Firefly acquires debut middle-grade from book blogger Jo Clarke

Firefly acquires debut middle-grade from book blogger Jo Clarke

Jo Clarke

Firefly Press has acquired World English rights for the debut middle-grade detective story Libby and the Parisian Puzzle by popular book blogger and school librarian Jo Clarke (AKA BookloverJo) from Alice Williams at Alice Williams Literary. Publishing in April 2022, Libby and the Parisian Puzzle is the first in a projected series set in a school that travels the world, and will be illustrated by Becka Moor.  

In Libby and the Parisian Puzzle, mystery-lover Libby is excited but nervous when she’s sent to live with her aunt, while her mother is working abroad. Her aunt runs an extraordinary travelling school that moves from country to country. Libby joins it in Paris, where she is just starting to find her feet and make friends, when she’s devastated to see her aunt, the headteacher, arrested for a daring robbery. Can Libby and her new best friend Connie find out who set her up and save her aunt?

‘I am thrilled to be publishing my debut with Firefly Press, their enthusiasm and excitement about Libby and the Parisian Puzzle from the start convinced me that I had found the perfect home. I’m a huge fan of illustrated fiction so am absolutely delighted that the brilliant Becka Moor will be illustrating my book. As a school librarian and book blogger I have a huge passion for children’s books and it’s my dream come true to have my own book published. I’ve loved writing this book and can’t wait for readers to meet Libby and Connie as they travel the world, solving mysteries along the way.’

Jo Clarke, Author

‘Libby is everything a reader wants in a detective, brilliant at solving puzzles and driven by bravery, loyalty and kindness. Jo has given her a genuinely satisfying mystery to solve, full of clues for readers to spot. It’s packed with vivid characters, good and bad, that will burst to life in Becka Moor’s illustrations. And who wouldn’t love to go to a school that travels the world?! It’s a truly special story and I am so excited we’re publishing it.’ 

Janet Thomas, Editor
Becka Moor

Savage Sports series: Firefly Press nets its first non-fiction

Savage Sports series: Firefly Press nets its first non-fiction

As reported in The Bookseller today, Firefly have acquired world rights for Robin Bennett‘s Stupendous Sports series for 7-11 year olds, which kicks off with Rampaging Rugby in August 2021, followed by Cool Cricket and Fabulous Football. Each chapter will include cartoons, special player tips, irreverent explanations, fascinating facts and funny stories, and will be illustrated by Matt Cherry.

Rampaging Rugby will publish in time for the Bicentenary of Rugby in 2023 with the forward and pro tips by Conrad Smith, ex All Black and double World Cup winner.

‘The central aim of the Stupendous Sports series is to teach kids about the sport but with a light touch and just as much about the spirit of the game as the rules. My hope is that the series does for PE what Horrible Histories did for Year 7 History with Mr Simkin.’

Robin Bennett

Did you know…?

  • Rugby started when Webb Ellis picked up a football during a game and ran with it? (He cheated, basically)
  • Basketball was created by a rugby coach who wanted an indoor sport to keep his players fit off-season
  • Rugby is played in 119 countries and has over 400 million fans

Rising Stars Wales Award 2021: Call out for submissions

Rising Stars Wales Award 2021: Call out for submissions

We’re delighted to partner with Literature Wales and launch a call out for submissions for the next Rising Stars Wales Award 2021, the second round of an initiative to identify and nurture talented children’s poets from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds based in Wales, with the view to publish an anthology of their work.

In November 2019, Literature Wales and Firefly Press collaborated on the Rising Stars Wales 2020 Award, a new initiative open to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic children’s poets living in Wales. The award discovered new talent, provided opportunities, and spotlighted three talented emerging individuals. The poets continue to develop as writers and gain further opportunities as a result of the award. And we were so impressed with 2020 winner Alex Wharton, that we signed his debut children’s poetry collection, Daydreams and Jellybeans, which will be published in January 2021.

Find out more about how to submit poetry for the award here.

