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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

Latest Acquisitions & Adaptations

By Georgie Cutler, Eva Lee, Niamh Parr and Emily Retford

Acquisition News

Pan Macmillan Signs Two-Book Deal with Zen Cho

Pan Macmillan has sealed a two-book deal with Zen Cho, including the acquisition of Cho’s newest novel The Friend Zone Experiment. UK and Commonwealth rights were acquired by Ellah Mwale at Pan Macmillan from Chris Scheina at St Martin’s Press. Zen Cho is an award-winning author of fantasy books including Sorcerer to the Crown and If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again, for which she won, respectively, the British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer and the Hugo Award for Best Novelette. The Friend Zone Experiment is her first romance novel.

It follows Renee Goh, a thirty-year-old Singaporean in London who seems to have it all worked out with her successful clothing business and superstar boyfriend. However, when Renee’s boyfriend breaks up with her, a series of tumultuous events begin to unfold. She receives a call from her father in Singapore, informing her that he is retiring and wants her to become the next CEO of the family business instead of her two troublesome brothers. Then, she has a surprise run-in with an ex-boyfriend – Yap Ket Siong, her first love and first heartbreak – and the precarious spark of romance reappears in her life. Underneath these new chances, dangers brew: a looming battle against her brothers for the business and Yap Ket Siong’s bitter desire for revenge against those who have wronged his family. The Friend Zone Experiment will be published simultaneously in the UK and US in August 2024.

Jonathan Cape lands new novel by Ocean Vuong

Jonathan Cape will publish Ocean Vuong’s new novel The Emperor of Gladness in 2025. The book details the journey of a rebellious young man from New England, who comes to be the sole caretaker for an eighty-two-year-old widow who has dementia. Vuong is already a renowned writer, poet and photographer, with his works including the Sunday Times bestseller On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, which has sold over a million copies. His poetry collection Night Sky With Exit Wounds won the 2019 T. S. Eliot Prize. 

Jonathan Cape’s Publishing Director Hannah Westland stated that The Emperor of Gladness is “breath-taking and profound” (The Bookseller), telling a story that traverses unexpected friendship and the instability and variability of life, through “effervescent prose full of love, wit and intelligence” (The Bookseller). The new novel displays Vuong’s stark talent through literary dexterity and the ability to entwine grit and grace together. Hannah Westland acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Caspian Dennis of Aragi, Inc. North American rights were given to Penguin Press, as well as other international rights being sold. The Emperor of Gladness is set to be published in June 2025.

From Book to Screen

What to Watch?

Bridgerton Series Three Streams This May

“Polin” comes to our screens in this addition to the Bridgerton universe. Series three of Bridgerton sees a more confident Penelope Featherington recruit the help of Colin Bridgerton to help her get her match of the season. This series sees Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton lead the returning cast, which includes Golda Rosheuvel, Adjoa Andoh, Jonathan Bailey, Simone Ashley and Ruth Gemmell. The third series will be available to stream on Netflix in two parts. The first part consists of four episodes and can be streamed from the 16 May 2024. The second part consists of the final four episodes and can be streamed from the 13 June 2024.

In the Works

Universal International Studios Eyes Sci-Fi Sublimation

New debut novel Sublimation written by Isabel J. Kim is the next new target for Universal International Studios for a potential on-screen adaptation. The book, though yet to be released, has been praised by the team at Universal International Studios as a “compelling, fresh and creative first novel” mentioned by Deadline. The official synopsis describes this as a “literary Science Fiction novel” and tells the story of a woman who returns to Seoul and must face her other self, while her childhood friend’s New York self draws her into a conspiracy to control the future of instancing, bringing both versions of him back into her life with global repercussions  (Deadline). With the project still in the early stages, we are yet to see if the adaptation will debut on-screen. The novel has been acquired by Macmillan’s Tor Publishing Group, in a three-part deal with no news of its official release.

New Stars Added to Series 3 of Heartstopper

Jonathan Bailey, Hayley Atwell and Eddie Marsan have been added to the cast of the hit Netflix series Heartstopper (Deadline). The series is based on the graphic novels of the same name by Alice Oseman. The third season sees Charlie and Nick take on the challenges of the new school year with the joy of being in love. Bailey, Atwell and Marsan will join the likes of Joe Locke, Kit Connor, Yasmin Finney, William Gao and Corinna Brown. Netflix released a teaser of Jonathan Bailey’s addition to the series that is available to watch here. The third series will be eight episodes long and can be streamed on Netflix in October 2024.



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