awards, Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, Waterstones Children's Book Prize and Sainsbury's Children’s Book Awards.

Passionate about the editorial side of agenting, Sallyanne enjoys both working with debuts and helping established authors take their careers to the next level. Her fiction tastes are wide-ranging, from the literary to the very commercial, but she is always excited by a distinctive voice, strong storytelling and a fresh premise. She will fight to champion anything that makes her laugh or cry (preferably both). Sallyanne is also interested in memoirs, food writing and thought-provoking non-fiction. She is a regular speaker at writing festivals and events and has been the Chair of the Children's Agents' Circle since 2014. 

Nicola Barr: The Bent Agency


Nicola arrived at The Bent Agency via a long stint as an agent at Greene & Heaton, having spent her formative publishing years at the much-missed literary imprint of HarperCollins, Flamingo. During that time I’ve worked as a reviewer for the Guardian, the Observer, the Scotsman and others. She has represented many bestselling commercial fiction authors, Richard & Judy bestsellers, award-winning crime fiction and commercial women’s fiction. She’s still very much on the lookout for upmarket commercial well-written fiction in these areas, particularly if they speak to a social issue, shine a light on a true-life injustice, have an atypical hero or heroine. Thrillers have to be incredibly fresh and original. In YA, she’s most passionate about grounded contemporary. …Nicola’s first and enduring love is literary fiction and she is always looking to grow that area of her list, whether elegant and page-turning or unsettling and experimental. She loves to read about families, about oddballs, about women struggling and women achieving, about the disenfranchised, and occasionally likes darker than dark and to be made to laugh.

A committed Londoner, Nicola was born and raised in a working-class part of Northern Ireland during the Troubles, then studied at the University of Glasgow. She is actively looking to build on the brilliant Irish, Northern Irish and Scottish writers.

Polly Nolan: The Greenhouse Literary Agency


Polly Nolan works at the Greenhouse Literary Agency, a trans-Atlantic agency specializing in writers for children and young adults. She has vast experience of the world of children’s books, having commissioned and edited for Egmont, Orion, Oxford University Press, Scholastic (where she was Editorial Director) and Macmillan Children's Books (in the role of Publishing Director).  She has been lucky enough to work with a diverse range of authors, including Liz Piton, Roddy Doyle and Frank Cottrell Boyce. She represents, amongst others, Sinead O’Hart, Jennifer Bell, C.G. Drews and Juliette Forrest. Polly is always after a gripping story, originally told . . . but doesn’t really like Prologues or books that feature talking birds.  She is actively searching for standalone, realistic Middle Grade.  She doesn’t mind a touch of magic, but isn’t looking for high fantasy.  In Y.A. she would love a really great rom-com.

Kate Nash: Kate Nash Literary


An author, publisher, publicist and marketer, Kate has seen every side of publishing and set up her own literary agency so she could do "the best job in publishing". Kate's reading tastes - from romance to thrillers - are highly commercial.

Kate has a degree in History (BA Hons.) from the University of York and later garnered two undergraduate modules in Creative Writing and Literature from the Open University (both with Distinction!).  She also holds a postgraduate certificate from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

Kate enjoys travel, wine, the theatre and fine art. She is also a trustee of the Catholic Truth Society (CTS), a 150-year-old charity who are the UK publishers to the Holy See. 

Simon Trewin


After a literary career of twenty five years, the last six years as a Partner at world talent agency WME, and previously as a founder director at United Agents, Simon Trewin has set up his own agency. Simon Trewin Ltd will be representing authors, brands and entrepreneurs in the areas of art, culture, digital, literature, and live events. Simon will continue to work with many of his Irish clients, developing new and exciting projects.

Ellen Gallagher: Casarotto Ramsey


Ellen Gallagher works with film and TV writers and directors at Casarotto Ramsay and Associates, assisting two senior agents and building her own client list. Previously she worked in the media department at Blake Friedmann Agency, working with esteemed crime writing clients including Paul Finch and Peter James, as well as stints at production companies Hammer Films and Scott Free Films.

Casarotto Ramsay & Associates was founded in 1989 and represents many of the world’s best known writers, directors, literary properties, and below the line talent in film, theatre and television.

They are a fiercely independent boutique agency, and are proud of their personal touch. Their clients range from newer talents to very well established names, which means that we work across the complete spectrum. Based in London, Casarotto Ramsey operate internationally. 

The Editors

Sara O’Keefe: Atlantic Books


Sara O’ Keeffe is the Editorial Director of Corvus, the commercial fiction imprint of Atlantic Books. Sara joined the company in 2011, having previously worked as a Senior Commissioning Editor at Orion for ten years. Sara is an avid reader and lover of crime fiction, thrillers, historical fiction and women’s fiction. She has edited Robert Ludlum, Rainbow Rowell, Katherine Webb, Holly Seddon, Minette Walters and Elizabeth Buchan, to name but a few.

Neil Belton: Head of Zeus


Neil Belton is the Editorial Director and Publisher at Head of Zeus and heads both non fiction and literary fiction lists where he has championed a range of Irish writers including Elizabeth Reapy, Elske Rahill, Darach O’Seaghdha, Declan Kiberd and Maurice Walsh.
Neil was previously an Editor at Faber, Jonathan Cape and at Granta. In the course of an enviable career he has published and edited a variety of highly successful and influential authors including Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs and Steel), Stephen Jay Gould (Wonderful Life), Orlando Figes (A People’s Tragedy), Will Hutton (The State We’re In), Brian Keenan (An Evil Cradling), Eric Lomax (The Railway Man), Misha Glenny (The Balkans) and James Hamilton Patterson’s Empire of the Clouds. He has also published important and controversial books about contemporary Ireland, including Fintan O’Toole’s Ship of Fools, Killing Rage by Eamon Collins and Voices from the Grave by Ed Moloney.