THE SIDEKICKS by Will Kostakis shortlisted for Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature

Many congratulations to Will Kostakis who has been shortlisted for the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature for his novel THE SIDEKICKS.

The judges wrote this about Will's book:

'In this powerful novel three teenage boys, Ryan, Harley and Miles, must fill a void left by the one thing they had in common: their recently deceased best friend, Isaac. His death has exposed the frailty of the boys’ relationships and they discover that the same secrets that bound them to Isaac are now those that keep them apart.

The Sidekicks is presented as three short novellas — one from each boy’s perspective, covering the period immediately after Isaac’s death. This structure allows Kostakis to delve into the psyches of the protagonists to reveal that each is much more than the title that defines him: The Swimmer, The Rebel, The Nerd. While each novella might be read as a complete work, it is the cumulative effect of reading them in sequence that makes the novel such a powerful statement about teen identity and male friendship. Written in a style that is conversational, witty and poignant, The Sidekicks is a sharply authentic and deeply moving novel.'

Anna Liza and the Happy Practice shortlisted for CBI Book of the Year

Many congratulations to Eoin Colfer whose book for younger readers ANNA LIZA AND THE HAPPY PRACTICE has been shortlisted for Children's Books Ireland Book of the Year.

Founded in 1990, the CBI Book of the Year Awards are the leading children’s book awards in Ireland. They are a celebration of excellence in children’s literature and illustration and are open to books for all ages written in English or Irish by authors and illustrators born or resident in Ireland.

More about the CBI Book of the Year shortlist can be read here.

Benedict Jacka's BOUND in a starred review from Publisher's Weekly

The first review of the eighth book in the Alex Verus series, BOUND, is in and it has received a star from Publisher's Weekly.

The review of Benedict Jacka's latest book says: 'Sustaining interest inside a long story line like this depends on maintaining action, developing characters, and intelligently extrapolating magical possibilities. Jacka is doing a splendid job in all respects, and this volume builds up to a jaw-dropping cliff-hanger climax.'


Congratulations, Benedict! BOUND is out in the US on April 4th and the UK on April 6th.

Signe Johansen signs two book deal with Bluebird Books

Signe Johansen will have two books published by Bluebird Books in 2018 in a deal just announced.

Solo: The Joy of Cooking for One, a cookbook of 100 recipes celebrating self-reliance, self-sufficiency and the simple pleasures of cooking a solo meal will be published in February 2018.

Following in October of the same year will be a cocktail recipe book full of tips and tricks for the perfect tipple.

The Bookseller announcement can be read here.

HOW TO HYGGE one of Amazon's Best Books of the Month

HOW TO HYGGE by Signe Johansen has been published in North America to great reviews.

Publishers Weekly featured the book this week saying: 'Johansen’s tone is an embodiment of the philosophy: she encourages readers to appreciate the small moments, taking baby steps and savoring the ride rather than racing to the finish line. Readers interested in simplifying their homes and lives are sure to find plenty of practical recipes and suggestions here that they can implement immediately.'

HOW TO HYGGE has also been named one of Amazon's Best Books of the Month for January!

MORE OF ME by Kathryn Evans wins Edinburgh Book Festival First Book Award

Huge congratulations are in order to Kathryn Evans whose debut novel MORE OF ME has been awarded the Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award. This is the first time in the history of the award that it has been given to a YA book.

MORE OF ME, published by Usborne, is the extraordinary story of sixteen year old Teva whose life seems normal: school, friends, boyfriend. But at home she hides an impossible secret. Eleven other Tevas. Because once a year, Teva separates into two, leaving a younger version of herself stuck at the same age, in the same house... watching the new Teva live the life that she'd been living. But as her seventeenth birthday rolls around, Teva is determined not to let it happen again. She's going to fight for her future. Even if that means fighting herself.

Janet Smyth, Director of the Children’s and Education Programme at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said, “I read Kathryn's novel, MORE OF ME, in manuscript form last autumn and I was immediately gripped by her characters and impressed by the subtle and skilful storytelling. She is a hugely deserving winner and a very exciting new voice in YA fiction and I can't wait to see what she writes next."

Kathryn Evans said, “I am stunned to have won this award – when I saw the calibre of the other authors I thought I didn’t have a hope. So often children’s fiction is seen as the poor cousin to adult books – yet in it, we tackle some of the hardest subjects in the most innovative of ways. I am so proud to hold the banner up for YA fiction.

“I had such an amazing time at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, this award is the most delicious icing on an already fabulous cake. Thank you to the Festival team for inviting me, to Usborne for publishing me, and to Sophie Hicks, my amazing agent, for sticking with me all this time. But most of all, a huge thank you to everyone who voted for More of Me – especially the teenagers, let no one tell you you’re apathetic because I know that you are full of passion. Readers, you stars, thank you for voting and making this happen. I owe you all the cake, you are wonderful.”

