interviews · publishers

Send me your questions for Claire Hennessy, children’s editor at Penguin Ireland

I’m delighted to say I will be interviewing the children’s editor at Penguin Ireland, Claire Hennessy, in the next couple of weeks.   As some of you may have read on my Twitter feed, Penguin Ireland are accepting unsolicited children’s and YA manuscripts.  With that in mind I thought it would be nice to get some questions together from all of us rather than just me, so if you’d like to send a question, please put it in the comments section below, or if you prefer to be all mysterious and anonymous (perfectly all right if you do), you can email me your question at

Claire is also the author of ten young adult novels and a historical children’s novel, plus she teaches creative writing, so I’m sure she won’t mind if questions veer on to general writing advice as well as Penguin.

Claire’s website is at and the submission guidelines for Penguin Ireland children’s books are here.


12 thoughts on “Send me your questions for Claire Hennessy, children’s editor at Penguin Ireland

  1. I self-published my first novel The Grimstone Galleries back in 2010 … I have since written the sequel and am now in the process of re-writing both with a view to approaching agents again in the future. I never had my first novel professionally edited (couldn’t afford it!) but would be interested in doing this with a company such as Cornerstones for my re-worked stories. Are institutions such as Cornerstones worth investing my money in? I want my manuscripts to be as tight as possible to attract agents and do not wish to go down the self-publishing road again. Thank you.

    1. I’m curious. Did you try the internet? And are you thinking beyond to cinematic structure? I fancy myself a structuralist, and by the way, if Lou sees this, did you ever get a look at the suggestions I made on your ghost story, about a year ago,to develop that as a film?

  2. Would Penguin Ireland be willing to consider submissions of self-published children’s books? I have recently published mine.

  3. Interactive picture books are a relatively new market. Recently there were two articles–one in “The Guardian” and another in “Publisher’s Weekly Magazine”–that discussed the potential for publishers and writers to be successful in selling kids book apps. But even within these articles, there seems to be doubt about the direction this “genre” will take. I was wondering if you would ask your guest what her opinion is of this market and where she thinks it is heading? Does she think Children’s Apps will replace traditional books? Will children’s book writers need to be as concerned with hiring a good programmer, as they are with hiring a great illustrator? Also, what are some of the better kids books apps? Why are these the better ones? What qualities do great books apps share? Because the field is so new, it is anybody’s guess, to some extent, but I am curious what a professional in the field might think.

    Thanks Lou.

  4. Inspired move by Penguin. Claire Hennessy is not only a brilliant writer and editor but a passionate advocate of YA and children’s literature and all round decent person. Good news for the world of publishing. *loud applause*

  5. Would you recommend joining a writers group. I would like some honest feedback on my work and friends and family, although wonderful, can be too kind. Can you recommend any other way to get feedback.

  6. Hi Lou, could you please ask Claire whether Penguin Ireland is open to submissions from across the UK or does it just focus on the Irish market? Thanks

  7. Hi Lou

    I have just nominated you on My Life in Poems blog for The Liebster Award. This is meant to be a way of bringing recognition to less well known bloggers. I would hardly call you that but I could not resist including you as you are one of my favourite bloggers.

    If you’d like to take part, have a look at what I have done on my blog ( and then do something similar on yours – nominating up to six bloggers whom you think deserve a wider audience. I simply cut and pasted the questions I had been sent.

    Very best wishes

    1. Thank you Andrea – that’s really kind! I enjoyed reading your answers – and also your children’s poems – they remind me of Robert L Stephenson. The found poems really made me laugh too!

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