Walker Books sign Costa Novel Award Winning Maggie O’Farrell’s first children’s book

The Walker Books Group are delighted to announce a global rights deal for Maggie O’Farrell’s children’s publishing debut, Where Snow Angels Go. In a hotly contested auction, Deirdre McDermott, Picture Book Publisher and Creative Director at Walker Books, acquired two books from Victoria Hobbs, agent and director at AM Heath.

The first title, Where Snow Angels Go will publish simultaneously in the UK, in the US by Candlewick Press and Walker Books Australia in Autumn 2020. In this imaginative and original story, Maggie O’Farrell brings her vivid writing talent to children for the first time. Where Snow Angels Go follows Sylvie, who, playing one wintry day, creates something that leads to an extraordinary discovery – her own guardian angel. This is a tale that grew from a bedtime story Maggie told her children, and has a strong family theme at its heart.

Where Snow Angels Go will be a lead title for Walker, and the fully illustrated extended picture book will be supported by a major marketing and PR campaign next year.

Deirdre McDermott, Picture Book Publisher and Creative Director said: “Everyone here at the Walker Group is absolutely thrilled to welcome Maggie O’Farrell to our list. We are all huge admirers of her adult books - it’s impossible not to be mesmerised by her characters and the immersive fictional worlds she creates. Maggie is an exceptional writer, already deeply loved by millions of readers globally, so it’s a real privilege to be publishing Where Snow Angels Go, her first children’s book.”

Maggie O’Farrell said: “I have always thought of the picture book as a unique and pervasive artform, and one that has the potential to reach people from a very young age, sometimes staying with them for life. Many of my favourite such books have been published by Walker Books so I am over the moon that they will be publishing Where Snow Angels Go. It will be the first time I’ll be collaborating on a story with an illustrator; I can’t wait to see the result.”

Born in Northern Ireland, Maggie O'Farrell grew up in Wales and Scotland. Her debut novel, After You'd Gone (2000), won a Betty Trask Award, and her subsequent novels have received both critical acclaim and sales success, including The Distance Between Us (2004), winner of a Somerset Maugham Award, The Hand That First Held Mine (2010), winner of the 2010 Costa Novel Award and This Must Be The Place, which was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award in 2016. Her most recent book, the memoir, I Am, I Am, I Am (2017) was a Number 1 Sunday Times Bestseller, book of the year in The Sunday Times, The Times, The Guardian, The Irish Times, The Observer, Red and The Telegraph, and was also longlisted for The Wellcome Book Prize.

Walker Books Australia has been bringing the best of children’s publishing to Australia and New Zealand for over 20 years. The company is dedicated to publishing books of unwavering quality for children and young adults to read and treasure. Walker Books Australia is also passionate about the Australian Children’s book industry and is a haven for the most highly talented authors and illustrators, both emerging and award-winning. Walker Books Australia is proud to be the home of Black Dog Books, an award-winning imprint with a reputation for publishing some of Australia’s finest writers including Carole Wilkinson, Sue Lawson and Suzy Zail.


Last updated on 18/02/19 at 01:00:48
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