The Bookseller announcement of this wonderful news can be read here.

Anne Cassidy, Kathryn Evans & Emerald Fennell nominated for Carnegie Medal

SHA is delighted to have four books nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017. The Carnegie Medal is awarded annually by CILIP for an outstanding book for children and young people and is arguably one of the most prestigious awards for children's literature.

Anne Cassidy has been nominated for two titles, MOTH GIRLS and THICKER THAN WATER. Kathryn Evans has been nominated for her debut novel MORE OF ME and Emerald Fennell for her book MONSTERS, which was hailed by The New Stateman as 'Roald Dahl meets Muriel Spark.'

Massive congratulations to Anne, Kathryn and Emerald!

Sceptre acquires WILD SIGNS AND STAR PATHS by Tristan Gooley

In the week that Natural Navigator Tristan Gooley’s HOW TO READ WATER becomes a New York Times bestseller, Sceptre has acquired UK & Commonwealth rights (ex-Canada) to Gooley's new book WILD SIGNS AND STAR PATHS: In Search of Our Lost Sense. In his new book, Gooley will show how our ‘sixth sense’ works outdoors, through the practiced ability to make connections and then draw conclusions from all the evidence presented to our senses, without slow methodical thinking.

As Tristan Gooley says: ‘Anyone unfamiliar with this type of thinking may fail to spot a ‘missing’ step and be forced to view this ability as something mysterious, unfathomable. But once the missing step is highlighted, all becomes clear. We have allowed ourselves to become so distanced from this way of experiencing our environment that it may initially seem hard to believe that it is possible. I intend to show how everyone can develop this ability and hence enjoy the outdoors in a new and exciting way.’

Acquiring editor Rupert Lancaster comments: ‘The success of Tristan’s books and the huge audiences drawn to his talks show what an original and inspiring writer he is. We’re very proud to be his publisher and delighted to be part of his on-going quest to make the world of nature and the outdoors more accessible to more people’.

Sceptre will publish WILD SIGNS AND STAR PATHS: In Search of Our Lost Sense in 2018. The Bookbrunch announcement can be read here.

Element Pictures acquires film rights to I FOUND MY TRIBE

Film rights for I FOUND MY TRIBE by Ruth Fitzmaurice has been acquired by Element Pictures. The deal was brokered by Emily Hayward-Whitlock at The Artists Partnership on behalf of Sarah Williams at the Sophie Hicks Agency.

Emma Norton at Element Pictures said: 'Ruth's writing has the power to stop you in your tracks and make you look at the world differently. From the moment we read her article in the Irish Times we were totally captivated by her voice and perspective on her life. We feel a deep responsibility towards adapting I FOUND MY TRIBE for screen and can't wait to start working with Ruth on it.'

I FOUND MY TRIBE was pre-empted by Clara Farmer, Publishing Director of Chatto & WIndus, within 24 hours of receiving the proposal and the book has also been pre-empted in Italy (Mondadori) and France (Bragelonne). It is a memoir about Ruth's husband who has Motor Neurone Disease, their five children and is an exploration of the magic of suffering, the healing power of the natural world and the brightness of life. I FOUND MY TRIBE will be published in June 2017.

Element Pictures is one of Ireland’s leading film production and distribution companies. Some recent projects are Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, as well as most of that director’s other projects; and The Lobster, which won the Jury prize in Cannes.

The Irish Times has written about this exciting news here.

Signe Johansen's HOW TO HYGGE in the Sunday Times

Signe Johansen's forthcoming book HOW TO HYGGE has been serialised in the Sunday Times food magazine The Dish over the weekend.

In a wonderful six page spread, Signe introduces the concept of hygge as more than just 'cake, candles and lovely soft furnishings' and explains how hygge is something you have to earn - and how to accomplish this! With five delicious recipes included, this is a not-to-miss sneak peak of the spectacular book that hits shelves on October 20th.

Headline's Wildfire pre-empts CLOSE TO ME by Amanda Reynolds

CLOSE TO ME, the debut novel by Amanda Reynolds, has been acquired by Headline's new imprint Wildfire. Kate Stephenson acquired World English Language rights to this gripping debut in a pre-emptive offer to Sarah Williams at Sophie Hicks Agency.

The novel opens with protagonist Jo Harding falling down the stairs in her home. When she wakes up in hospital, she has no memory of the night she fell – if she fell – and no memory of the events of the previous year. All she knows is that she barely recognises herself, her husband is not telling her the truth, and her family is on the brink of collapse.

