Millwood Hargrave and de Waal front new feminist YA series Bellatrix

Millwood Hargrave and de Waal front new feminist YA series Bellatrix

Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Kit de Waal (below) are fronting a new feminist teen YA series from Hachette Children’s Group, called Bellatrix.

The aim of the new series is to “engage readers with stories, voices and characters that demand to be heard in the modern world”, said the publisher.

Bellatrix is Latin for “female warrior” and the titles in the collection “will aim to shine a light on the unknown, misunderstood and misrepresented” as well as “reveal new ways of looking at the world”.

Hachette Children’s acquired world rights to one title by Millwood Hargrave through Hellie Ogden at Janklow & Nesbit, and world rights for one title from de Waal through agent Jo Unwin, to publish in July and September 2019 respectively.

The publisher said the titles would stand in their own right and it expected Bellatrix to be a “major launch for Hachette Children’s Group”.

Helen Thomas, editorial director, Hachette Children’s Group, said: “There’s always another side to any story, whether in works of fiction or simply in the stories we tell ourselves, and Bellatrix books will aim to shine a light on the unknown, misunderstood and misrepresented. They’ll reveal new ways of looking at the world and looking at stories. We couldn’t be happier to be working with Kit and Kiran, both of whom are absolute stars in the world of women’s writing, and passionate about giving voice to the unheard at the centre of the story.”

Millwood Hargrave, a Waterstones Children’s Book Prize winner, who signed a six-figure deal with rival publisher Pan Macmillan for her first adult novel Vardø after a 13-publisher auction at London Book Fair earlier this year, said: “I’m always searching for gaps and shadow in history, and in a narrative, so the Bellatrix series felt like an unmissable opportunity to recast misunderstood and under-written characters from a classic in a whole new light. It’s wonderful to be part of such a questing, ambitious series, and I’m excited to read what Kit creates, too.”

Meanwhile de Waal, who has been shortlisted for the Costa Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction, said: “‘I am thrilled to have the opportunity to respond to some of the great literature of the past reimagining it for a new age.  And even more excited to connect with a new audience, the readers and writers of the future.”

Hachette Children’s said more details about the series’ approach, plots, cover treatments would be revealed in due course.