See below for the latest CaskieMushens' news - new signings, new deals, prizes, and bestsellers.
Indigo buys Sapiens-style book on the environment
Ellah Wakatama Allfrey at The Indigo Press purchased UK and Commonwealth rights to The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: Finding Optimism Under the Spectre of Collapse. This “Sapiens for the environment” was sold by Robert Caskie and written by Netherlands-based academic Paul Behrens.
Wakatama Allfrey said, “With uncompromising honestly and lucid, accessible prose [Behrens] addresses the most important issue of our time and challenges us to a better future.”
Paul Behrens is an assistant professor in Energy and Environmental Change at the University of Leiden in The Netherlands. The book’s announcement came on the day that school students across the world walked out of school to strike in an attempt to persuade governments to act on climate change.
The Best of Times, The Worst of Times is set to be published as one of Indigo’s lead titles in 2020.
Coronet snatches up “painfully honest” novel about parenthood
Following an exclusive submission of a 120-page partial, Hannah Black at Hodder & Stoughton’s imprint Corone bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Robert Caskie to Jackie Clune’s novel, I’m Just A Teenage Punchbag.
The book follows Kara, a fifty-year-old mother who is invisible to her teenage children, neglected by her husband, and finds herself talking to her mother - who is cremated in an urn on her mantlepiece. Soon, Kara is rebelling from her life and trying to understand what it really means to live.
Jackie Clune is a journalist and actress who has previously written Man of the Month Club (Quercus, 2004) and Extreme Motherhood - The Triplet Diaries (Macmillan, 2006).
HarperCollins pre-empts @BorderIrish book on Brexit
Publisher Eoin McHugh at HarperCollins Ireland will publish My Brexit by the anonymous writer of the @BorderIrish twitter account. UK and Commonwealth rights were bought from Robert Caskie who originally contacted the writer via twitter to suggest the book.
The @BorderIrish twitter began in February 2018 and has since gained over 75,000 followers such as Robert Peston and Alastair Campbell. The account’s biography reads: “I am the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. I’m seamless & frictionless already, thanks. Bit scared of physical infrastructure.”
The satirical book will introduce a range of characters other than the Irish Border itself, and they will talk to each other over various storylines.
My Brexit is set to be published in October 2019.
HQ wins nine-way auction for “definitive” essay collection
HarperCollins has acquired The Queer Bible, edited by Jack Guinness, after a heated nine-way auction. Shortly after obtaining world rights from Juliet Mushens at Caskie Mushens, HQ senior commissioning editor Dominic Wakeford sold US rights to Dey Street Books.
The illustrated collection will include contributions from the likes of Munroe Bergdorf, Paris Lees and Juno Dawson who will write about their queer heroes.
The Queer Bible will be published in June 2020.
Sarah Winman moves to Fourth Estate
Sarah Winman has officially moved to Fourth Estate from Headline after publishing director Helen Garnons-Wlliams acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excl. Canada) for her new novel, from Robert Caskie and Caskie Mushens.
Helen Garnons-Williams said, “Sarah is one of the finest literary novelists writing today and we could not be more delighted to welcome her to Fourth Estate. She is a writer of remarkable insight, generosity, wit and empathy, and through her beautifully crafted novels we see the world with fresh eyes.”
Winman’s latest novel, yet untitled, is about a young British soldier who inherits the top two floors of an old palazzo and is set across four decades until the early 1980s. Fourth Estate said, “It is the story of people brought together by love, war, art, flood - and the ghost of E M Forster.” It is set to publish as a lead fiction title in Spring 2021.
UK and US pre-empts for ‘breathtaking’ debut in 48-hours
Clio Cornish at HQ has secured UK and Commonwealth rights to the debut novel, The Illustrated Child by Polly Crosby. She pre-empted rights from Juliet Mushens at Caskie Mushens after 48 hours in a significant six-figure deal.