Stephenson said ‘Sarah sent this to me on my first day at Headline, and I devoured it in one sitting. I was utterly compelled by Jo’s story. Her partial amnesia works brilliantly both in making her an unreliable narrator, but also in making her incredibly vulnerable. The idea that other people – even strangers – know more about you than you know yourself is disconcerting to say the least. That they might then exploit your weakness by manipulating and controlling the information is spine-tinglingly chilling. CLOSE TO ME is a compulsively page-turning read, and Amanda is a shining new talent.’

CLOSE TO ME will be the first fiction title released by Wildfire and will be published in April 2017.

HOW TO READ WATER by Tristan Gooley hits New York Times Bestseller List

After only two weeks on American bookshelves, HOW TO READ WATER by Tristan Gooley has hit the New York Times Bestseller List.

The book is already a Sunday Times 'Must Read' book as they said 'This inspired guide to water in all its forms will make a big splash. . . . Gooley has done his subject proud—this is seriously fascinating stuff.'

It's wonderful to see HOW TO READ WATER's huge success on both sides of the Atlantic. Congratulations, Tristan!

HOW TO READ WATER by Tristan Gooley published to rave reviews in US

HOW TO READ WATER by Tristan Gooley has been published in the United States and is receiving rave reviews. It has been featured in the Wall Street Journal's weekend edition and called a 'lovely and exhaustively researched book'.

The latest book by Gooley is now a Top 100 Book on Amazon and Publisher's Weekly says, 'Avid and budding outdoorspeople will appreciate Gooley’s breadth of knowledge and accessible approach.'

The WSJ raves that 'Gooley misses little in his paean to Earth’s most abundant resource. Why does water look blue when we know it’s transparent? Why is the silver flicker of moonlight on the lake wider here than over there? What makes the tide come and go? What’s the difference between tide and current? How do you gauge the depth of a pond if you can’t see the bottom? What’s an eddy? Why does sound travel so well over water? What makes a wave break?

He starts small, at a mud puddle watching ripples fan out from a pebble drop, and ends big, in the frigid reaches of the Arctic Sea. Along the way he asks and answers many questions. If you like water, you will learn a lot.'

HOW TO READ WATER is published in the US by The Experiment.

THE SIDEKICKS by Will Kostakis to HQ Teen

T.S. Ferguson at Harlequin Teen has acquired Will Kostakis's THE SIDEKICKS, the story of three teen boys leading very different lives who share one thing in common – their best friend Isaac, who has recently died.

The book follows Ryan, Harley, and Miles as they work through their grief and are drawn back to one another despite their differences. They were sidekicks, and now that Isaac's gone, what does that make them?

Sarah Williams at the Sophie Hicks Agency negotiated the deal for U.S. rights and the novel will be published in fall 2017. The Publisher's Weekly announcement can be read here. Congratulations, Will!

Kathryn Evans, Anne Cassidy & Lucy Coats at Edinburgh Book Festival

Three Sophie Hicks Agency authors are featured in events at this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival. Don't miss Kathryn Evans on 15th August talking about the Unusual and Unexpected and her novel MORE OF ME.

On 28th August Anne Cassidy, dubbed the 'Mistress of Mystery' by the Edinburgh Book Festival, will be talking about her teen crime novel MOTH GIRLS and exploring themes of luck, tragedy and fate.

Also on 28th August, Lucy Coats has a sold out morning with her Beasts of Olympus series, talking about myths and legends and enchanting young readers with fascinating facts about the ancient world.

THE BLACK PATH longlisted for the Not The Booker Prize

THE BLACK PATH by Paul Burston has been named to the longlist of the Not The Booker Prize. You can vote for it (as well as a second book) until 14th August.

A dark tale of love and lies, obsession and betrayal, THE BLACK PATH will appeal to fans of domestic noir and anyone who's ever wondered about the secrets people keep.

Already a #1 airport exclusive bestseller, THE BLACK PATH is officially released in the UK on September 14th. Congratulations, Paul!

VEGAN IN 15 to Short Books

VEGAN IN 15, the debut cookbook from Kate Ford, has been sold to Short Books. Featuring over 75 delicious recipes and tips and tricks on shopping and stocking your pantry with vegan friendly ingredients, VEGAN IN 15 is both the perfect introduction to vegan eating and an essential addition to seasoned vegans looking for inspiring new ways to cook.

Kate Ford is a food blogger, recipe developer and writer with a passion for really tasty vegetarian and vegan food.  Her blog The Veg Space has been featured in the ‘Top 10 Vegetarian and Vegan Food Blogs’ by The Guardian, Red and Vegetarian Living, and her recipes have appeared in Observer Food Monthly, Cook Vegetarian and Vegan Life Magazine.

VEGAN IN 15 will be published in December 2016.