We’ve won! Firefly named Small Press of the Year: Wales 2020

We’ve won! Firefly named Small Press of the Year: Wales 2020

The British Book Awards, otherwise know as The Nibbies, are run by The Bookseller each year to highlight and celebrate the best of the book trade in the UK. We’re delighted that this year we have been named Small Press of the Year: Wales, which means we will go head to head with the other eight regional winners for Small Press of the Year 2020. The overall winner will be announced at an award ceremony on 29 June.

The judges commended the creativity and diversity of the nine regional winners, as well as their impact on the market that ‘belies their small size’. Commenting on the Wales winner, the judges said ‘Firefly Press’ focused frontlist of a book a month had a high hit rate, with top sellers including Catherine Fisher’s The Clockwork Crow, and it built momentum in backlist and rights sales’.

Find out more about the The British Book Awards and the other winners here.

We’re hiring: Firefly are seeking an Assistant Editor

We’re hiring: Firefly are seeking an Assistant Editor

Award-winning children’s publisher Firefly Press is looking for a part-time Assistant Editor, to start Spring 2020.

The successful candidate will have experience in proofreading, copyediting and editing, possibly with design skills, in the UK’s Children’s Book market. They will work either at the Firefly office in Cardiff Metropolitan University Cyncoed campus, or from home. They will need superb editorial, organisational and communication skills.They will be working on fiction, illustrated fiction and non-fiction, aimed at readers from 5-18. 

The post is 7.5 hours per week, £23,400 pro rata, with pro-rata holiday and pension entitlements. Please send CV and covering email to hello@fireflypress.co.uk (job description available on request). Applications by 23 March 2020.

US Rights Sales for World War II middle-grade novel Flight by Vanessa Harbour

US Rights Sales for World War II middle-grade novel Flight by Vanessa Harbour

Branford Boase Award longlisted title Flight by Vanessa Harbour has sold to Liz Szabla at Feiwel & Friends / Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group in the US.

The Read for Empathy Collection listed title features the compelling story of a Jewish boy and a Roma girl as they try to save the famous Lipizzaner stallions from the SS in Austria at the end of WWII. Foyinsi Adegbonmire will edit the US edition.

Rights were sold by the Margot Edwards Rights Consultancy, on behalf of Firefly Press.

Penny Thomas of Firefly Press said: “This is fantastic news for Vanessa and Flight, we are so delighted that this daring and compelling adventure will be read by US readers.”

Firefly acquires first poetry collection from Welsh poet Alex Wharton

Firefly acquires first poetry collection from Welsh poet Alex Wharton

We are over the moon to announce that we have acquired world rights in our first poetry collection for children, Daydreams and Jellybeans by South Wales poet Alex Wharton, publishing in spring 2021.

Alex is a senior building surveyor when he isn’t busy writing or performing poetry for both adults and children. He said ‘I am delighted that my collection of children’s poems Daydreams and Jellybeans will be published with Firefly Press. It’s a marvellous opportunity on the quest of connecting people with words. Knowing my poems will reach a wider audience makes me happy – and I hope they spark curiosity and happiness in the people they find.’

Alex has also won the inaugural 2020 Rising Stars Wales Award, an award held in partnership between Literature Wales and Firefly Press, which gives children’s poets from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds based in Wales the opportunity to further develop their skills and writing for children. The runners-up to the award were Sadia Pineda Hameed and Taylor Edmonds.

Firefly Publisher Penny Thomas said, ‘Alex’s poetry is both funny and reflective, and is perfect for primary school-age children, inspiring we hope a love of words, poetry and reading. We feel very lucky to have signed such a terrific collection and hope it will be hugely popular in homes and schools around the UK.

‘It’s also very exciting that the Rising Stars Wales Award, run with Literature Wales and sponsored by Quarto Translations, should have showcased three such inspiring poets right away. We hope this is just the beginning and we aim to be able to publish an anthology of Rising Star poets from Wales in the not-too-distant future.’

