Thursday, 1 July 2021

Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2021

 And the winners are...

Congratulations to everyone who was shortlisted and to all the category winners. 

I could not be happier that Darren Charlton has won the Older Readers category with WRANGLESTONE!

Here's what Waterstones had to say about it:

If you haven't met Peter and Cooper yet you're in for a treat - go get yourself a copy here

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Exciting News for Abi Elphinstone Fans

Simon & Schuster Children’s UK is set to build bestselling author Abi Elphinstone as a major author brand across Fiction and Picture Books with a new three-book deal and an ambitious publication plan to 2024.

Rachel Denwood, Managing Director at S&S Children’s UK, bought World Rights from Hannah Sheppard at DHH Literary Agency for middle grade magical adventure FIZZLEHATCH and a second stand-alone novel. THE FROST GOBLIN, a picture book in the same vein as Christmas 2019 hit, THE SNOW DRAGON, also forms part of the deal. The books will be edited by Jane Griffiths, Fiction Editorial Director, and Helen Mackenzie Smith, Picture Book Editorial Director.

Hailed by Sunday Times as ‘a worthy successor to C.S. Lewis’, Abi Elphinstone has forged a reputation as an adventurous eco-warrior author and a great champion of unexpected heroes. In 2019 S&S increased Elphinstone’s sales by 175% selling 131k copies of her books (TCM) across the year. Her first picture book THE SNOW DRAGON, illustrated by Fiona Woodcock, proved a runaway Christmas hit selling 16k copies (TCM) in just two months.

Abi Elphinstone says: ‘I'm hugely excited about the prospect of publishing three more books with the brilliant Simon & Schuster Children's team. They have championed me and my stories from the off - and sent them out into the world with such ambition and flair - and I can't wait to get writing about flying bath-tubs, firebirds and frost goblins in these upcoming middle grade and picture books.'

Rachel Denwood, Managing Director at S&S Children’s UK, says: ‘What a feast of brilliant books Abi has in store for readers! Her fantastically magical and fantastically human adventures speak to a wonderfully broad range of readers and the Simon & Schuster team, many of whom have worked with Abi since her debut, are totally committed to further building her publishing – there is no doubt that Abi Elphinstone is a major author brand-in-the-making.’

Read the Bookseller announcement here.

Monday, 11 May 2020

New Orion Deal for Chris McGeorge


Francesca Pathak, publishing director at Orion Fiction has acquired two more novels from Chris McGeorge, author of Guess Who (rights of which have been sold in 13 territories). Pathak acquired world all language rights from Hannah Sheppard at DHH.

Inside Out is the first book in the deal and opens with another impossible mystery. Cara Lockhart, newly imprisoned in a high security women’s prison, wakes up one morning to discover her cellmate has been murdered - shot in the head with a gun that is missing. The door was locked all night, which makes Cara the only suspect. There is only one problem - Cara knows she didn't do it and she has no idea who did.

Pathak said, ‘Chris McGeorge has set us up again with an incredible concept and leaves us guessing throughout an impossible crime. His stories fuse Agatha Christie and Jonathan Creek and they are an absolute joy to read.’

McGeorge said, ‘I have always been fascinated with the locked-room mystery, and a locked prison cell is the ultimate version of it, so I knew I had to tackle it. Cara Lockhart is put in the impossible situation where she knows she didn't kill her cellmate, and the guards don't believe her, because why would they? Inside Out is an exploration of people's perceptions and Cara starts to realise how hard it is for those perceptions to change. With Guess Who and Now You See Me I played around with the locked-room concept, and Inside Out is the culmination. I am very excited to be telling this story with Orion and can't wait to share it.’

Orion Fiction will publish as a paperback later this year.