Kaite O'Reilly Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize

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richard III redux [OR] Sara Beer [is/not] Richard III by Kaite O’Reilly has been shortlisted to win £10,000 in the reputable James Tait Black Prize at the Edinburgh Fringe. The play was written with Phillip B Zarrilli and produced by The Llanarth Group. The play was part of a three-piece shortlist, selected from 80 worldwide submissions.

The play is a riotous one-woman piece promoting inclusivity in the arts and written from a radical disability perspective.  It challenges Shakespeare’s representation of the disabled monarch and the creation of ‘the twisted body/twisted mind’ trope, satirising the non-disabled actors who have ‘cripped up’ to play the part in the past.

You can book tickets to the awards ceremony in Edinburgh here.

Read more.

Headline to publish LOVE IN COLOUR, a collection of representative love stories by Bolu Babalola

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Headline Publishing Group has announced the acquisition of LOVE IN COLOUR by debut author, Bolu Babalola, that will be publishing in hardback in April 2020. Katie Packer, Assistant Editor, acquired world rights to the creative partnership project from Hattie Grunewald of Blake Friedmann, whilst Juliet Pickering is on maternity leave.

LOVE IN COLOUR is a collection of representative love stories from mythology and history, retold by the wonderful Bolu Babalola. From magical Nigerian folktales, to homoromantic Greek myths, to the ancient stories of South Asia, Bolu brings new life to tales that truly show the vibrance and colours of love around the world.

The anthology is a step towards decolonising tropes of love, and celebrates in the wildly beautiful and astonishingly diverse tales of romance and desire that already exist in various cultures and communities.

Bolu Babalola is an incredibly talented London-based writer who, in 2016, was shortlisted in 4thEstate's B4ME competition for her short story 'Netflix & Chill', a hilarious teen romance. Whilst writing scripts for TV and film, she also works as a TV and Culture columnist for Dazed.

Katie Packer said: ‘I am so unbelievably excited that this spark of an idea has grown into a fully fledged book. There are so many incredible love stories out there, full of magic and mystery, and Bolu Babalola is the perfect person to breathe life back into them.’

Bolu Babalola said: ‘It's a privilege and honour to be able to re-work these beautiful tales of romance and magic from around our world for our times. Love binds humanity, strengthens and propels and in re-telling and amplifying these stories I hope I can help shine light on how humanity - like love - comes in technicolour.’

RIGHTS TO KAREN POWELL'S THE RIVER WITHIN SOLD TO EUROPA EDITIONS AT AUCTION

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Europa Editions UK has secured Karen Powell's "extraordinary" novel at auction.

Director Christopher Potter has acquired rights for two titles from Samuel Hodder at Blake Friedmann following a two-publisher auction. As well as UK and Commonwealth, Potter bought rights for United States and Italy “such was the strength of our feelings and commitment”. Europa will publish the first novel, THE RIVER WITHIN, in 2020.

“I was bowled over by the poetic intensity of this extraordinary novel,” Potter said. THE RIVER WITHIN is as evocative of place and landscape as any novel I can think of. I believe THE RIVER WITHIN will immediately find its place as a classic in a tradition that includes the novels of Thomas Hardy and Graham Swift.”

Powell said: “I am delighted to be working with an editor of Christopher’s calibre and with Europa Editions – they’re passionate champions of European literary fiction and the quality of their list is ridiculously good.”

For both titles, audio rights for the UK and British Commonwealth (excluding Canada) were sold to WF Howes.

THE RIVER WITHIN is a piercing and evocative novel set in 1950s Yorkshire. On a summer’s day in the village of Starome, the body of young Danny Masters emerges from the river. It’s found by Danny’s three teenage friends: Alexander, the volatile heir to Richmond Hall, the country estate that neighbours Starome, and sister and brother, Lennie and Tom, whose father is secretary to the Richmond family. The friends’ responses to Danny’s death are strange. Why does Alexander seem oddly stimulated, excited even, and why is Lennie so keen for everyone to move on? How did Danny die? Did he fall in, or jump? Or worse?  In an interweaving narrative that moves across the months before and after Danny’s death, the secrets of the village begin to surface.

Powell left school at 16, but returned to education as a mature student to study English Literature at Cambridge University. She lives in Yorkshire, and an early draft of THE RIVER WITHIN was awarded a Northern Writers’ TLC ‘New Fiction Reads’ prize, which seeks to support work-in-progress by new, emerging and established writers across the North of England. She subsequently attended the ‘New Writing North’ Summer Talent Salon in 2018, where she secured agent representation from Hodder.  

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The trailer for the new film SUPERVISED has been released, watch it here!

SUPERVIZED tells the story of an elderly group of international superheroes retired to Dunmanor nursing home in Ireland. Ray is the once world renowned ‘Maximum Justice’ who as his nom de plume suggests will fight bad with good till the cows come home. He finds it hard to accept that his hero days are over and now it’s bingo games and blanket baths. His old team consisting of trusted sidekick Ted AKA ‘Shimmy’, old flame Madera ‘Moonlight’ and rival at everything Pendle ‘Total Thunder’ are far more accepting of their undignified destiny. When Jerry, ‘Rainbow Warrior,’ dies after having his superpowers ‘downwardly managed’ for the safety of others, a federation sectioned procedure, Ray suspects foul play and decides to investigate. The rest of the gang is not so convinced, and Ray finds himself battling against not only his enemies, but the stigma and restrictions of old age.

Headline scoops Allie Reynolds debut SHIVER for six figures in 10-publisher auction

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Headline has scooped the “beautifully original” debut from ex-snowboarder Allie Reynolds for six figures following a 10-publisher auction.

Fiction publishing director Jennifer Doyle acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in a two-book deal from Kate Burke of Blake Friedmann, in partnership with Hachette Australia. SHIVER will be published as a lead hardback in January 2021 simultaneously with Hachette Australia.

The high-concept thriller is set in the French Alps, focusing on five friends who meet for a reunion years after taking part in a snowboarding competition and the disappearance of the enigmatic Saskia. In a deserted lodge up a mountain, the secrets of their past are about to come to light.

Doyle said: “I was hooked from the pitch when I first heard about SHIVER. But it was as I was drawn into the novel by the intriguing and original voice of lead character Milla that I knew I had to publish it. Allie has created a compulsive and painfully tense thriller, with a perfectly paced plot, in which she gives the reader a captivating insight into another world. Here is a set of complex characters that are every bit as thrilling as the action on the ski slopes, and I couldn’t tear myself away until the novel came to its jaw-dropping close. I can’t wait to introduce SHIVER to readers everywhere.”

Reynolds is a former freestyle snowboarder, who spent five winters in France, Switzerland, Austria and Canada. In 2003, she swapped her snowboard for a surfboard and moved to the Gold Coast, Australia, where she has taught English as a foreign language for 15 years. Her short fiction has been published in women’s magazines in the UK, Australia, Sweden and South Africa.

She said: “SHIVER was inspired by the winters I spent training in the beautiful yet deadly world of the high mountains. I'm blown away by the amount of interest in my novel and thrilled to be published by Headline and around the world.”

The novel has already been pre-empted in the US by Penguin Putnam, HarperCollins in Germany, Calmann Levy in France, Piemme in Italy and Albatros in Poland. Auctions are still underway in several territories.

Burke said: “I signed Allie less than two days after reading her incredible debut and was delighted when, upon submission, editors had the same reaction I had – sheer excitement. This type of brilliantly original thriller doesn’t come along that often and I’m thrilled to be working with Allie and her publishers on bringing SHIVER to readers around the world.”