Publishing NI Launches in Belfast

A new company has been launched to promote Northern Irish writers, publishers and books.

The new organisation is supported initially by three publishing houses in Northern Ireland – Blackstaff Press, Guildhall Press, Lagan Press – along with the Verbal Arts Centre and will receive public funding from the Creative Industries Innovation Fund via the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL).

The company will launch a website in February and a series of touring events in arts and tourism centres around northern Ireland with a goal of  not just providing literary programing but also selling books from the venues.

Bronwen Williams, Co-ordinator of PublishingNI, said:  ‘PublishingNI has been established as a valuable network for publishers in Northern Ireland, aiming to reach out to new readers and to create more opportunities for writers here.  Through our programme of mini tours, we hope to stimulate sales of Northern Irish books and to increase public awareness of our excellent home-grown writers and their work.’

Damian Smyth, Head of Drama and Literature, Arts Council of Northern Ireland added: ‘The launch of PublishingNI is an important new development for writers, publishers and readers in Northern Ireland.  The Arts Council is working with PublishingNI to develop the shape of the literature infrastructure here, through regular tours, readings and engagement with arts venues.  We wish PublishingNI every success and look forward to working together in building the literature economy in the years ahead.’

Patsy Horton of Blackstaff Press will be the chair of the new company.