Happy Publication Day to Rachael Ball

Wishing a very happy publication day to Rachael Ball, whose second graphic novel, Wolf is out to buy today from SelfMadeHero.

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It is the long, hot summer of 1976. Hugo, the youngest child of three, is walking with his father in the woods. There, he comes face-to-face with a wolf—and from that moment on, his life will never be the same again. Soon after, a tragic accident leaves Hugo desolate and disoriented. The family, now grieving and incomplete, moves to a new home. Among Hugo’s new neighbors is the Wolf Man—a dangerous recluse, according to the boy next door.

Spellbound by the movie The Time Machine and desperate to return to the days before the accident, Hugo draws up plans to build a contraption that will turn back time. But only the Wolf Man has the parts Hugo needs to complete his machine, and that will mean entering his sinister neighbor’s house.

Beautifully illustrated in pencil, Wolf is a captivating and poignant graphic novel about confronting childhood grief and overcoming the loss of a loved one.

"An ethereal, subtle, haunting fable. Rachael Ball has created a time machine, a nostalgic step back to a bygone age, but which speaks to our present and future with eternal themes of love and loss"

— Kate Evans

Children in the Modern Age of War to be published by OUP

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We’re really pleased to share that historian Emma Butcher’s Children in the Modern Age of War is set to be published my Oxford University Press. The title is a "ground-breaking book chronicling the lost stories of children embroiled in war".

OUP trade publisher Luciana O’Flaherty acquired world English-language rights in the title from Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA.

Emma, who works in the University of Leicester’s history faculty, specialises in war and culture, and has written extensively on child soldiers.

Congratulations Emma!

Salt snaps up 'expansive' debut from Amanthi Harris

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We’re so pleased to share that Salt will publish an "emotionally-charged" debut of anger, identity and independence by Amanthi Harris, a former solicitor who scooped the Gatehouse Press Fiction Prize for emerging writers in 2016.

Centred upon the Villa Hibiscus, a guesthouse in the beautiful southern coast of Sri Lanka, the "expansive and multi-layered debut", Beautiful Place, traces the life of Padma, her stepfather, Gerhardt, and the lives of the many guests coming to stay, each seeking a better life and independence, free of oppression and misrepresentation. 

Jennifer Hamilton-Emery, director of Salt, acquired world rights to Beautiful Place (excluding India) from Philippa Sitters here at DGA.

Harris was born in Sri Lanka and now lives in London.

Hamilton-Emery said: "This passionate story, perfectly captures the tropical beauty of Sri Lanka, using a deep sense of place to contrast with and inform an extraordinary range of lives, each seeking something new, something free, something true. I’m thrilled to be publishing this gorgeous novel, everyone will identify with Padma on her journey to become the woman she yearns to be."

Salt will publish in print and e-book in the summer of 2019.

Happy Publication Day to Sarah Ward

Wishing a very happy publication day to Sarah Ward. The fourth novel in her D.C. Childs mystery series, The Shrouded Path is available to buy today, published by Faber & Faber. 

The past won't stay buried forever.

November, 1957: Six teenage girls walk in the churning Derbyshire mists, the first chills of winter in the air. Their voices carrying across the fields, they follow the old train tracks into the dark tunnel of the Cutting. Only five appear on the other side.

October, 2014: a dying mother, feverishly fixated on a friend from her childhood, makes a plea: 'Find Valerie.' Mina's elderly mother had never discussed her childhood with her daughter before. So who was Valerie? Where does her obsession spring from?

DC Connie Childs, off balance after her last big case, is partnered up with new arrival to Bampton, Peter Dahl. Following up on what seems like a simple natural death, DC Childs' old instincts kick in, pointing her right back to one cold evening in 1957. As Connie starts to broaden her enquiries, the investigation begins to spiral increasingly close to home.

Get hold of a copy today! 

Eleanor Birne joins DGA as Literary Agent

We are delighted to announce that Eleanor Birne is joining the agency as literary agent on Monday 3rd September.

