2020 Submissions Window Announcement

2020 Submissions Window Announcement

We are very excited to announce that we will be holding a submissions window for diverse and LGBTQ+ authors, as well as authors with a disability, on Sunday 30th August 2020. We will also be holding a short submissions window for all authors on Monday 31st August 2020. The window will run from 00:01 until 23:59 on 31st August 2020, and any manuscripts submitted outside of these times will not be accepted.

Imagination has no borders. No culture has a monopoly on the way children think or feel and this is why we actively encourage new voices from anyone – regardless of where you are from (and where you’re going). Our focus is on our readers: children long to see themselves in books but are also more open than many of us to new characters and notions. With this in mind, we are advertising our submissions window to promote fairness and we will be accepting manuscripts for any genre.

Firefly Press will be accepting submissions for:

·         Younger readers, ages 6-9

·         Middle grade, ages 9-12

·         Teen and Young adult, ages 12+

Please note that we do not publish picture books or any fiction or non-fiction books for adults. Before submitting, make sure that you read and follow our guidelines for submission.

Submissions should be sent, within the windows outlined above, to submissions@fireflypress.co.uk

Upcoming Titles Flying in from Firefly Press

Upcoming Titles Flying in from Firefly Press

As you may have seen we have revealed our stunning autumn 2020 covers. From an exhilarating new fantasy debut to the third instalment of the Clockwork Crow trilogy, this year’s upcoming titles promise to have something for everyone:

Too Dark to See by Chloe Heuch

Meet Kay, a 16-year-old girl grieving the loss of her mother, her home and life as she knows it. 
Can her new friend Siôn help her find the beauty of Blackmoss Mountain? Or will she lose everything again?

Released July 2, available to pre-order now! You can join Chloe for her online launch, see details below.

Join Chloe for her online launch on July 2, over on Twitter.

My Name is River by Emma Rea

Coming on August 6, this middle-grade adventure debut follows Dylan as he travels from Wales to Brazil in order to challenge the company that has just bought his family’s farm.

Pre-order by July 16 to receive a signed copy and a bookmark!

The Ten Riddles of Eartha Quicksmith by Loris Owen

The Ten Riddles of Eartha Quicksmith by Loris Owen

Coming September 10 is a thrilling debut full of puzzles, danger and friendship. Read the first chapter here.
When Kip Bramley receives a cryptic invitation, delivered by a beetle-shaped drone which appears to be breathing, his world will change forever. Soon he finds himself chasing riddles and solving puzzles on a crazy treasure hunt set 400 years earlier by a mysterious genius. As things get dangerous, it seems much more is at stake for Kip and his family than winning top marks at his strange new school…

Pre-order by August 20 to receive a signed copy and a pin badge!

Midnight Swan Catherine Fisher Clockwork Crow Velvet Fox

The Midnight Swan by Catherine Fisher

The third and final instalment of the award-winning Clockwork Crow trilogy finds Seren embarking on what might be her most dangerous adventure yet. Released October 1.

Pre-order by September 10 to receive a signed copy and a limited edition bookmark!

Lori and Max and the Book Thieves by Catherine O'Flynn

Lori and Max and the Book Thieves by Catherine O’Flynn

This second Lori and Max detective story arrives October 8! A stolen phone and an unruly dog; a buried lunchbox and an antique children’s book. Lori and Max must dig through layers of lies to solve two mysteries.

Pre-order by September 17 to receive a signed copy.

Firefly Celebrates Empathy Day 2020: Read Connect Act

Firefly Celebrates Empathy Day 2020: Read Connect Act

In recent weeks we’ve all seen how empathy is more important than ever, to help us listen to and understand others, enable us to help those in need, and to stand against injustice. Today, Empathy Lab is asking us all to encourage children to READ empathy-boosting books, CONNECT with others by listening, and ACT by putting empathy skills into practice – all as part of Empathy Day 2020.

At Firefly Press, we’re proud of our wonderful authors and illustrators who work so hard to create and share stories for children which will help them to empathise with others. This year, we’re delighted that Vanessa Harbour’s powerful middle-grade historical story Flight is an Empathy Lab selection in their Read for Empathy Guide 2020. 

Flight is ‘a nail-biting adventure about children who manage to save Lipizzaner horses in the Second World War. Gripping, and excellent for exploring and understanding relationships (and history), with strong characters.’

Empathy Lab UK

You can read a special blog post by Vanessa about the importance of developing empathy for (and between) the characters in Flight, hosted by the brilliant Library Girl and Book Boy

Other Firefly authors are taking part with Empathy Day too…

Miriam Halahmy is the author of Behind Closed Doors, a moving Young Adult novel which tells the story of two teenage girls on the brink of homelessness. Watch her special Empathy Day message here.

‘At this time of pandemic the whole world has had to dig deep and show kindness and empathy to each other and to strangers. Empathy is literally saving lives.’

