O'Brien Press Manuscript Submission Guidelines


Thank you for considering The O'Brien Press for your manuscript. We have been working with talented authors and illustrators for well over forty years, and we know that great books come from all kinds of experiences, so we’re happy to hear from as wide a range of aspiring authors as possible. We particularly welcome submissions from authors with diverse backgrounds (BAME, LGBTQ+, authors with disabilities, etc.) and New Irish voices.

We are open to submissions from authors all over the world but, as an Irish publisher, we have found it increasingly important to have authors who are available to attend local events in bookshops, schools and libraries. As such, we are much more likely to publish authors based in Ireland. And we are not currently seeking to translate work from other languages for publication here at The O'Brien Press.


COVID-19 Update

Due to the government restrictions implemented on Friday 27 March, The O’Brien Press offices are currently closed. In light of the present circumstances we have amended our policy and are now accepting email submissions for the foreseeable future. If you would like to submit your work to our editorial team please send a cover letter, synopsis, and the full manuscript to books@obrien.ie

We will endeavour to respond as quickly as possible to all prospective authors, however, due to the impact of Covid-19 restrictions, it is necessary that our minimum response time will increase to 10-12 weeks. We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter.


The Short Version

If you would like to submit your work to us, please send a cover letter, synopsis and the first three chapters to us by post at the address below. For children’s picture books or other submissions under 1,000 words, please submit the work in its entirety.

We will only accept submissions/proposals by post. Please do not email your work to us. Please send submissions to:

Submissions Department

The O'Brien Press

12 Terenure Road East


Dublin D06 HD27



What We Publish & What We Don’t

We publish mainly children's fiction and non-fiction, adult non-fiction and a select number of adult novels. We generally do not publish poetry or academic works. If in doubt, take a look at our website and the books currently available for sale; this is a good indicator of whether or not your submission will suit our list.

If you’re still not sure, submit anyway! Please don’t try to pitch us over the phone. We don’t like to make a decision without considering a writing sample, so any phone call will ultimately end in the phrase ‘Send it to us!’


What We’re Excited About

Adult Non-Fiction: Humour, sport, photography, Irish history and other Irish-interest titles.

Children’s Non-Fiction: We’re open to almost any topic or theme – although we do ask that it has some particular relevance for Irish children.

Children’s Fiction: We’re looking for great stories across all age groups, from picture books to Young Adult Fiction. There are no limits here and we’re always hoping for our next great children’s book to emerge from the submissions process. We especially enjoy historical fiction (you can see the periods covered by our children’s fiction here: www.obrien.ie/childrens/history-through-fiction.html), contemporary stories, humour, fantasy, mysteries and adventure. We’d also like, as much as is possible, to see a diverse range of characters appear in these stories – in terms of background, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical abilities, etc.

A note on picture books: If you’re submitting a picture book text, it is not necessary for you to commission an illustrator to provide illustrations. However, it is helpful for us to know if you plan to illustrate the story yourself.

This list is not exhaustive. It is simply a rough guide to what we get most excited about when opening submissions envelopes. If in doubt, send it anyway!


Please Note

Firstly, and most importantly, please allow a minimum of 8/10 weeks’ response time. We receive a lot of submissions – on average over 100 per month. Due to this high number of unsolicited manuscripts requiring review by our editorial team, sometimes this process can take longer.

Secondly, again, due to the high level of submissions we receive, we are not in a position to return unsolicited manuscripts. So please do not send us any original work, illustrations, etc.

Thirdly, due to time constraints, The O'Brien Press is not in a position to offer critiques of any unsolicited manuscripts we receive.

Finally, please do not forget to put your contact information on your submission. Any submission received without contact information will not be read.