New book deals!

As an author the question I get asked the most is: what are you writing next? Or When's your next book out? In the past I've not been good at forward planning. After the release of a new book, I usually have only a few vague notes jotted in my phone or a skeleton of a manuscript on my laptop. But in the last few weeks of 2017, I got my act together and signed 2 (2!) book contracts for middle grade readers.

The first is a top sekrit project for Hinkler Books for kids aged 8-12. The writing is well underway and this one should be released in 2018. I can't say much about what it's actually about at this stage (more on that soon, promise!) but I can say it's the wildest research I've ever done for a book (my Google search history is TERRIFYING) and it promises to be a super fun read.

The second is with my home publisher, UQP books. It's a verse novel for middle grade readers called The Little Wave. The story weaves three very different characters together across the northern beaches of Sydney and outback NSW. There's cricket, surfing, bugs, movie nights and pen pals and I can't wait to share it with you sometime in 2019. 

In the meantime, I'm also writing a YA, set in steamy Singapore. Mostly it's just a bunch of notes in my phone and the start of a manuscript, but I hope to have a finished first draft by the end of the year. Goals! 

Whatever you're working on in 2018, good luck. Don't worry about daily word counts or other writer's 3-book deals, 30 overseas sales and movie options. This is YOUR race and you can run it any way you like - fast, slow or stop-start. Find a project that makes your heart beat faster, put your bum in a seat every now and again and get that all-important first draft done. I believe in you. X





Because of You shortlisted for VPLAs!

In a lovely early Christmas gift, Because of You has been shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards (VPLAs) along with two other fab #LoveOzYA books. 

The Judges said these lovely things about my book:

"Author Pip Harry gives readers characters with depth and complexity, ensuring Because of You is not a book about issues, but a book about friendship.

Because of You does include serious issues – homelessness, teenage pregnancy, mental health, and alcohol and drug addiction. It offers the world a taste of stories that aren’t often heard but absolutely need to be. Youth homelessness is a national crisis, with the latest research revealing that 44,000 young people in Australia do not have a safe place to sleep.

The magic of Because of You lies in how Pip Harry uses these themes not as didactic plot points, but to inform an authentic, contemporary setting to Tiny and Nola’s respective struggles to find their own place in the world. The struggles and joys of this quest to belong will resonate with audiences of all ages.

The cast of secondary characters is diverse and delightful, and Pip Harry seduces readers with sharp insights and poetic phrases. Teen readers will be particularly enchanted with the power given to words and stories within this narrative. Stories have value, and the respect and compassion for being young, for making mistakes, for being human, that Pip Harry shares in Because of You is affirming and powerful."

Here's the very short shortlist: 

Writing for Young Adults

  • Living on Hope Street by Demet Divaroren (Allen & Unwin)
  • Ida by Alison Evans (Echo)
  • Because of You by Pip Harry (UQP)

Vote for me in the People's Choice Award here! 





Singapore Writers' Festival event with Jay Asher

In November, I'll be appearing at the Singapore Writers' Festival in a panel with NYT best selling Thirteen Reasons Why author Jay Asher and YA author Simon Chesterman to chat about Unravelling the Teenage Psyche. Here's the official blurb:

12 Nov, Sun 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
60mins HideOut@Funan Showsuite, Junction of High Street and Hill Street          

Teenagers are often a bundle of insecurities. How does one capture their flaws without belittling their vulnerabilities in writing? Thirteen Reasons Why author Jay Asher, YA author Simon Chesterman and teen fiction author Pip Harry discuss exploring teen culture through the relatable characters they create.

Pick up a ticket here:

Melbourne Writers Fest launch for Because of You

Melbournites! YA lovers! Book people! I'm officially launching my new YA novel, Because of You, at the wonderful Melbourne Writers Festival. This is a big bucket list item for me as the very first literary festival I ever attended was the MWF and Melbourne is my hometown. Yay! It's a free public event so please come and say hello if you can.  

Official blurby thing here:

Join award-winning YA author Pip Harry as she launches her latest novel, Because of You. Inspired by her experiences volunteering at a homeless shelter writing group, the book examines human resilience, mental health and life-changing friendship. Harry appears in conversation with Nikki McWatters.

When: 11.30am, Saturday 2 September
Where: Beer DeLuxe, Fed Square

5 Stars From B+P!

Fizzing with excitement over Books + Publishing's recent 5-star review of Because of You.

If you missed it, here it is:

Tiny is homeless. Nola has everything she could ask for. They meet when Nola is forced into volunteer work for the writers’ group at the homeless shelter where Tiny is staying, and at first it seems impossible that two people who are so different could ever be friends. But despite her initial prejudice, Nola quickly learns that there isn’t much separating her from the people who live on the streets. And Tiny begins to see that falling down doesn’t mean you never get back up. Because of You is a story about homelessness, prejudice and the power of words to provide a little hope. At its heart is the friendship between Tiny and Nola, and how this relationship changes both girls at the core. Pip Harry doesn’t shy away from some heavy topics—Tiny’s story is heartbreaking and the details about life on the streets of Sydney is horrifying—but Because of You is ultimately a hopeful story about human resilience and the life-changing power of discovering your best friend. YA readers aged 14 and up who loved John Larkin’s The Shadow Girl and Cath Crowley’s Words in Deep Blue should be diving for this powerful coming-of-age story.

Meg Whelan is the children’s book buyer at the Hill of Content Bookshop