Miriam Halahmy

Kate Mallinder is the author of feel good teen reads Summer of No Regrets and Asking for a Friend. Watch her special message for Leicester Libraries here. Kate is also taking part in #ukteenchat on Twitter from 8-9pm.

And Wilde author and Children’s Laureate Wales, Eloise Williams, has created a terrific Authorfy ‘10 Minute Challenge’ especially for #EmpathyDay. Watch it here.

Empathy Reads for Years 2 – 4

Empathy Reads for Years 5 – 6

Empathy Reads for KS3+

Empathy Day Firefly KS3

Here are some ways you can get involved with Empathy Day

  • Share your recommended #ReadForEmpathy books 
  • Take part in the Empathy Day virtual programme
  • Read a book from the Empathy Lab’s Read for Empathy Collection 
  • Take part in one of the activities in the Family Activity Pack

There are loads of brilliant resources to inspire and help parents, teachers and children get involved with Empathy Day over at www.empathylab.uk. including this downloadable Empathy Day Resolution poster.

Empathy Lab is a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to build children’s empathy, literacy and social activism through a systematic use of high-quality literature. Each year, they organise Empathy Day and create a guide for schools, libraries and parents.

@EmpathyLabUK #EmpathyDay #ReadForEmpathy

Firefly Signs Second Crater Lake Book from Jennifer Killick

Firefly Signs Second Crater Lake Book from Jennifer Killick

Firefly publisher, Penny Thomas, has acquired World rights in a second Crater Lake novel by popular middle-grade author Jennifer Killick, from Kirsty McLachlan at David Godwin Associates.

Described as ‘howlingly funny horror for beginners’, Crater Lake published on 19 March and sold through immediately, reprinting despite the UK lockdown. It tells the story of a group of friends who find themselves plunged into the Year Six school trip from hell at a creepy new activity centre, and was picked as Times Children’s Book of the Week in early March and the #PrimarySchoolBookClub choice for April.

Crater Lake is a stunningly good, funny, scary adventure story, and we are delighted with the success it has achieved, and the love it has been shown. We hope it’s providing great entertainment and adventure for readers despite the difficult times we are all living in, and we’re absolutely thrilled to be able to publish what promises to be an equally humorous and terrifying sequel next year.’ Penny Thomas, editor

‘I’m so excited to be hanging out with Lance, Chets, Katja, Mak and Ade, again, and looking forward to putting them through some terrifying moments, and, of course, lots of fun, too!’ Jennifer Killick, author

Crater Lake is ‘just the right sort of scary and spirited, with plenty of Killick’s trademark humour.’ Fiona Noble, The Bookseller

Firefly Acquires Powerful YA Debut by Luke Palmer

Firefly Acquires Powerful YA Debut by Luke Palmer

Firefly publisher, Penny Thomas, has acquired World rights in Grow, a tense and compelling YA novel by debut author Luke Palmer, from Jane Finnigan at Lutyens and Rubenstein.

Fifteen-year-old Josh is struggling to cope with his father’s recent death at the hands of terrorists when he is targeted by a white supremacist group and its violent leader. Will he find the strength to resist, and can his unlikely friendship with Dana help him plant something good in the space grief has left inside him? 

Grow is a tense and unflinching YA novel of our social landscape, woven through with redemptive strands of love, friendship and nature. Luke Palmer is a talented writer and we are delighted to sign this powerful and lyrical novel.’ Penny Thomas 

Luke Palmer is a school teacher and poet, and has a Creative Writing MA from Bath Spa University. Grow is his first novel, which will be published in Spring 2021.

Elen’s Island by Eloise Williams Features on BBC2’s Great British Menu

Elen’s Island by Eloise Williams Features on BBC2’s Great British Menu

Elen’s Island by Children’s Laureate Wales Eloise Williams featured in this week’s Great British Menu where the inspiration for dishes is drawn from the best of British children’s literature.

Chef Georgia Sommerin chose Elen’s Island for her fish course, and created a stunning and playful picnic complete with edible pebble and a ‘sandy’ beach. The Firefly Team thought it was brilliant, and despite Georgia going out in the first round, we’re sure she’s got an amazing career ahead of her.

‘At 20 years old, Georgia Sommerin from Pontypridd is the youngest chef in the competition. Despite her youth, she has been working in her dad James Sommerin’s Michelin-starred kitchen since she was 13 and is now its sous chef. Determined and ambitious, Georgia hopes her cooking, which is centred around seasonal and local ingredients, will take her all the way to the banquet.’ BBC website

Eloise is currently reading chapters from her book Elen’s Island for Book Trust’s Home Time, aimed at helping children learning from home during the Covid-19 lockdown. Here’s chapter one…

Eloise’s husband, artist Guy Manning, has also created fantastic coastal colouring sheets to accompany the book.