Chicken House has pre-empted the YA novel Unpregnant by debut authors Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan.
Editorial director Rachel Leyshon bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Cecilia de la Campa at Writers House. Unpregnant will publish in the UK in January 2020 while HarperTeen will be publishing in the US in September, following a heated six-publisher auction.
New streaming service WarnerMedia – launching in the autumn – is currently developing the movie, directed by "The Mindy Project" and "Valley Girl" director Rachel Lee Goldenberg.
"Sharply observed, bittersweet and darkly funny," Unpregnant follows two Missouri teens who must travel a thousand miles out-of-state to obtain a legal abortion.
"Veronica is top of her class – and somehow she’s found herself gazing in disbelief at a positive pregnancy test. Even worse, her ex-best friend and the high school’s legendary malcontent, Bailey, is the only one there to help," reads the synopsis. "In this warm and darkly funny road trip story, Veronica and Bailey drive a thousand miles to an out-of-state abortion clinic – rediscovering their friendship in the process."
Hendriks and Caplan said: "We are so thrilled Chicken House is bringing Unpregnant to the UK! We hope Veronica and Bailey’s story of friendship, acceptance, and the bumpy road to adulthood can resonate with readers no matter where they are from. And let’s face it, some things are universal – like bad boyfriends, love of junk food, and an unshakeable belief in UFOs."
Unpregnant marks the YA debut for Hendriks, a writer for television series "How I Met Your Mother" and cartoonist, and Caplan who has worked in the film industry for more than 20 years. He has helped craft the soundtracks to films such as "The Maze Runner", "Logan", "Deadpool" and" The Hate U Give". He is also the screenwriter of "Love Sonia", a feature film about international sex trafficking.
Editorial director Leyshon said: "The whole Chicken House office fell head over heels for this road trip like no other. At once a timely novel about female friendship and choice, and an utterly unique debut full of humour and heart. Jenni and Ted are an outstanding new writing duo, and we are thrilled to be their UK home."