Hodder Studio lands "enchanting" debut from Timms

Hodder Studio lands "enchanting" debut from Timms

Hodder Studio has acquired Chloe Timms' debut The Seawomen, described as a "feminist dystopian novel with shades of magical realism". 

Kwaku Osei-Afrifa, editorial assistant, bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Nelle Andrew at Rachel Mills Literary, with publication scheduled for June 2022. 

The synopsis reads: "Esta has known nothing but Eden’s Isle her whole life. Raised by her grandmother after a fire claimed her parents and scarred her face, she's instructed to piety, deference and acquiescence by a religious society that will not suffer anything else. Cut off from the moral iniquity of the mainland, the island believes it can stay free of the Seawomen – creatures from the water that came upon land to corrupt God's creation and man. The inhabitants fear the water and believe the only way to remain virtuous is to never enter it, and for the women to conceive within 12 months of their appointed motheryear."

Osei-Afrifa said: "It’s a fiercely written debut about challenging the myths and ties that bind us. Esta longs for an identity and in a society that quantifies her worth by removing her body autonomy, painted ever so more immediate as we watch rights erode from those who need it most, and there is a tender love story at the core of this novel that is heart-breaking. Chloe’s prose is beautiful and it’s a joy to publish this book."

Timms is a writer and Faber Academy graduate from the Kent coast. Her writing was a runner-up in Stylist's 2017 novel prize and she was a WriteNow finalist in the Penguin Random House mentorship programme in 2016. 

She commented: "It’s a dream come true to be working with Kwaku and the Hodder Studio team on my debut novel. I’m so lucky to work with Kwaku, who embraced my vision for the book wholeheartedly. I also want to thank my wonderful agent Nelle, who has supported and championed me from day one. Their enthusiasm for my folkloric, speculative creation has been a joy and I’m so excited for readers to meet Esta and get drawn into the world of The Seawomen."