Ignite 1

Firefly Ignite is a programme of free online sessions for new and aspiring writers from underrepresented backgrounds. These sessions are open to writers born, raised and/or living in Wales.

The Firefly Ignite programme began in 2023 with a series of online sessions, aiming to demystify YA and children’s publishing for aspiring writers.

The sessions included:

Firefly Ignite: Shining a Light on…

  • Agents – with literary agent Anwen Hooson 
  • Editors – with Firefly editors Penny Thomas, Rebecca F. John and Rebecca Lloyd
  • Authors – with authors Yvonne Banham, Claire Fayers, Luke Palmer and Alex Wharton

These sessions were aimed at those who want to write for children, teens and young adults. Each session provided an introduction and insight into a different stage of publishing and shared top tips for aspiring authors, with opportunities for attendees to also put their own questions to the guest speakers.

The Firefly Ignite programme is eligible to writers who are currently underrepresented in children’s publishing. This includes (but is not limited to) LGBTQ+ writers, writers of colour, writers from working-class backgrounds, neurodiverse writers, writers from ethnic, cultural and religious minorities, and writers with a disability/ illness. 

This opportunity has been made possible through support and funding from Creative Wales and the Books Council of Wales.

Firefly Press is an award-winning independent children’s and YA publisher based in Wales, publishing quality fiction in all genres for 5-19 years olds.

You can read more about the recent 2024 Ignite programme here.

If you have any questions, feel free to email lucy.mohan@fireflypress.co.uk

Praise for the Ignite Programme

‘The Ignite sessions provided an invaluable insight into children’s literature and publishing in Wales. The sessions were fun and informative, I really hope there’s an opportunity to attend more. Thank you, Firefly!’

Jess Doyle

‘The Ignite programme gave me hope. The writers’ experiences were all so different, it made me realise that there are multiple paths you can follow to be published – I simply need faith to follow my own.’

Suzie Good

‘Firefly’s series of presentations from literary agents, editors, and authors alike, as part of its Ignite programme, was a sparkling illustration of how a publisher can shine a light on the mysteries of the industry for new writers, while demonstrating that compassion and encouragement can still exist in a competitive environment. I would like to applaud their ambition and thank them for the insights I’ve gained!’

Leigh Anthony Manley

‘There are no words to describe the depths of my gratitude towards Firefly; I wouldn’t have had the confidence to query my wonderful agent were it not for the Ignite programme. Diolch o galon for your incredible work ensuring that underrepresented Welsh writers are empowered to tell the stories that need to be told.’

Megan Angharad Hunter

‘Hugely beneficial. To have the opportunity to chat and listen to the vast knowledge and experience provided by the team was invaluable.  Also, having the answers to all those questions you didn’t even know needed answering until these sessions, was great.’

Sarah Phelps

‘The Firefly Ignite programme was a fantastic opportunity to learn from people on all sides of the publishing industry. Should it return, I couldn’t recommend it more highly to anyone even vaguely interested. Don’t miss out!’


‘It’s rare to see events that offer an insight into the Welsh publishing industry, and this was a unique opportunity to do just that.’

Kaja Brown

‘Ignite has been packed with sparks. Sparks of knowledge, sparks of inspiration and it’s definitely sparked my imagination. Just what my hungry little writing appetite has been craving. Thank you so much, Firefly Press.’

Sarah King @PembsPoet

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