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She was previously Publishing Director at John Murray and before that was Editorial Director at Duckworth Publishers. She is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books and has spent the past two years working on a PhD on the history of Virago Press. She will be building a list of literary fiction and non-fiction authors at the agency and can be contacted at eleanor@davidgodwinassociates.co.uk

Eleanor says of the move "I have always admired the brilliant list of authors at DGA. I’m looking forward to extending the list of writers and to working with the rest of the DGA team."

David Godwin has said, "I've always been a great fan of Eleanor’s publishing and I’m thrilled to be working with her."

Welcome to DGA!

Lucy Inglis' MILK OF PARADISE is BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week

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We're enjoying seeing Lucy Inglis' brilliant book in the prestigious BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week slot, this week. Published on 9th August by HarperCollins, Milk of Paradise sees acclaimed cultural historian Lucy Inglis take readers on an epic journey from ancient Mesopotamia to modern America and Afghanistan, from Sanskrit to pop, from poppy tears to smack, from morphine to today’s synthetic opiates. It is a tale of addiction, trade, crime, sex, war, literature, medicine and, above all, money. And, as this ambitious, wide-ranging and compelling account vividly shows, the history of opium is our history and it speaks to us of who we are.

‘The only thing that is good is poppies. They are gold.’

Poppy tears, opium, heroin, fentanyl: humankind has been in thrall to the ‘Milk of Paradise’ for millennia. The latex of papaver somniferum is a bringer of sleep, of pleasurable lethargy, of relief from pain – and hugely addictive. A commodity without rival, it is renewable, easy to extract, transport and refine, and subject to an insatiable global demand.

No other substance in the world is as simple to produce or as profitable. It is the basis of a gargantuan industry built upon a shady underworld, but ultimately it is a farm-gate material that lives many lives before it reaches the branded blister packet, the intravenous drip or the scorched and filthy spoon. Many of us will end our lives dependent on it.

‘Lucy Inglis has done a wonderful job bringing together a wide range of sources to tell the history of the most exciting and dangerous plants in the world. Telling the story of opium tells us much about our faults and foibles as humans – our willingness to experiment; our ability to become addicts; our pursuit of money. This book tells us more than about opium; it tells us about ourselves.’ - Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads

Gurmehar Kaur to be published by Penguin Random House India

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We're really pleased to share that Penguin Random House India will publish The Young and the Restless: Youth and Politics in India by Gurmehar Kaur, in April 2019.

The 2014 Lok Sabha election saw the involvement of India’s youth like never before. They were debating inside classrooms, sitting for dharnas on the street, having conversations in offices and on social media. The internet became the place for political outrage, humour, op-eds and blogs carried by youth-run pages and media houses. That was the election year that saw 150 million young voters and the highest number of first-time voters India had ever seen. As India ages, the average age of the population keeps getting younger.

In 2019, India will have the world’s largest youth population with 356 million people between the ages ten and twenty-four. But that is not the surprising and shocking revelation here. The surprise here is that while we will have the largest number of young people in a country, the average age of our parliamentarians is sixty-three. 

This book follows the journeys of nine youth leaders, their aspirations for the youth population, their aspirations for themselves, and most importantly their aspirations for the nation. It explores whether their politics only mimics the politics of their older party leaders or if they have the ideas and passions and motivations of the demographic they represent.

Gurmehar Kaur is the author of Small Acts of Freedom, a deeply personal family history published by Penguin Random House India in 2018. She is a social activist and an ambassador for Postcards for Peace, a non-profit charitable organization. Kaur cofounded Citizens for Public Leadership (CPL), an independent nonpartisan movement focused on advocating for progressive public policy in India. CPL is an apolitical non-profit with the sole objective of strengthening the capacity of Indian youth to take up leadership challenges in the public sphere. In 2017, Kaur was listed by TIME magazine as a ‘Next Generation Leader’, a global listing of ten young men and women making a difference in the world. She graduates from Lady Shri Ram College in 2019 and looks forward to a career in social reform, public policy and law.

