Twitter has long been the place for storytelling. And now one talented author has secured her debut publishing deal through the power of the platform.
Budding writer Laura McVeigh (@lcmcveigh) pitched her idea for a novel in a Tweet to literary agents Curtis Brown (@CBGBooks) as part of their monthly #PitchCB initiative.
Last month the hashtag - which invites aspiring authors to pitch their novels to agents using just 140 characters - received more than 17.5m impressions on the platform.
Laura’s Tweet was noticed and ‘liked’ by CEO Jonny Geller and now her book will be published by Two Roads (@TwoRoadsBooks) in Spring 2017. Curtis Brown has received offers to publish in five territories already, including inked deals in Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
The Almond Tree is a heart-breaking story of a family fleeing the Taliban in the 1990s, taking refuge on the never ending journey of the Trans-Siberian Express across Russia, told by Samar, a 15 year old girl. Samar’s love of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and ability to tell herself stories keeps her sanity and ultimately saves her life.
Jonny Geller, Joint-CEO of Curtis Brown said: “We had hoped to find talented new writers with the Twitter #PitchCB venture, but to find a writer as assured and gifted as Laura McVeigh was beyond my wildest imaginings.
“The Almond Tree sings as a novel – a heart-breaking story told from the perspective of a teenage girl who survives war and fundamentalism in Afghanistan whilst living on the Trans-Siberian Express – is one of the best debuts I’ve read for a long while.
“It is no surprise to find international publishers jumping at this new talent. I hope it gives hope to all aspiring writers that we are looking for new voices and they can come from Twitter”.
Laura told Twitter: “Last summer I had finished the draft of my first novel, The Almond Tree, and had just started working on my second book, The Plantation House when I heard an interview with Becky Ritchie from Curtis Brown on Radio4’s You and Yours programme. They were talking about a new Twitter initiative for aspiring writers called #PitchCB. Listeners were invited to tweet their novel ideas in 140 characters. An interesting challenge to take. So I did.
“Jonny Geller, CEO at Curtis Brown, ‘liked’ my tweet. I then actually submitted my first novel, The Almond Tree, to Jonny not long after and to a handful of other agents. Jonny immediately asked to see the rest of the manuscript and a couple of days later we met.
“I was very lucky to receive offers of representation within a week from most of the agents I approached but Jonny and Curtis Brown stood out. They aren’t afraid to try new, innovative ways of connecting with writers – running Discovery Day and #CBCreative as well. And now The Almond Tree will be published in different languages and countries around the world with thanks to #PitchCB and Twitter!”