Aoife K Walsh has joined New Island Books as a commissioning editor. Walsh joined the Dublin-based independent press in January and will commission around 20 titles a year, working across fiction and non-fiction, reporting to publisher Edwin Higel.
Walsh worked has internationally across publicity, editing and scouting, including a stint in Toronto, Canada. She relocated there in 2014 and worked as a freelance editor and publicist before assisting Canadian publisher Ellen Seligman, and non-fiction publisher Doug Pepper at McClelland & Stewart, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada.
Following her return to Ireland in 2016, she scouted for Mulcahy Associates in London as well as editing for The O’Brien Press in Dublin, and developing the South Circular digital magazine of short stories.
Walsh told The Bookseller: “I’m extremely excited to join the team at New Island Books as commissioning editor, not least because of the press’s calibre as the first home of some of Ireland’s greatest writers. Also, my role brings together some of my major passions: finding new voices, author care, list-building, literary advocacy and relationship-building across territories.”
Walsh believes it is a particularly exciting time for publishing in Ireland, echoing the sentiments of president of Publishing Ireland Ronan Colgan who successfully lobbied for the inclusion of Irish publishers in the Man Booker last year.
“It’s a marvellous time to be working in publishing in Ireland right now, there’s so much to do,” Walsh said. “And the challenges of 2019 – equality of opportunity and access, stability of habitat and work, dignity and loneliness – are producing really new and interesting writers, readers, stories and ideas. I expect to be kept on my toes.”
New Island Books formed in 1992, replacing Raven Arts Press, and publishes literary fiction, poetry and drama.