‘I don’t know if I’m an activist in the truest sense. Maybe I am, and maybe I am not. The label was plastered on me at a very young age. But here is what I have always been: a storyteller. Stories have the power to change the world, and they have changed mine. In this book are stories that I believe the country of 650 million people under the age of twenty-five should know.’ – Gurmehar Kaur

‘If Small Acts of Freedom was personal, The Young and the Restless will be political. But the two can never be too far apart from each other, as is clear from Kaur’s personal politics. Her commitment to social progress is unquestionable. She is a gifted writer and speaker, has political awareness, and a rare clarity of thought. We are delighted to be publishing her second book next year.’ – Manasi Subramaniam, Senior Commissioning Editor, Penguin Random House India

‘Gurmehar Kaur is a rebel and a star. With The Young and the Restless, she voices an entire generation’s political anxiety – and makes it clear that she’s here to ask the tough questions and be a part of the change.’ – Meru Gokhale, Editor-in-Chief, Literary Publishing, Penguin Random House India.

Congratulations Gurmehar!

Samantha Shannon's epic fantasy attracts foreign sales

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We are thrilled to share that translation rights in The Priory of the Orange Tree, the most anticipated high fantasy title for 2019, by the internationally bestselling author Samantha Shannon, have sold to SQN in Poland, Host in the Czech Republic and after two strong pre-empts, will also be published by Penhaligon in Germany and Roca in Spain. The book continues to attract a great deal of foreign interest.

Bloomsbury will publish 26th February 2019, it will be their super-lead title. The Priory of the Orange Tree reveals an epic world on the brink of war with dragons, and the women who must lead the fight to save it.

Samantha Shannon is a Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of THE BONE SEASON SERIES and one of the most exciting writers of her generation. THE BONE SEASON SERIES has sold over 500.000 copies globally and has been translated into 26 languages. Film and TV rights for THE BONE SEASON SERIES have been acquired by Imaginarium Studios. This is her first novel outside the series.

You can watch the book trailer HERE.  

A world divided.

A queendom without an heir.

An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction - but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel. Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

Omar Robert Hamilton wins Betty Trask Prize

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We are thrilled to share that Omar Robert Hamilton has won the Betty Trask Prize for a first novel by a writer under 35 for his book, The City Always Wins, which was published by Faber & Faber last summer.

Hosted by Stephen Fry and with an introduction by the president of the Society of Authors, Philip Pullman, eight awards were presented to 31 writers. Among the winners were host of debut names along with recognised writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry to share a prize fund of £98,000.

The ceremony, which took place on Thursday (19th July) at the Royal Institute of British Architects, saw over 400 guests from across the publishing industry come together as the winners of the Betty Trask, McKitterick, Tom-Gallon Trust and Somerset Maugham awards were revealed in addition to the Cholmondeley Awards for outstanding contribution to poetry, the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography, five Travelling Scholarships and the Eric Gregory Award for a collection of poems by poets under 30.

Omar was awarded £10,000 for "a furious, frenetic novel that captures a pivotal moment in history. It conjures the whispers and screams, from the Cairo streets and the homes of a city unravelling, as its residents battle through their grief", according to the judges.

Congratulations, Omar! Don't forget to pick up a copy of his incredible book here, today.

Happy Publication Day Rebecca Ley

Wishing a very happy publication day to Rebecca Ley, whose gorgeous debut novel, Sweet Fruit, Sour Land is out in the world today from Sandstone Press!

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When a wealthy client visits Mathilde’s dressmaking shop, she finds herself drawn into the only surviving circle of luxury left in a barren London. Attending parties offers a welcome escape from life governed by ration cards and a strictly enforced child policy. Here she meets enigmatic government minister, George, and piano-playing Jaminder, with whom an intense friendship blossoms. As their relationship grows stronger, George’s grip on Mathilde tightens, as she tries to discover where the illicit food is coming from, where women disappear to, and what price she must pay to avoid bringing a child into a cruel, ever-changing world.

