After the success of her previous YA novels, we are thrilled that Danielle Jawando will return with two more YA titles in 2023 and 2024, published by Simon & Schuster Children’s Books.

Her debut YA novel, And The Stars Were Burning Brightly, was celebrated far and wide. Not only was it the winner of the Best Senior Novel at the Great Reads Award, it was also shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the YA Book Prize, the Jhalak Children’s & YA Prize, and the Branford Boase Award. In addition to this astonishing list, it was also longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, the UKLA Book Awards and the Amazing Book Awards.

Danielle also recently celebrated the publication of her second title, When Our Worlds Collided, in March.

Amina Youssef, Commissioning Editor at Simon & Schuster Children’s Books, acquired the rights to If My Words Had Wings, which is due to publish in May 2023 with a second standalone YA to follow in 2024.

If My Words Had Wings is a life-affirming story of rehabilitation and hope after prison. It follows seventeen-year-old Tyrell who discovers spoken word while he’s behind bars, and finally finds his voice. Written in both prose and verse, the novel bridges the gap between traditional storytelling and poetry, creating a unique offering from a truly unique author.

Danielle Jawando says: ‘I’ve been wanting to write a YA novel that shines a light on the youth offender prison system, rehabilitation and the transformative power of art for such a long time. Tyrell’s story is a reality for so many young people whose experiences we don’t often get to see represented in literature. I’m so thrilled and excited to be continuing my publishing journey with the wonderful team at S&S. I can’t think of a more perfect home for If My Words Had Wings!!’

Amina Youssef says: ‘Danielle Jawando is an extraordinary YA author who writes compassionate and thought-provoking stories that speak to the very essence of teen readers. If My Words Had Wings is another literary masterpiece that plays with form and explores the incredibly powerful and important topics of the youth offender prison system and rehabilitation. We couldn’t be prouder to publish such an inimitable talent on the unrivaled S&S YA list.’

Literary Agent, Chloe Seager, says: ‘Danielle is quite simply a phenomenal talent and just when I think her next book can’t be any more sensational than the last, she proves me wrong. I can’t think of a better writer to tackle such an important subject.’

Danielle Jawando is an author, screenwriter and Lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her previous publications include the non-fiction children’s book Maya Angelou (Little Guides to Great Lives), the short stories Paradise 703 (long-listed for the Finishing Line Press Award) and The Deerstalker (selected as one of six finalists for the We Need Diverse Books short story competition), as well as several short plays performed in Manchester and London. Danielle has also worked on Coronation Street as a storyline writer.

Congratulations, Danielle!