Ignite 2

Firefly Ignite is a free programme for aspiring children’s writers from underrepresented backgrounds, born, raised and/or living in Wales. 

The Firefly Ignite programme, which has been made possible through the support of Creative Wales and the Books Council of Wales, aims to provide an insight into writing for young people and the different stages of publishing. 

The original programme ran in May and June 2023 and aimed to demystify young adult and children’s publishing with sessions from agents, authors and editors. This year, in addition to three new online events, we also invited the Ignitees to an in-person Firefly event, where they had the opportunity to attend a pre-party session with children’s author Eloise Williams, as well as meeting other published authors, illustrators and the Firefly team. We have also developed a summer 2024 Ignite mentoring programme for three aspiring writers to be mentored by experienced YA and children’s authors. 

The 2024 online programme included: 

Firefly Ignite 2: shining a light on…

  • How to write a query letter and synopsis with agent Gemma Cooper 
  • How to write for different ages with editors Janet Thomas and Penny Thomas 
  • How to make your novel stand out with author Emma Smith-Barton 

Following these sessions, attendees had the optional opportunity to apply for a writing mentorship, where three writers were selected to be mentored by either Catherine Johnson or Lucy Christopher. This year we are thrilled to share that writers Suzie Good, Alix Edwards and Sian Chaney-Price have been selected for the Ignite mentoring programme.


Praise for the Ignite 2 Programme

‘I feel so much more motivated. My self-belief in being an author of children’s books has grown so much, and the world of publishing is no longer some scary and inaccessible area. Everyone at Firefly Ignite has shown so much generosity in sharing information, advice and tips.’

Janet Anthony-Buck

‘The Ignite program has been wonderfully inspiring and has given me a clear insight into the multi-faceted world of writing and producing books for children. Thank you, Firefly Press.’

Sarah King

‘I had always found the idea of writing for children terrifying. This programme demystified the world of children’s novels for me and has also really inspired me to complete my own project.’

Alix Edwards

‘I am most grateful to the speakers for their honesty, insights and for sharing their experience with such generosity.’


‘Ignite has really increased my knowledge of the publishing industry. I feel confident in my writing and feel well equipped to approach agents, editors and publishers. It’s been an invaluable experience.’

Jess Doyle

‘Publishers that run programmes like Firefly Ignite are rarer than hen’s teeth. Programmes like Firefly Ignite being free are rarer than hen’s teeth with gold fillings.’

Liam Kelly

‘I loved the programme! So useful and informative it really demystified the process.’

Jaziea Farag

‘The Firefly Ignite programme has been inspiring, motivational and fun to take part in. It was also great to be involved in something local and Welsh. I would highly recommend any aspiring writer to sign up.’

Siân Chaney-Price

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

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.

Applications for Firefly Ignite are now closed. If you have any questions about the programme, feel free to email lucy.mohan@fireflypress.co.uk

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