Daydreams and Jellybeans will publish in spring 2021.

Find out more about Alex Wharton and read some of his poems here.

For rights enquiries contact margot.edwards@rightsconsultancy.co.uk

For media enquiries contact megan.farr@fireflypress.co.uk

Firefly acquires Monster Max book by Robin Bennett

Firefly acquires Monster Max book by Robin Bennett


We are thrilled to announce that we have acquired World English rights in a hilarious and fast-paced adventure story for 7-9s, Monster Max and the Bobble Hat of Forgetting by Robin Bennett from Joanna Moult at the Skylark Literary Agency.

Max is an ordinary boy until he burps, when he turns into a big hairy monster. Fortunately when he sneezes he can turn himself back into a small, grubby boy again.

When he’s a monster, Max does all the monster things like roar loudly and eat whole dustbins. But, after scaring a few too many elderly neighbours Max, resolves to use his monstering to ‘protect and do good stuff’.

If only it were that easy…

‘We are really thrilled to acquire this very funny and hugely enjoyable story, which we’re sure will delight readers everywhere,’ said Firefly publisher Penny Thomas.

Robin Bennett, an author and entrepreneur who has previously published under the Monster Books imprint, said: ‘In my life I have been a very bad gravedigger (assistant), chaotic tank commander and a jammy entrepreneur. Finally I’ve found out I’m an expert in small boys who can turn themselves into hairy monsters. I’ve found my place in the world.’

Monster Max and the Bobble Hat of Forgetting will be published this autumn and will be illustrated by Tom Tinn-Disbury.

Firefly acquires new feel-good teen novel from Kate Mallinder

Firefly acquires new feel-good teen novel from Kate Mallinder

We are delighted to announce that we have acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in Asking for a Friend by Kate Mallinder, author of Summer of no Regrets, from Hannah Sheppard at the D H H Literary Agency, publishing in paperback on 21 May 2020. Asking for a Friend is a feel-good friendship story following three school friends over the Easter holidays as they confront their fears, including loneliness, fear of illness and social media bullying, in a character-driven story about valuing the friends who value you. Agnes, Hattie and Jake travel on the school bus together, but don’t know each other well. They plan a week in Weston-super-Mare, as a ‘study break’ before exams, but none of them admit the real reasons they need to get away. Agnes must find her sister. Hattie can’t bear being home now all her friends have ghosted her. And Jake is afraid he’s ill and has absolutely no idea how to tell anyone. In one amazing week, they’ll risk their lives, face their fears and find themselves. Kate says: ‘I’m thrilled that my second book, Asking for a Friend, is being published by the fantastic Firefly Press team. I’ve loved writing new characters and can’t wait for readers to meet Agnes, Hattie and Jake.’ Firefly editor Janet Thomas says: ‘We are so excited to have a new book from Kate on the Firefly Press list. Asking for a Friend is a hugely entertaining, character-driven story about how friends can be found in surprising places, and how they can help you face your greatest fears.’ Kate Mallinder lives with her husband, four children and two cats near Ashby- de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire. She grew up in Solihull and went to college in Leeds. If left to her own devices, she’d live on a window seat with a good book and a never-ending cup of tea. Her first book, Summer of No Regrets, was published by Firefly in May 2019 and was shortlisted for the Bristol Teen Book Awards 2019. Kate is a regular at YA festivals and chaired a panel at YALC 2019. Find out more at www.katemallinder.co.uk and follow her on Twitter @KateMallinder. Praise for Summer of no Regrets: ‘Bucketloads of summer fun… warm, funny, utterly delightful story about friendship, taking chances, and living life to the full!’ Simon James Green ‘A perfect summer read to share with your best friends.’ Keris Stainton ‘Summer of no Regrets is a complete page turner … I loved spending summer with the gang!’ Jenny McLachlan ‘A wonderful summery, happy-ending story about friendship. I raced though it.’ Perdita Cargill
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