Egmont buys YA 'feminist firecracker'

Egmont buys YA 'feminist firecracker'

Egmont has signed a "major" new YA novel about sexism for its Electric Monkey imprint, from screenwriter Laura Steven.

Ali Dougal, fiction publishing director at Egmont Publishing, signed a two book deal with Sara Stricker at New Leaf Literary Agency for world English language rights excluding North America. The first book, Steven's debut, The Exact Opposite of Okay, will be published on 8th March 2018, with the follow-up to come in early 2019.

Described as a "true zeitgeist book" by the publishers, The Exact Opposite of Okay follows Izzy O'Neill's attempt to deal with a national scandal.

The blurb reads: "Izzy O’Neill is an aspiring comic, an impoverished orphan, and a Slut Extraordinaire. Or at least, that’s what the malicious website flying round the school says. Izzy can try all she wants to laugh it off – after all, her sex life, her terms – but when pictures emerge of her doing the dirty with a politician’s son, her life suddenly becomes the centre of a national scandal. Izzy’s never been ashamed of herself before, and she’s not going to start now. But keeping her head up will take everything she has..."

"Hilarious and groundbreaking, political and warmhearted, The Exact Opposite of Okay challenges sexism and double standards without ever being heavy handed", the publisher said.

Publishing director Ali Dougal said: "The Exact Opposite of Okay is a no-holds-barred, unashamedly feminist firecracker of a novel. It’s shockingly funny, it’s timely – and it’s a book that teenagers will want to read. Laura Steven has things to say."

Steven added: "I’m absolutely delighted to have found such a perfect a home for Izzy O’Neill. Egmont have been a total dream to work with – not only do they love and appreciate the inappropriate humour in The Exact Opposite of Okay, but they also stand wholeheartedly behind the book’s political call-to-action."

Steven is an author, journalist and screenwriter from England. She’s currently studying towards her MFA in Creative Writing while working at Mslexia, a non-profit organisation supporting women in the creative arts. In 2016 she was shortlisted for a Northern Writers’ Award, and her short story "Twenty-seven Masks" was long listed for the 2016 Sunderland Short Story Award. Her TV pilot, "Clickbait", was a 2016 finalist in British Comedy’s The Sitcom Mission.

The Exact Opposite of Okay will be a paperback publication.