Shortly thereafter, North American rights were pre-empted by Laura Brown at Park Row Books in another six-figure deal with Jenny Bent at the Bent Agency on behalf of Juliet Mushens.
The Illustrated Child follows Romilly, a girl who lives in a sprawling old house with her father, an eccentric artists. As his mind starts to fade, Romilly realises that clues to a family treasure are hidden in his works, but the treasure might not be exactly what she expects.
HQ has said, “Polly’s debut is book club fiction at its best: compelling, transporting, and incredibly poignant.” While Mushens said, “I read The Illustrated Child in one sitting: it’s a breathtaking achievement to create a voice and character like Romilly’s.”
The Illustrated Child is set to be published in Summer 2020.
Sophie van Llewyn longlisted for The Women’s Prize
The 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist has been revealed and features Sophie van Llewyn. Van Llewyn has been nominated for her debut novel, Bottled Goods, which was published by Fairlight Books in July 2018.
Set in 1970s communist Romania, Bottle Goods follows Alina who turns to her aunt, the wife of a communist leader, for help after she and her husband become persons of interest to the secret services.
The shortlist will be announced on 29th April and the winner will receive £30,000 at a ceremony on 5th June. Also listed is Yvonne Battle-Felton (Elise Dillsworth Agency), for Remembered (Dialogue Books). For the complete longlist, please click here.
The Surface Breaks shortlisted for The YA Book Prize
Louise O’Neill has been shortlisted for the 2019 YA Book Prize for The Surface Breaks. O’Neill previously won the award in 2015 for Only Ever Yours.
The Surface Breaks is a retelling of The Little Mermaid, and follows Gaia as she dreams of freedom from her controlling father. On her first swim to the surface, she is drawn towards a human boy and dares to join his world.
The YA Book Prize is the first in the UK and Ireland to specifically focus on fiction for young adults. The prize is organised by The Bookseller and is run in association with Hay Festival.
You can find out more about the prize and the shortlist here.
The Familiars hits #2 on The Sunday Times Bestseller List
After maintaining the #3 position for two weeks since it’s debut, The Familiars by Stacey Halls has moved up to #2 in its third week on The Sunday Times Bestseller List. The book has already sold more than 10,000 copies in hardback alone.
Dialogue Books acquires ‘extraordinary’ debut
Dialogue Books has acquired world rights from Juliet Mushens to the debut from Nigerian-born author Buki Papillon, An Ordinary Wonder.
The book will follow Oto, a twin raised as a boy but who desires to live life as a girl. As Oto grows up, he attends to boarding school and then attempts to emigrate to America to start a new life. The book will explore the complex relationships he has with his sister, wealthy father, and mother, who views him as a monster. Ultimately, Oto’s story provides a moving examination of masculinity and gender.
Sharmaine Lovegrove, publisher at Dialogue, said, “There are these rare moments when an incredible talent lands on your desk and I am honoured that Buki Papillon landed on mine. An Ordinary Wonder takes us on an extraordinary journey of what it means to feel whole. It reminds us that these concepts are felt by everyone, everywhere and the deep riches of African storytelling and the multitude of lives.'”
Papillon was born in Nigeria but currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts. After studying law, she completed an MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is an alumna of the Vona Voices Workshops for writers of colour.
Dialogue plans to publish An Ordinary Wonder as a lead hardback in April 2020.
The Familiars debuts at #3 on The Sunday Times Bestseller List
After only three days on sale in the UK, The Familiars by Stacey Halls has debuted at #3 on The Sunday Times Bestseller list.
Set in 1612, the story follows the two women as they get caught up in the Pendle witch trials. 17-year-old Fleetwood Shuttleworth is pregnant for the fourth time after her previous children were all born stillbirth. After learning from the doctor she is not expected to survive another pregnancy, she crosses paths with Alice Grey, a young midwife who promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby and survive.
