Inkwell Success Stories

A Fast Deal for Gillian Duffy!

I’m Gillian, I’m from Dublin, I’m studying for a BA in Humanities (English and History) and my debut novel, The L.A. Commandments, was published in August 2011 by Book Republic, an imprint of Maverick House. My second novel will be published later this year. Writing this piece is particularly special because The Inkwell Group and its founder, Vanessa O’Loughlin, were instrumental in turning my writing wishes into reality. Here’s how…

My writing story began in 2008 after a family holiday to Los Angeles. I’d always had a head full of potential plots and characters, but not until I returned from that trip did I really begin to start writing. It soon became a major part of my life, fitting it in after work and at the weekend, and the few people that knew about it were really happy for me.

As I worked on my novels I always dreamed that one day I’d see my words in print, but because I was busy with my former job and completing my manuscripts I’d never seriously set about trying to make that leap from wishful writer to author.

When redundancy came knocking in December 2oo9 I found myself in a whole new situation. When it first happened I was anxious and a little fearful of the future, but after conversations with friends and family I realised that this was my chance to make that leap. When I received my acceptance letter from St. Patrick’s College to study on their BA Programme, which started in September 2010, it felt like things were falling into place for the first time. I hoped that studying English would move me a step closer to my goal.

I kept busy with my studies and my writing, and in early 2011 I saw an ad for an Inkwell Workshop taking place on 14th May with Vanessa O’Loughlin. I didn’t hesitate in booking a place and I’m so glad that I did – I learned lots of valuable information about the publishing process in just one day and met some great people who were also taking their first steps towards publication. There are very few one-day seminars that offer you the chance to meet with agents and publishers – Inkwell does.

Thanks to Vanessa’s advice about the importance of networking I soon logged onto Twitter and made contact with Book Republic. I noticed that they were hosting a writers’ evening the following Thursday, 19th May, in the Irish Writers’ Centre. I wasn’t entirely sure what the evening would involve – I’d never been to a writers’ night before – but I quickly realised that it was a unique opportunity for aspiring authors to meet with the Book Republic team to discuss their work. It didn’t take long to see that they were a professional and personable publishing house dedicated to promoting new Irish writing. I submitted my manuscripts to them the following week and about three weeks later I signed a three-book deal (talk about luck). Without Vanessa and Inkwell that may never have happened.

Thanks for reading and thanks to Inkwell for all the great advice.


You can find my book The LA Commandments on the Book Republic site here, or on Amazon, and as an eBook here on Amazon

Connect with her on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @GillianPDuffy

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