Subscribe to our newsletter!


* indicates required

Google Plus

Aubrey on the CILIP Carnegie Longlist

Congratulations to Horatio Clare and Jane Matthews after Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot is named on the 20-stong longlist for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017! 

Up against great competition from the likes of Frank Cottrell Boyce, Philip Reeve and MG Leonard, the Branford Boase winning title continues to shine, with a sequel, Aubrey and the Terrible Ladybirds, due out in May.

Announcing the longlist Tricia Adams, chair of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals judging panel, said: 'It is truly a special privilege to be chairing the panel in this historic double anniversary year. The subject matter that emerges from the two lists – stories about refugees, our relationship with the natural world, and living with disability and loss – reflect the very real issues children have to deal with. In turbulent times, we need children’s books to provide a safe space from which to help make sense of the world.'


And President of the Carnegie Kate Arnold said: 'Over the past 80 years, the Carnegie and, latterly, the Kate Greenaway Medal have played a crucial role in highlighting excellence in children’s books. Just as librarians do every day in recommending books to readers at school and in public libraries, the medals act as a guide to exciting new stories, storytellers and artists. This year’s longlists are exceptionally strong, with images and stories that will linger in the imagination long after the last page has been turned.'

The shortlists for both will be announced on 16th March, with the winners being announced on 19th June in central London. The winners will each receive £500 worth of books to donate to their local library, a specially commissioned golden medal and a £5,000 Colin Mears Award cash prize. One title from each of the shortlists will also be named the recipient of the Amnesty CILIP Honour. The prizes are judged by a panel of expert librarians.

The Carnegie Medal, awarded annually, was established in 1936 in memory of the Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835 – 1919) who set up more than 2,800 libraries across the English speaking world. The Kate Greenaway Medal was established in 1955 for distinguished illustration in a book for children in tribute to the nineteenth century artist known for her children’s illustrations.

Firefly Press is expanding its team

We are pleased to announce that thanks to the WBC funding announced in January, we are looking to increase the Firefly team with two positions, a marketing officer and an assistant editor:

Firefly Press Marketing Officer (supported post)
15 hours per week, £25,000 pro rata

In 2017-20 the post-holder will work on a list averaging 8 titles per year, all high quality fiction ranging from early readers (7-9) to young adult titles. In addition the post-holder will promote Firefly as a brand on social media and to print media, to the trade, readers and opinion formers.

Candidates will have a great deal of experience of book marketing and PR - experience in children’s books marketing is essential.  They will have great communication skills and energy.  They will mostly work from home, but will attend meetings with the rest of the Firefly team in Cardiff as necessary and will attend book launches, festivals and other publishing events across the UK.

If you would like a detailed job description please email
Any interested candidates should email a CV and covering letter to Firefly Publisher Penny Thomas at by 24 February and interviews will be held in Cardiff in early March.

Firefly Press Assistant Editor (supported post)
7.5 hours a week, £25,000 pro rata

In 2017-20 the post-holder will work on a list averaging 8 titles a year, all high quality fiction ranging from early readers (7-9) to young adult titles. They would work with the Firefly Publisher and Editor on assessing scripts, editing, copyediting, proofreading and liaising with authors and agents. They would also prepare sales materials for sales and marketing and work with designers and printers where appropriate.

The successful candidate would have editorial experience, preferably but not essentially in children’s books, and excellent editorial skills.  They will have a depth of knowledge about and enthusiasm for the children’s book market. They would work from home, but would attend meetings with the Firefly team in Cardiff as necessary, and attend other book events and presentations across the UK occasionally, as appropriate.

If you would like a detailed job description please email
Any interested candidates should email a CV and covering letter to Firefly Publisher Penny Thomas at by 24 February and interviews will be held in Cardiff in early March. 

We would also like to note that while we are keen to fill the assistant editor position, if we did not find the right candidate at this time, we would then be looking for freelance editors to work on books on a book by book freelance basis, so freelance editors are also welcome to send us their CVs at  Our priority, though, is to find the right person for the position.

First Gateshead YA Book Prize goes to The Territory

Many congratulations to Sarah Govett (right), whose debut novel The Territory has won the Gateshead YA Book Prize at the first ever Gateshead Biblio-Con. This compelling story about teenagers Noa, Raf and Jack, adrift in the dangerous world of 2059, was chosen by local schools and teen book groups as their favourite YA read of 2016. Read more about The Territory and The Territory, Escape here.

And great news too for Firefly's Jon Blake and Jennifer Killick, whose books Thimble Monkey Superstar and the as yet unpublished Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink - coming soon - have been chose for The Reading Agency's Summer Reading Challenge 2017. We're really looking forward to the challenge this year, which is on the theme of Animal Agents.