When Alice is drawn into the Pendle witch accusations that are sweeping the North-West, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her. As the two women’s lives become inextricably bound together, the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood’s stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake.
Bloomsbury to publish Michael Cashman’s ‘remarkable’ memoir
Bloomsbury will publish the memoir of actor, campaigner and Labour peer Michael Cashman, One of Them. Editor-in-chief Alexandra Pringle bought UK rights from Robert Caskie at Caskie Mushens.
One of Them will span Cashman’s life from his time in showbiz to the campaign trail, and will reflect on the nature of love and the impact of grief.
Cashman began his acting career at the age of 12 when he starred in the musical “Oliver” in London’s West End. His career took him from stage to screen where he delivered the first gay kiss on British television. After leaving acting, he stepped into politics and was elected to the European Parliament. In 2014 he was awarded the CBE and became Labour’s LGBT Global envoy.
Pringle said that Cashman’s book will contain, “glorious nostalgia, wickedly funny showbiz gossip, a stirring history of civil rights movement, a sorrowfully clear-eyed exposition of Britain’s standing in Europe, and an unforgettable love story.”
One of Them is set to publish in the spring of 2020.
Virago set to publish musician and activists’ memoir about high school
Virago will publish High School, a memoir by the award winning and LGBTQ activists Tegan and Sara. The twin sisters, originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, went on to start their own band and apart from becoming world-famous musicians, built their identity as LGBTQ icons.
As Tegan and Sara explain, over the years they have been asked many times, ‘How did you start your band? When did you know that you were gay? What were you like before Tegan and Sara? We have spent twenty years answering those complicated questions with simple answers. Writing High School gives us the opportunity to tell the intricate stories that shaped our relationship as sisters, musicians, and queer girls.’
Written in alternating chapters from both of their point of views, Tegan and Sara’s book will talk about how drugs, alcohol, love, music and friendship influenced their formative years. The singers went on to receive three Juno Awards and a Grammy nomination. More importantly, they created the Tegan and Sara Foundation, which fights for health, economic justice, and representation for LGBTQ girls and women.
The book will also be published by MCD x FSG in the US, and Simon & Schuster in Canada. Marc Gerald at Europa Content handled the deals for Tegan and Sara in the US and Canada. Juliet Mushens of Caskie Mushens made in the deal in the UK on behalf of Europa Content.
High School is set to be published on September 24, 2019.
12th December 2018
Manda Scott’s A Treachery of Spies named one of best crime novels of 2018 by Crime Time
Crime Time has asked reviewers to pick their favourite crime novels of 2018. The reviewers included writers for The Times, The Express, The Sunday Times, Crime Time, and Crime Pieces. In asking various reviewers, Crime Time created ‘a striking and varied list of what has proved to be another vintage year for crime fiction publishing’. Jake Kerridge from The Daily Telegraph chose Manda Scott’s A TREACHERY OF SPIES as one of his top picks of 2018.
To see more on the piece, click here.
11th December 2018
Harvill Secker wins debut parenthood thriller
Harvill Secker has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights at auction from Juliet Mushens at Caskie Mushens for this debut thriller about marriage, parenthood and obsession. Both Portuguese and Polish rights were also quickly pre-empted.
The novel follows Naomi as she moves to Kent with her husband and their young daughter, as they try to mend their marriage and conceive their second child. However, in a moment of madness, Naomi sleeps with the father of another child at her daughter’s nursery. Soon, Naomi learns she is pregnant but is unsure of who the father is. She worries her mistake will ruin the perfect family she’s always dreamed of and when she runs into the potential father again, her worries grow when she realises that he is not who he says he is...
Editor Jade Chandler said that Conception“has it all,” including a “compelling plot, a sensational number of twists and a cast of characters to fall for and to fear in equal measure.”
Conception will be published in in January 2020.
