Jane Griffifths, Editorial Director at Simon & Schuster Children’s, has purchased world rights for YA author Danielle Jawando‘s debut novel And the Stars Were Burning Brightly as well as Jawando’s untitled second novel.
And the Stars Were Burning Brightly will be published in February 2020 and follows 15-year-old Nathan as he tries to make sense of his brother’s suicide.
Jane Griffiths has described it as “one of those manuscripts you start reading and know instantly it’s going to be something special. Danielle’s writing is completely authentic with characters that feel so real you expect to see them passing you on the street. Al’s story is tragic and heart-breaking, but sadly also one that will be all-too relateable to teenagers dealing with the unique pressures that social media now brings to their lives.”
Danielle, represented by Madeleine Milburn, has said “I’m beyond thrilled to be working with Jane and the team at S&S. I hope that the themes in this novel initiate some important conversations – around social media, suicide and bullying in the Instagram era. Simon and Schuster are incredible and this really is a dream come true!”
Madeleine “couldn’t be happier for Danielle. Hers is a unique talent, and this novel had me utterly gripped from the start. Many younger readers are grappling with issues that others may find hard to understand, and I am certain that And The Stars Were Burning Brightly will be essential reading to help guide us all in a vital discussion.”
A screenwriter and associate lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, Jawando has written for Coronation Street and had several short plays performed at the King’s Arms in Manchester and at Stratford Circus in London. Last year, her short story “The Deerstalker” was a finalist for the We Need Diverse ebooks short story competition. She has been commissioned by the BBC to write a short story for radio aimed at children between the ages of 5 and 7.