Pick up a copy of the book here.

Many congratulations, Rebecca!

Lisette Verhagen Returns to DGA

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We are delighted to announce that Lisette Verhagen will be returning to DGA from Susanna Lea Associates having accepted the post of Head of Foreign Rights (including the US) and Agent with the brief to develop her own list of clients and to work alongside David Godwin in the handling of his clients.

She will continue to handle translation and US rights for Galley Beggar Press. During her time at SLA, Lisette managed all of DGA’s foreign rights and sold Arundhati Roy’s latest novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness in 47 territories. 

DGA will continue to work alongside SLA on selected titles in the US. Lisette will start on 2nd August and can be contacted at lisette@davidgodwinassociates.co.uk. Welcome back, Lisette!

Macmillan Children's wins six-way auction for series by Leonard and Sedgman

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We're very happy to share the news that Macmillan Children’s Books has won a six-way auction for a series by M G Leonard, author of the Beetle Boy trilogy (Chicken House), and digital producer Sam Sedgman.

The series, provisionally entitled Adventures on Trains, will follow the journeys of eleven-year-old Harrison Beck and his uncle Nathaniel Bradshaw, a travel writer. The pair go on a different adventure in each book and become embroiled in a story about a jewel thief in the first title, The Highland Falcon.

Venetia Gosling, publisher of Macmillan’s Children’s Books’ 6+ list, acquired world rights to four titles from Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA. The books will be edited by Lucy Pearse and published in March and September in 2020 and 2021.

Macmillan will also publish the series in Australia, South Africa, India and the US.

“This is such a clever and commercial idea and I can't think of two more perfect people to write and promote it,” said Gosling. “We are so excited to work with Maya and Sam to build this into the leading fiction series it totally deserves to be.”

Leonard and Sedgman met whilst working at the National Theatre and have worked on various digital projects for the cultural sector.

“My oldest son loved Thomas the Tank Engine – and all trains – when he was little. His vocabulary was rich with railway terms, but when he was ready to read by himself I couldn’t find stories that would utilise this passion for trains to begin a love of reading,” said Leonard. “I wanted to create those stories for him and other children who love locomotives, but I didn’t know the first thing about trains. One evening I told my colleague and writer friend, Sam Sedgman, about the idea, because I knew he was a fan of railway maps and the London Underground. He became excited about the story possibilities and we spent the evening spit-balling the idea. I suggested we write Adventures on Trains together, as I knew I could never write it on my own, and he, rather wonderfully, agreed.”

Leonard is also writing another children’s book for Chicken House, due for publication in 2019, and is adapting her Beetle Boy series for TV.

Sedgman is a digital project manager for the National Theatre, where he also hosts and co-produces their podcast.

Congratulations Sam and Maya!

Keep up to date with their news here - @MGLnrd & @SamuelSedgman

Lucy Ellmann's novel, Ducks, Newburyport to be published by Galley Beggar Press

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We are delighted to announce that Galley Beggar Press will be publishing Lucy Ellmann’s eighth book, Ducks, Newburyport, in the summer of 2019.

Galley Beggar co-director Eloise Millar is “over the moon” at the acquisition, saying that this novel – “so eloquent and insightful about the contemporary female experience” – promises to “revolutionise that traditionally masculine phenomenon, the Great American Novel.”

She goes on to say, “If you look at many of those lists out there – and except the inclusion perhaps of To Kill A Mockingbird and Beloved – what you’ll get in any discussion of the Great American Novel (and aside from many other issues) is an overwhelming round-up of male authors: Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, Faulkner, and more latterly Wallace, Franzen, De Lillo. “Well, in Ducks, Newburyport, Ellmann kicks that door wide open.” A 750-page novel told in a single-sentence (the inner thoughts of a middle-aged housewife from Ohio) – the book simultaneously offers a brilliant portrait of domestic life, whilst also capturing a particular, Trump-era point in American history.