9th November 2018
John Boyega, Letitia Wright To Star In Mike Cahill-Directed Sci-Fi ‘Hold Back The Stars’
Star Wars‘ John Boyega and Black Panther‘s Letitia Wright are attached to star in what is being called Romeo & Juliet meets Gravity. Mike Cahill will direct a script by Christy Hall. Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps is producing. The film is based on Katie Khan’s novel HOLD BACK THE STARS, published by Transworld UK, Simon & Schuster US and in more than 20 other countries around the world.
Katie’s new novel THE LIGHT BETWEEN US is out in paperback on 29th November and you can buy it here.
8th November 2018
HQ scoops film-maker's 'emotional' debut
HQ has acquired the debut novel Love & Other Things to Live For, described as being perfect for fans of Sally Rooney and Dolly Alderton, by film-maker Louise Leverett.
Billed as “an emotional work of fiction” about the “trials and tribulations of love in your 20s” by HQ, the novel follows Jessica Wood, an aspiring photographer living in London. With a newly broken heart, she’s facing a battle between the past and the future, choosing between having a life, or making a living – finding her feet or spreading her wings.
Editor Clio Cornish acquired world English language rights from Juliet Mushens at Caskie Mushens and will publish in paperback, e-book and audio book in spring 2019.
Leverett runs her own motion picture production company, Rock the Tribes, providing film and imagery to brands, artists and businesses such as HarperCollins, Head of Zeus and Alexander McQueen.
“Louise has an incredible ability to tap into the soul and draw out difficult and emotional experiences with an unflinching but empathetic eye,” said Cornish. “Effortlessly taking the reader on a journey through the peaks and pitfalls of life as a young woman in London, this a beautifully written, extremely timely debut novel, and a perfect addition to HQ’s list."
Leverett said: "I am incredibly excited to be releasing my debut with HQ. Having spent my twenties growing up in London I cannot think of a better setting for my novel. Writing Love, and Other Things to Live For has been an extremely creative and rewarding experience and, of course, could not have been done without the support and brilliance from all the team at HQ."
23rd October 2018
Scott’s A Treachery of Spies shortlisted for a Saltire Literary Award
The 2018 Saltire Literary Awards shortlist was announced yesterday and Manda Scott’s electrifying new novel A Treachery of Spies has been shortlisted for the Fiction Book of the Year Award. The announcement was made at an event hosted at the West End branch of Waterstones in Edinburgh.
Scotland’s foremost literary award, the Saltire Award supports and celebrates literary excellence across six distinct categories. Each category will be judged by an expert panel and the winner of each book award will receive a cash prize of £2,000 and go on to be considered for the top prize of £5,000, awarded to the Saltire Society Book of the Year.
A Treachery of Spies was published in August by Transworld and it has already been longlisted for the Guardian’s Not The Booker Award.
22nd October 2018
Williams’ The Ninth Rain wins Best Fantasy Novel 2018
The Ninth Rain, the first novel in Jen Williams’ blistering ‘The Winnowing Flame’ trilogy has just won Best Fantasy Novel at the British Fantasy Society awards!
The winners, selected through a combination of voting and juries, were announced yesterday at Fantasycon, an annual convention for readers, writers, editors, and publishers of all things Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction.
Following on from this award-winning novel, Williams’ second book in ‘The Winnowing Flame’ trilogy, The Bitter Twins, was recently published in the UK by Headline and the final novel of the series, The Poison Song, is due to be published in May 2019.
11th October 2018
Winnie Li awarded an honorary degree at National University of Ireland
Winnie Li is being awarded with an honorary degree today at NUI for her contribution to arts and as an advocate for women’s rights.
Winnie is the author of Dark Chapter, a novel which follows the lives of two individuals whose paths collide one Spring afternoon in West Belfast in a horrifying act of violence. Her novel won the Not The Booker Prize in 2017 and has been nominated for numerous other awards, namely the Edgar Award and CWA Debut Dagger.
