Louise O’ Neill grew up in Clonakilty, a small town in West Cork, Ireland. After receiving an honours BA in English Studies from Trinity College Dublin, she went on to complete a post-graduate diploma in Fashion Buying from the Dublin Institute of Technology. She moved to New York City in 2010 and spent a year there interning as an assistant stylist for the senior style director of Elle Magazine, Kate Lanphear.
Upon returning to Ireland in 2011, she began writing her first novel ONLY EVER YOURS, which was published in 2014 by Quercus.
Louise went on to win the Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year at the 2014 Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards; the Children’s Books Ireland Eilís Dillon Award for a First Children’s Book; and The Bookseller‘s inaugural YA Book Prize 2015. The runaway success of her debut, originally published as a novel for Young Adults, meant Quercus issued an adult edition in 2015.
Louise’s second novel, ASKING FOR IT, was published in September 2015 to widespread critical acclaim. She has since won the Specsaver’s Senior Children’s Book of the Year at the 2015 Irish Book Awards, the Literature Prize at Irish Tatler’s Women of the Year Awards, and Best Author at Stellar magazine’s Shine Awards. It was voted Book of the Year at the Irish Books Awards 2015 and has spent 34 weeks in the Irish top 10 bestseller list. It was honored by the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults by the American Librarian Association. A documentary of the same name – borne out of the novel, on the subject of rape culture, and presented by Louise – was aired in November 2016. It has been adapted for stage by Landmark Productions, premiering at the Cork Midsummer Festival 2018. It will transfer to The Abbey Theatre, Dublin later this year.
Louise’s YA novel ALMOST LOVE was published in March 2018 by Riverrun. THE SURFACE BREAKS, a reimagining of The Little Mermaid, was published by Scholastic in May 2018.
Louise is a freelance journalist for a variety of Irish national newspapers and magazines, covering feminist issues, fashion and pop culture. She contributed to I CALL MYSELF A FEMINIST – a collection of essays from women under 30 explaining why they see themselves as feminists, which was published by Virago.
You can follow Louise on Twitter @oneilllo
“The Magazine Internship That Inspired a Feminist Dystopian Novel” – The Vagenda (03/07/14)
“My Journey to Feminism” – Guardian (21/01/15)
“The ugly truth behind how society pressures women to look good all the time” – Irish Independent (05/02/15)
“Louise O’Neill, single white female” – Irish Examiner (14/02/15)