Calling the novel an “exquisitely accessible modernist masterpiece”, Millar’s husband and co-director Sam Jordison says: “The first things you notice about Ducks, Newburyport are its ambition and artistry and how much has been packed into this wonderful, vibrant, bursting book. It feels like all life is there – and that it’s rendered in one beautiful, breathless, eminently readable sentence just makes it feel dizzyingly virtuoso. “As a reader, there are also other things that soon start to matter. You have to respond to the emotion and psychological insight in the novel. There’s wonderful humanity in this portrayal of a woman battling her way through the twenty-first century. It’s haunting and resonant and deeply moving. It’s also worth stressing that it’s very, very funny.”

David Godwin, Ellmann’s agent, described Ducks, Newburyport as “phenomenal”. He also said he was “thrilled” at the new partnership between Ellmann and Galley Beggar Press, “who are proving to be the publisher of radical, innovative and important books”.

Lucy Ellmann, who is the daughter of James Joyce's biographer Richard Ellmann, won the Guardian Fiction Prize for her novel Sweet Desserts. Her 2003 novel Dot In The Universe was longlisted for the Orange Book Prize.

Ellmann said: “In an age catastrophically averse to art and thought, Galley Beggar is a powerhouse of serious writing. And their books are seriously beautiful.” Galley Beggar plan to publish Ducks, Newburyport on 4 July 2019, the anniversary of American Independence Day.

MG Leonard signs TV deal for Beetle trilogy

We have wonderfully exciting news to share - MG Leonard’s Beetle trilogy (Chicken House) has been optioned for TV by Nevision, with Leonard signed on to write the script.

Nevision, an independent producer, negotiated the deal with Kirsty McLachlan of DGA and is developing a live-action adaptation. Nigel Pickard is acting as executive producer and Ceri Barnes is development executive.

Leonard told The Bookseller: “I’ve always wanted an adaptation for screen of the Beetle Boy Trilogy to take my dedication to beetles seriously and commit to the complete narrative arc, and if possible I wanted to write the screen adaptation myself. The trilogy cannot be separated into three films as it takes place over a period of six months, which is why it is perfect for a live action TV adaptation.

“I knew almost immediately that the team of Ceri and Nigel were the right people to reimagine my books for the screen because they had the same vision for the series as I did, and they care as much about getting the insect detail right as the dramatic impact of the characters and storyline. I couldn’t be more excited about what this Team Beetle are going to produce."

The trilogy comprises Beetle Boy (published in 2016), Beetle Queen (2017) and Battle of the Beetles (2018) and is about a boy’s friendship with a beetle as they battle a villainess fashion designer. Beetle Boy won the Branford Boase award in 2017.

Suzanne O'Sullivan to be published by Picador

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We're really excited to share that award-winning science author and neurologist Suzanne O’Sullivan will move to Picador from Penguin Random House after her “waking coma” book was snapped up at auction.

The Sleeping Beauties will be published in April 2021 and is aimed at fans of Henry Marsh and Oliver Sachs, exploring how syndromes flourish within particular cultures.

It is the neurologist’s third book –her debut, It's All in Your Head (Vintage) won both the Wellcome Book Prize and the Royal Society of Biology Book Prize and the follow up, Brainstorm (Chatto & Windus), was published in May.

Picador’s non-fiction editorial director Georgina Morley acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to the title from Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA.

The Sleeping Beauties is an exploration of different aspects of psychosomatic disorders, mass hysteria, culture bound syndromes and the idioms of distress. Culture bound syndromes are a set of symptoms that exist only within a particular society and there are more than 200 officially listed. The book uses a particular case as its starting point: more than 400 migrant children in Sweden who have fallen into a state of apathy, with some spending months or years in a "waking coma".