In addition to her writing, Winnie co-founded the Clear Lines Festival, an event where speakers, artists and activists come together to discuss the changing narrative on Sexual Assault and Consent. This is the first festival dedicated to this discussion and has received great support from the public since its launch in 2015.
To read more about the Clear Lines festival, head to their homepage here.
5th October 2018
Double Success - Tin Man shortlisted for Books Are My Bag Readers Awards 2018
Sarah Winman’s new novel Tin Man has been shortlisted for the 2018 Books Are My Bag Readers Awards. This award - curated by booksellers and voted for by book lovers - is the only one of its kind and has been running for three years.
Tin Man will be judged within the Novel Award category, alongside five other titles. There are seven categories in total that make up the Readers Awards, including the Poetry Award, Beautiful Book Award and Young Readers Award. The eight winners - one from each category, plus the Reader’s Choice Award - will be announced on 13th November.
Cast your own vote here - voting closes on 5th November.
This announcement closely follows the novel being longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Excellence earlier this month! See below for the full article.
4th October 2018
Winman’s Tin Man longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Excellence
Sarah Winman’s most recent novel, Tin Man (published in the US by Putnam), has been longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Excellence. This medal was established in 2012 and aims to recognise the best fiction and non-fiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. in the previous year.
The six-title shortlist for this medal will be chosen on October 24, 2018 and the winners (one for fiction and one for non-fiction) will be announced at the RUSA Book and Media Awards Ceremony in January. Both winners of this prestigious medal will receive a $5,000 cash prize.
12th September 2018
Mantle buys Maynard's novel about ex-prisoner
Mantle has bought a second novel by Frances Maynard, about a “social misfit” recently released from prison.
Sam Humphreys, associate publisher at the Pan Macmillan imprint, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to The End of the Sentence from Juliet Mushens at Caskie Mushens. It is slated for publication in June next year.
Mantle published Maynard's first novel, The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr, last year after buying it at auction in 2016. It was a runner-up in the Good Housekeeping 2014 First Novel Award and the Society of Authors’ 2018 McKitterick Prize, and was shortlisted for both the 2016 Mslexia First Novel Competition and the Lucy Cavendish Prize.
Humphreys said of the new book: “Like Elvira, it’s a brilliantly heart-warming, original and charming story of a character some might see as a social misfit trying to make — and ultimately succeeding in making — her way in the world. In this instance, that character is Maggsie who, recently released from prison and barely able to read or write, wants to do the right thing but is faced with temptation at every turn. Frances is wonderful at capturing the quandaries, conflicts and contradictions that Maggsie deals with on a daily basis, and also paints a wonderful picture of the importance of both friendship and the written word."
Maynard said: “I’m thrilled to be working with the lovely, kind and insightful Sam Humphreys again, and am looking forward to introducing another ‘outsider’ heroine who gets there in the end.”
22nd August 2018
The internet's favourite cat Curious Zelda makes the ITV news.
This week, Curious Zelda and her owner Matt Taghioff were featured on the ITV news at 6pm, following the announcement of Curious Zelda's first book, The Adventures of a Curious Cat, which will be published by Sphere next year. Reporter Sam Holder went to meet the feline star and owner at their London home, to find out more about the idea behind the new book.
25th July 2018
Mussolini's Island shortlisted for a Polari Prize!
This is an exciting month for Sarah Day as her novel, Mussolini's Island, has been shortlisted for a Polari First Book Prize just days after it won a Betty Trask award at the Author Awards 2018.
Founded by journalist and author, Paul Burston, the Polari Prize is awarded annually to a writer whose first book explores the LGBT experience, whether in poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction. Judges for the 2018 prize are Paul Burston himself; author and former Head of Literature & Spoken Word at the Southbank, Rachel Holmes; author and comedian, VG Lee; author, performer and writing coach Karen McLeod and playwright, actor and producer, Alexis Gregory.
The winner will be announced on 20th October 2018 at the London Literature Festival.