Picador has won a “closely-fought” auction for Diary of a Feminist Killjoy and a further book from one of the "No More Page Three" campaigners.
Publishing director Francesca Main acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Jo Unwin at the Jo Unwin Literary Agency.
Diary of a Feminist Killjoy: The True Story of the No More Page Three Campaign by Jo Cheetham will explore how attending her first protest, aged 31 in 2012, changed her life.
It will be a lead non-fiction launch for Picador in Spring 2019 with the publisher promising “an unmissable marketing and publicity campaign”. The second book is as-yet untitled.
Before joining the "No More Page Three campaign", Cheetham’s days were filled with “routine, boredom and the occasional panic attack”. Three years after joining the movement, she had protested across the country, addressed parliament, appeared on TV, danced on the West End and attempted a Christmas Number One. She also forged “an unlikely group of friends, aged from 16 to 60, who would become her closest confidents and allies”.
Main said the story behind the campaign can “restore our own faith in our own power”. The publishing director, who was promoted in January, said: “Diary of a Feminist Killjoy made an immediate impact on everyone in the company. The story of how this grassroots campaign became an international media sensation and succeeded in toppling a tabloid institution is extraordinary, but the individual stories of the remarkable women (and one man) who launched it are, if anything, even more so.
“Jo’s writing is incredibly warm, funny, moving and inspiring and the story she has to tell couldn’t feel more timely – not just in the way it explores the media, feminism and representation, but in its capacity to restore our faith in our own power.”
Cheetham, who has a PhD in Art History, described how she was “pulled” from her comfort zone by the protest movement.
She said: “The 'No More Page Three campaign' gave me a voice, pulled me out of my comfort zone and brought me out of hiding. It taught me that we all have the power to take control of our lives, to stand up for what we believe in and to effect change. Picador is the perfect home for Feminist Killjoy and I am very, very excited to be joining Francesca and her wonderful team.”
The campaign was begun in 2012 by Lucy-Anne Holmes to persuade The Sun to discontinue publishing topless models. Transworld announced it would publish a book by Holmes about the movement in March 2015, How to Start a Revolution, as a "manifesto for causing real and meaningful change in society”.
The Page 3 feature has not appeared in the tabloid since January 2015.
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