Congratulations too go to Hoxton Mini-Press, winner of the IPG Independent Publishing Nick Robinson Best Newcomer Award 2017, an honour hotly contested by the other shortlisted publishers, Firefly Press and Orenda Books. The award was presented at the inspiring IPG conference last week, which also saw Nosy Crow crowned Best Children's Publisher and academinc publishers Edward Elgar Publishing win the overall award for the Best Independent Publisher.




Firefly Press acquires new YA novel by Rhian Ivory

Janet Thomas has acquired World English rights in Hope, a YA novel from Carnegie-nominated author, Rhian Ivory, from Gillie Russell from Aitken Alexander Associates.

Rhian Ivory is the author of five novels including The Boy Who Drew the Future (2015), also published by Firefly Press, which has been nominated for a number of awards including the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017. 
Hope is a beautiful contemporary YA novel, about the summer between school and sixth form college. When 16-year-old Hope, already grieving for her dad, doesn’t get into drama college, she feels like all her dreams are over, but new friendships and a summer job in the Singing Medicine group at the hospital, help her, with many tests along the way, to find a new path.  
Janet Thomas, Firefly Press Editor, says: 'We are so thrilled to be publishing Rhian again. Rhian has one of the greatest gifts I’ve worked with for communicating to YA readers through her work. Hope is an uplifting story of trying new things, learning who to trust and the healing potential of music.'
Hope will be published in September 2017 in PB priced £7.99.

Firefly Press shortlisted for IPA Best Newcomer Award

Firefly Press has been shortlisted for the Nick Robinson Best Newcomer Award, as part of the 2017 IPG Independent Publishing Awards. Coming hard on the heels of a grant from the Welsh Books Council, this is great news for everyone at Firefly, its authors and supporters.

Firefly will be up against stiff competition from the two other shortlisted publishers, Hoxton Mini-Press and Orenda Books, when the winner is announced at a Gala Dinner in Oxfordshire on February 9th.

Independent Publishers Guild chief executive Bridget Shine said: 'Competition for this year's IPG Independent Publishing Awards was extraordinary. Our entry field has improved and diversified every year, and it has hit new heights in 2017 in terms of both quality and quantity. Our judges had an exceptionally tough job to do, and we thank them for their diligence and consideration of every entry.

'These shortlists provide the best possible evidence of the richness of UK independent publishing, and every company and individual on them should feel very proud of their achievements.'

And the judges said of Firefly: 'It's forging out a good reputation in children's publishing and its authors clearly have a lot of love for it. 2016 was a really good year for Firefly.'


Firefly wins three-year grant from the Welsh Books Council

Tales of dragons, ladybirds, and suspense in the dark streets of Victorian Cardiff are just some of the stories to be published this spring with the help of new three-year investment from the Welsh Books Council.

The investment in new Wales-based children’s publisher Firefly Press will allow it to develop its business and press ahead with its award-winning list of great fiction titles for children and teenagers, which has received high praise across the UK.
Set up less than three years ago, Firefly publishes up to eight books a year for five to nineteen year olds. Last year it won the Branford Boase Award for a debut children’s writer and editor, with the stunning tale of Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot by Horatio Clare. And in 2017 it has two titles nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal along with a significant number of other prize listings. 
‘We are thrilled with the support we have received from the Welsh Books Council, particularly at such a difficult time for arts funding,’ said Firefly Publisher Penny Thomas. ‘This grant, awarded to Firefly for the first time, will help us strengthen our list of quality children’s and YA books published from Wales. It’s a wonderful boost and mark of confidence in Firefly and Welsh publishing, and means we can look forward to a very exciting few years.’
Firefly has been awarded nearly £90,000 over three years and joins four other English language publishers in Wales who are currently supported by WBC’s revenue grant, agreed by the Welsh Government last week. The funding represents vital help for publishers and books from Wales seeking to compete in a market dominated by much larger UK publishers and multinationals. 
Based in Cardiff and Aberystwyth, Firefly launches its 2017 spring list at the Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival in March, with picture book Sophie Finds a Fairy Door by Laura Sheldon, Victorian drama Gaslight by Eloise Williams for 8-12s and the third and final book in the popular Dragon Gold series for 7-10s, Dragon Red by Shoo Rayner, which draws on one of the ancient legends of the Mabinogion. May sees the launch of a second book telling the adventures of Aubrey, a boy who can talk to animals – Aubrey and the Terrible Ladybirds, by Horatio Clare, and June brings our hilarious debut from Jennifer Killick - Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink.