Choc Lit signs #HeatSeeker winner Hannah Pearl

Choc Lit signs #HeatSeeker winner Hannah Pearl

Ruby Fiction, a new imprint of women's fiction publisher Choc Lit, has signed a three-book deal with Hannah Pearl, last week's winner of the #HeatSeeker Short Story Writing Competition.

Pearl won the #HeatSeeker competition, a collaboration between heat Magazine and Simon & Schuster’s Books & the City, at the end of last week for her short story, "Hell's Belle", which was selected from 578 entries as "a heart-breaking delight".

Her debut novel, Little Black Book, is set for release with Ruby Fiction in April 2018. It is described as "a fun story" about a girl named Evie who tries to rebuild her confidence following a series of relationship breakdowns by tracking down the men from her little black book. Further novels Best Worst Birthday and Daisy Daze will follow.

Lyn Vernham, managing director of Choc Lit, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have Hannah on board and are hugely proud of her achievement at Thursday's awards. She is a real talent and her victory doesn't surprise us at all. She joins a very strong line up of writers, all chosen by our incredibly astute selection panel of readers, who are launching Ruby Fiction in superb style. Welcome aboard and congratulations again, Hannah."

Pearl said: "I would like to thank the Choc Lit team and their panel of readers for this opportunity. I am very excited to be joining such a supportive and friendly team, and look forward to sharing my stories with readers in the New Year."

Ruby Fiction, launching in spring 2018, will run alongside Choc Lit and publish books that "don't fit the strict selection criteria of Choc Lit as a brand but which are simply too good to let go". It announced its first three signings as Caroline James, Carol Thomas and Angela Barton. James' The Best Boomerville Hotel will launch the imprint with its release in March 2018.