Quercus has pre-empted rights to a book by former publishers Rose Davidson and Arzu Tahsin, entitled Crafty Therapy: A Guide to Making and Mending Yourself.
The book is pitched as "an engaging, friendly and inspiring celebration of all things creativity and craft, while emphasising the huge mental benefits of making things with your hands". Katy Follain bought UK and Commonwealth rights in a pre-empt from Claire Conrad at Janklow & Nesbit, and Italian rights have been pre-empted by Corbaccio.
Both Davidson, formerly publishing director at Square Peg, and Tahsin, formerly publishing director for fiction at W&N, left their roles this summer after almost a decade with their respective companies, Penguin Random House and Hachette. Tahsin (pictured), who published hits including I am Malala and Where’d You Go, Bernadette, left her role in September to be able to work more flexibly.
Divided into three parts, their co-authored book focuses on the science of creativity and "the authors’ down-to-earth craft ethos", as well as why everyone should develop a craft habit; how to make time in a hectic life for everyday creative work and how to overcome self-criticism and lack of confidence. It also presents "simple but immensely satisfying" craft projects classified according to feeling, from anxiety and anger to melancholia and frustration (complete with illustrated step-by-step instructions).
Follain said getting to work with two experienced publishers on the project was "a bonus", calling the title "a complete gem of a book".
"It taps into the increasing trend for learning a new skill and making something with your hands, as well as the very real need to switch off and calm the mind," she said. "Crafty Therapy is all this and so much more. To be working on it with such experienced and talented publishers (as well as crafters) is a bonus, I think between us all we are going to have a beautiful bestseller on our hands."
Tahsin said: "Crafty Therapy is the book I've longed to write from about the age of six, when I first discovered how having a daily crafting practice will keep me, mostly, sane. This is a terrific opportunity to share some of what we believe and hopefully give readers more tools to manage our increasingly frenetic lives."
Davidson said: "I am so happy to be writing this book with Arzu and to have Katy as our editor - they are two of the cleverest and most creative publishers in the UK. The Quercus team epitomises craftsmanship so we couldn't dream of a better publisher to bring our ideas about wellbeing through everyday creativity to life."
Crafty Therapy: A Guide to Making and Mending Yourself will publish with Quercus in autumn 2018.