The idea she had back in 2011 has grown into a 480-page novel, The Bone Season, for which Bloomsbury paid in excess of £100,000.
So far rights to the novel, published in Britain on 20 August, have been sold in 20 countries – and this is just the first in a seven-book series, which should keep her busy until she is well into her thirties.
What’s more, the film rights to The Bone Season have been bought by the actor Andy Serkis’s company, The Imaginarium.
The winners of the Sony Young Movellist of the Year Awards have been announced at the Kings Place Gallery in London.
Rebecca Davies reports:
A ‘movellist’ in case you were wondering, is a member of the online writing community Movellas.com, which allows young authors to share their work with other readers and writers their age. The Movella awards are open to writers aged between 13 and 19 years and the entrants had the auspicious honour of being judged by none other than new children’s laureate Malorie Blackman (who sadly couldn’t make the awards ceremony because she was ill and reportedly feared the Daily Mail headline: ‘Children’s Laureate is sick on young award winner’s shoes’). The prize, besides a pretty glass trophy, is a publishing contract from Random House Children’s Publishers – the Holy Grail for many authors whatever their age.
Chatting to a few of the 10 shortlisted writers before the ceremony was a fairly jaw-dropping experience. Many of them have been writing for as long as they can remember and some have eight full novels under their belts before they’ve even left their teens. Competition, then, was pretty stiff.
In the end, the overall award went to 19-year-old Helen Hiorns from Coventry, whose novel The Name on Your Wrist was e-published by Random House on the same day as the ceremony. Malorie Blackman praised the novel for its rebellious central character and because she ‘couldn’t predict the ending’. While Natalie Doherty of Random House said: ‘This entry instantly stood out for us, for the quality of the writing, the feisty and complicated but extremely likeable main character, and the fact that it gripped us right from the first paragraph.’
The winner herself was endearingly modest about her achievement, saying that winning the award had surpassed her previous plans for the summer, which had mainly involved finding her name on a Coca-Cola bottle and eating a hamburger in Hamburg – a feat she failed to realise due to being called back to England for the awards ceremony.
Kyra Schlachter and Emma Yeo were announced as runners up, for their novels My Corrupted Lungs and Girl With a Thousand Faces respectively. I asked Emma, who is 17 now and has been writing since the age of 12, what piece of advice she would like to share with other young novelists. Her encouraging answer: ‘Keep writing and you will get better! I look at stuff I wrote years ago and I just want to rip it up and burn it. But you just have to keep going!’
Despite the astonishing amount of talent on show, one thing was notable by its absence among the candidates: the presence of any boys. This could be explained at least in part because the sorts of novels that inspired this year’s shortlisters – which ranged from Jane Eyre to Twilight – on the whole tended to be more typically girl-friendly stories.
Dave Shelton and his editor David Fickling have won the 2013 Branford Boase Award given annually to the author and editor of the most outstanding debut novel for children for A Boy and a Bear in a Boat published by David Fickling Books.
Chelsey Flood has signed a deal with Simon & Schuster’s Atheneum Books for Young Readers to publish her debut young adult novel.
The UK division of Simon & Schuster Children’s Books released the hardcover edition of Infinite Sky in February 2013. The US edition is set to come out in May 2014.
Julie Strauss-Gabel, publisher at Dutton Children’s Books, has acquired a YA memoir by a 15-year-old writer, billed as a “Julie & Julia for teens.”
The book, which is titled Popular: Vintage Wisdom for the Modern Geek, chronicles the year that eighth-grader Maya Van Wagenen spent working her way through a Guide for Teenage Popularity from the 1950s, written by former teen model Betty Cornell, and applying its “quaint-yet-timeless instructions” to her life in an exploration of what it means to be popular. In a statement, Strauss-Gabel said, “Funny, beautifully observed, and sweetly sincere, Maya’s experiment takes the reader on a journey that tells an important story about friendship and self-confidence that every teen—and adult—needs to read. Her voice instantly grabbed my attention. Maya is not only a strong teen voice, she is a standout writer of any age.” Daniel Lazar at Writers House brokered the two-book deal for North American rights.
As announced on Julia Churchill’s Twitter feed last night, the literary agency A M Heath, is launching a new prize, the Irish Children’s Prize. The following details are straight from Julia Churchill’s post on the A M Heath blog:
This year A. M. Heath are launching their Irish Children’s Prize. We are looking for a new standout voice in children’s fiction.
The Irish Children’s Prize will be judged by Julia Churchill, children’s book agent at A. M. Heath, and David Maybury of Brown Bag Films, Penguin Children’s Books and Inis Magazine editor.
Says Julia Churchill: David and I love all sorts of writing for children. The winner could be a 200 word picture book, a sophisticated YA novel, a 9-12 stand-alone, or a young chapter series. I’m looking for a strong voice, a character to love, and a concept that feels fresh. If you’re writing for children, we’d love to see your work.
I represent some brilliant Irish talent already, including Sarah Crossan, author of Carnegie shortlisted THE WEIGHT OF WATER and winner of the Eilís Dillon award, and with this prize I’m looking to help break out an Irish writing star of the future.
Says David Maybury: There’s so much happening in Ireland’s creative industries with our international best-selling authors and illustrators, award-winning animators and growing games industry. I’m looking for an idea that could lead to anything, and anywhere. Characters with a story that tickle the hairs on the back of your neck and a strong genuine voice that will capture readers of any age.
The A. M. Heath Irish Children’s Prize is open to un-agented writers living in the Republic of Ireland and writing children’s or young adult fiction in English.
To get a good sense of the voice, concept and where the character is headed, we’d like to see the first 5,000 words PLUS a short description of the book (a few lines) AND a one page outline that shows the spine of the story. Please send this as a Word doc attachment to email@example.com
If you’re submitting a picture book (or shorter fiction that comes in under 5,000 words), then please send the complete text.
Entrants will receive an acknowledgement on receipt of script, but only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
Submissions open on June 6th and will close on October 17th.
The shortlist will be announced on October 25th, and the winner will be announced on October 31st at the CBI Children’s Book Festival in Dublin.
The winner will be awarded a prize of €1,000. Three runners up will receive a bundle of children’s books written by Irish writers.
A. M. Heath is running the prize in order to support new Irish writing talent, and to find a debut star. We will offer representation if we find an author, or authors, whose writing we love.
via Irish Children’s Prize | A.M.Heath.
from the Press Release
Ingrid Selberg, Publisher, S&S UK, bought UK and Commonwealth rights in two books from Madeline Milburn at the Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency.
The first title, The Dark Inside, is a gripping, haunting story about loss and hope. When thirteen-year-old James discovers a homeless man in an abandoned house, the course of his life changes dramatically. Hoping to find a ‘cure’ for a dark curse inflicted on the homeless man, the pair embark on a journey together not knowing that what they discover will impact them both in ways they never imagined.
The Dark Inside will be published in a beautiful hardback edition in spring 2014, with a paperback edition to follow and a second novel in 2015.
Rupert Wallis read Theology at Cambridge University and holds an MFA in Screenwriting and Writing for Television from the University of Southern California. In 2010/11 he was one of five novelists chosen from the South West of England to participate in a mentorship programme funded by the Arts Council. He now lives in Cornwall.
Selberg said of the deal: "In The Dark is an extraordinary and ambitious book, which we all fell in love with from the first page. I was completely struck by the outstanding quality of Rupert’s writing and I’m thrilled to welcome him to the Simon & Schuster list."