Reminiscent of the work of Sachs, Marsh and Stephen Grosz, the title is billed as “a remarkable scientific investigation with a very human face” according to a Picador spokesperson. It considers who defines psychiatric illness and what shapes the manner in which distress is communicated within a society.

O’Sullivan has been a consultant in neurology since 2004, first working at The Royal London Hospital and now as a consultant in clinical neurophysiology and neurology at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, and for a specialist unit based at the Epilepsy Society. She specialises in the investigation of complex epilepsy and also has an active interest in psychogenic disorders.

She said: “Physical illness still demands more respect than psychological suffering. I’m fascinated by the way society influences that disparity and shapes our expressions of distress.  I look forward to investigating it further and I really appreciate Picador’s obvious enthusiasm and support for the project.”

Morley said: “I’ve been a huge fan of Suzanne’s since I first read her brilliant It’s All in Your Head when it came out a couple of years ago and I couldn’t be more thrilled that she is coming to Picador for her new book, The Sleeping Beauties. Like her previous books, it promises to be both wonderfully humane and beautifully written, reminiscent of Oliver Sacks at his considerable best.”

Congratulations Suzanne!

Preti Taneja wins Desmond Elliott Prize

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We're completely thrilled to share that Preti Taneja has won the Desmond Elliot Prize 2018 with her debut novel We That Are Young.

The re-telling of King Lear is the second book from independent publisher Galley Beggar Press to receive the Prize, following Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing in 2014.

Preti Taneja has won the eleventh annual Desmond Elliott Prize, the “UK’s most prestigious award for first-time novelists” (the Daily Telegraph), it has been announced. Preti takes home the £10,000 Prize for her “awe-inspiring” debut novel, We That Are Young, beating fellow shortlisted authors, Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine) and Paula Cocozza (How to Be Human).

A retelling of Shakespeare’s King Lear set in modern-day India, We That Are Young explores the play’s themes of severed relationships and warring families against the backdrop of the 2011 anti-corruption riots in India. It follows a central cast of characters as they react to ageing patriarch Devraj’s decision to pass control of ‘the Company’ to his three daughters, Gargi, Radha and Sita.

The novel was chosen as the best debut of the year by a judging panel chaired by Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent (2016 Waterstones Book of the Year), who was joined by award-winning broadcaster, Samira Ahmed and Waterstones’ head of fiction and publisher liaison, Chris White.

Taneja’s triumph marks the second time independent publisher Galley Beggar Press has produced a Desmond Elliott Prize-winning novel. The first was Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-formed Thing in 2014, which also won the Women’s Prize for Fiction and went on to become a major commercial and critical success. The Norwich-based Press publishes just four novels a year and is run by co-founders and husband-and-wife-duo, Sam Jordison and Eloise Millar.

In a speech at the Prize ceremony, Sarah Perry said, “Samira, Chris and myself were absolutely unanimous in our love and admiration for this novel, whose scope, ambition, skill and wisdom was, quite simply, awe-inspiring … all three of us sat together, shaking our heads, saying, ‘If this is her first novel, what extraordinary work will come next?’”

Before trying her hand at fiction writing, Taneja was a human rights correspondent and reported on Iraq and in Jordan, Rwanda, and Kosovo. Her work has been published in various titles including the Guardian, the New Statesman and Open Democracy. Taneja was born in the UK to Indian parents and spent many childhood holidays in New Delhi.

The Chairman of the Prize’s Trustees, Dallas Manderson said, “It is with great pride and privilege that my fellow Trustees and I present our judges’ choice of winner this year. We That Are Young is exactly the kind of novel that the Desmond Elliott Prize exists to discover and promote; this extraordinarily accomplished debut has flown somewhat under the radar thus far, not having received the attention and wide-spread acclaim that it so rightly deserves. Our hope is that winning the Prize will help guarantee Preti’s long-term future as an author, as we’re sure it will be bright.”