‘I am deeply grateful accepting this award, I feel it recognizes my passion and dedication for writing Children’s Poetry. It has already opened up a terrific opportunity for me as the wonderful people at Firefly Press will be publishing my full collection of poems Daydreams and Jellybeans early next year. Poems are to be shared, they find the people who need them – and the award has enabled a wider platform for my words. It’s exciting and I am very thankful.’ 

Alex Wharton, Rising Star Wales Award 2020 winner

‘Just as no language can cover the full range of human experience, so no writer has a monopoly on the way we see the world. Stories are a net, the wider we cast it, the more connections we make. This is why Quarto Translations is proud to sponsor the Rising Stars Wales Award.’

Robin Bennett, Founder and Managing Director, Quarto Translations
Daydreams and Jellybeans Competition Winners Announced

Daydreams and Jellybeans Competition Winners Announced

Daydreams and Jellybeans Alex Wharton

Earlier this month, poet Alex Wharton announced a brilliant competition for 7-11 year olds to join in the fun around his forthcoming poetry collection Daydreams and Jellybeans, illustrated by talented children’s illustrator Katy Riddell – out in shops January 2020!

We had hundreds of fantastic submissions and Alex had such a difficult decision to make choosing a winner. So… we’re delighted to announce that we will have two joint winners:

o   Theo Janneh, aged 10 from Torfaen, for his beautiful poem Underworld Dreams, which reflects the vibrant life of the sea floor. 

o   Sophie Macfarlane, aged 11 from Surrey, for her quirky and funny poem Wonder Thunder. Sophie’s rhymes, in which everything is subverted, made Alex and all of the Firefly Press team giggle.

Both Sophie and Theo will have their poems printed as part of the Daydreams and Jellybeans collection, and have their poems illustrated by Katy Riddell. They will also receive a Firefly Press prize bundle including some of our best titles for their ages, and a signed copy of Daydreams and Jellybeans when it is released.

I’d like to say a huge congratulations to Theo and Sophie for writing such wonderfully dreamy and imaginative poems. Both Poems are oozing with imagery, rhythm, and creativity. Underworld Dreams by Theo, displays a depth of beautiful and vivid ideas that really tickle the reader’s thoughts. Whilst Wonder Thunder by Sophie has been crafted with pure joy and playfulness. I’m really excited for them to be joining me in my book. Well done!

Alex Wharton
Firefly Acquires Compelling YA Romance by Josie Williams

Firefly Acquires Compelling YA Romance by Josie Williams

Firefly Press are delighted to announce the acquisition of a moving and compelling YA romance by Josie Williams. Firefly acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada and audio) to The Wanderer from Lorella Belli at the Lorella Belli Literary Agency Ltd.

The Wanderer is a heartrending love story that crosses between life and the after-life. For those who enjoy teenage romances and all things spooky, this YA novel about a ‘wanderer’ in love is a must read.

Josie Williams is the pseudonym of an international bestselling author, whose New Adult romances have sold over 860,000 copies in English, and whose first novel, the YA romance The Boy Who Sneaks in My Bedroom Window, was an international bestseller translated into many languages.

‘Josie Williams has an amazing track record as an author and a large, loyal, international following. This, her first YA novel for several years, is unsentimental, passionate and immensely moving. It recalls films like Ghost and the ending – no spoilers – moved some of the Firefly team to tears. We’re very excited to be publishing it.’

Rebecca Lloyd, Commissioning Editor at Firefly Press

The Wanderer is that rare novel that when I first read it made me smile, brought me to tears and also much spooky-loving joy. Think Romeo and Juliet meets City of Ghosts. This is Josie Williams’s second YA novel (the first was written under her own name) and is as original and heart-warming as her first.’

Lorella Belli, Agent
Author Josie Williams The Wanderer

‘I’m positively thrilled with this news, and am so excited to work with Rebecca and the Firefly Press team to bring this novel to life! I can’t wait for people to read about Maggie and Ryan’s unconventional teenage romance.’

Josie Williams