Penguin General signs insightful debut novel ‘Music Love Drugs War’ from WriteNow mentee Geraldine Quigley


Fig Tree Publishing Director Juliet Annan has acquired World Rights to a first novel by current WriteNow mentee Geraldine Quigley.

Music Love Drugs War tells the story of a group of teenagers and their families in Derry in 1981. The friends’ interests are music, love, drink and drugs (probably in that order) but some of them will become increasingly consumed by the ongoing war going on around them. Music Love Drugs War will be published in Spring 2019.

Geraldine lives in Derry, Northern Ireland, and works full time in a call centre earning minimum wage. She applied to WriteNow as a way to try to get her voice – one which represents working class women – to be better heard.

Juliet said: “This is a novel that is full of heart: it is moving and funny, it is so touching about this group of friends and their families, and it’s such an amazingly observant portrait of a time and place that you can imagine yourself there at that time and in that place.”   

Geraldine added: "Working with Juliet has been a privilege. With her guidance, I have been encouraged to tell the story of a different time, with as much humour and truth as I could manage. It is a tale of family, friendship, and being young in difficult times, of making the wrong choices for the right reasons.

Penguin General signs insightful debut novel 'Music Love Drugs War' from WriteNow mentee Geraldine Quigley

"I have learned so much of the craft of writing through WriteNow. I showed them a rambling manuscript and they helped me sculpt a novel from it, one that they want to publish - what can I say, other than, thank you."

Geraldine is the second WriteNow mentee to be offered a publishing contract, following the acquisition of Charlene Allcott by Francesca Best of Transworld last week. Working with Juliet for the past six months in a mentoring capacity, Geraldine feels that the programme has developed her skills and confidence as a story teller: “WriteNow told me that I am a writer and that my work is important. They made themselves completely accessible, and for me that access has shown us that publishers and publishing can and should be for everyone.”

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