He continued, “It is particularly gratifying, too, to witness the on-going success of Galley Beggar Press. I know Desmond, who launched his own independent publishing house, Arlington Books, and dedicated his career to promoting new writers, would be delighted to see that a Prize in his name is championing similarly small-but-mighty institutions.”

The Desmond Elliott Prize has a track record of spotting exceptionally talented novelists at the very beginning of their careers. Last year, the Prize was awarded to Francis Spufford for his debut novel, Golden Hill, and other past-winners include Lisa McInerney, Claire Fuller and Eimear McBride.

Congratulations, Preti!

 

Ambreen Razia's Diary of a Hounslow Girl adapted for BBC Three Pilot

Very exciting news has been announced this week. Ambreen Razia's one woman play, Diary of a Hounslow Girl is set to be adapted into a pilot episode for BBC Three, as a part of their Comedy Slice platform.

Now in their sixth year, the Comedy Slices are the vital place to develop the next generation of British on and off screen comedy talent. Today three brand new BBC Three pilots from three female rising stars have been announced, which includes Diary of a Hounslow Girl written by and starring Ambreen Razia, which has been commissioned by Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning and Damian Kavanagh, Controller of BBC Three.

Shaheeda, Tash and Leonie are three West London college students with big dreams, big attitudes, and big plans. From fights on the night bus to yet another ‘family’ wedding, mosque class to fake IDs, new hijab swags to cooking up schemes on Hounslow High Street, these girls are determined to have the best time - fun first, consequences second. Bouncing between being good, modern Muslim girls and living their best lives, they are three smart, young, Asian women in a bold, provocative, new comedy.

Diary of a Hounslow Girl is written by and stars Ambreen Razia (BBC Talent Hotlist 2017), inspired by her smash hit play, and is produced by CPL Productions Ltd and is script edited by Holly Walsh, produced by Charlie Coombes and executive produced by Arabella McGuigan & Danielle Lux for CPL Productions. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Alex Moody.

Watch Ambreen discuss her journey on BUILD Series LDN, here. 

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Omar Robert Hamilton Shortlisted for Betty Trask Prize

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We're thrilled to share that Omar Robert Hamilton has been shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize, with his debut novel, The City Always Wins. The Betty Trask Prize and Awards are presented for a first novel by a writer under 35.

Judges Ben Brooks, Joanne Harris and Samantha Shannon said of the shortlist; "The Trask shortlist is always very strong, very original, and this year is no different - six books reflecting the excellent quality and diversity of new writers today." Past winners include Zadie Smith, David Szalay, Hari Kunzru and Sarah Waters. Total prize and award fund is £26,250.

The prize will be awarded alongside winners of the McKitterick, Tom-Gallon and Somerset Maugham awards at The Authors’ Awards on Thursday 19th July, a unique night with all the awards judged by authors for authors. 

Omar Robert Hamilton is an award-winning filmmaker and writer. He has written for the Guardian, the London Review of Books, Mada Masr and Guernica. He is a co-founder of the Palestine Festival of Literature and the Mosireen media collective in Cairo., where he lives.

The City Always Wins takes place on the streets of Cairo, where a violent uprising is transforming the course of modern history. Mariam and Khalil, two young activists, are swept up in the political fervour. Their lives will never be the same again.

Brave, visceral, and electric with tension, his debut novel uniquely captures the feverish intensity of the 2011 Egyptian revolution. From the euphoria of mass protests to the chilling silence of the morgue, The City Always Wins is the only novel that allows readers to pierce to the bloody heart of the uprising. Intensely lyrical, yet uncompromisingly political, Omar Robert Hamilton's writing is set to become the defining voice of a revolution that promised so much to so many.

Joanne Harris, Betty Trask judge says: "Tough, bleak and relentless, this is a challenging, thoughtprovoking, heart-wrenching and in many ways, necessary novel - we have all, after all, watched these events from the safety of our TV screens, but this glimpse into the reality of the events of 2011 is a wholly different, immersive – and ultimately rewarding - experience."

Congratulations Omar! Get hold of the book, here, today.