Children’s press Firefly to launch at Hay

Children’s press Firefly to launch at Hay

A new Wales-based children's publisher, Firefly Press, is launching at the Hay Festival on 1st June.

Firefly, based in Cardiff and Aberystwyth, has plans to publish fiction titles for children aged 5 and up, including young adult, written in English. Editor Janet Thomas said: "We aim to publish the best in storytelling, writing and design for a Welsh, UK and world market. Our stories may be funny, scary, magical, shocking, thrilling, sad or happy, but always aim to entertain and inspire."

Alongside Thomas on the board will be publisher Penny Thomas; author Catherine Fisher, formerly Wales Young People's Laureate; writer and editor Francesca Ryhdderch; children's author Dan Anthony; and rights expert Nikki Griffiths.

Thomas is also the fiction editor at Seren Books, and will continue in that post part-time. She said she had "always" wanted to set up a children's publisher, and was not aware of any other independent children's publishers in Wales.

Firefly has already won a contract from the Welsh Books Council (WBC) to publish a series of books for 7-9 year olds. The Dragonfly series will launch in bookshops and as e-books from May next year, and will be "lively and contemporary, beautifully produced, and based in Wales", with the publisher already talking to authors about possible titles.

Firefly will also begin to publish books for 9-12 year olds and teenage readers from next year, and will publish titles in e-book simultaneously. Thomas said the publisher "will be small to start with", publishing about seven titles a year initially, but with "ambitious plans" for the future.

The official launch will take place on 1st June in the Summer House at the Hay Festival, where the publisher will also be launching a competition, the Firefly Children's Book Prize, to find a debut author writing a story set in Wales.