The Godfather of YA is Back: Melvin Burgess Returns to Andersen Press with The Lost Witch

Andersen Press is proud to announce the return of Melvin Burgess to the list with The Lost Witch, his first new novel with Andersen since Nicholas Dane in 2009.

Described by Michael Rosen as “A Dickens of the future” and by Juno Dawson as “one of the founding fathers of modern teen fiction”, Melvin Burgess’ iconic novel Junk was published over 20 years ago by Andersen Press to critical and commercial success, heralding a new era of novels for young adults.

Charlie Sheppard, publishing director at Andersen Press bought world rights from Caradoc King at AP Watt.

The Lost Witch is a powerful, thrilling fantasy for young adults about magic, myth and following your instincts.

Bea has started to hear and see things that no one else can – creatures, voices, visions. Then strangers visit Bea and tell her she is different: she has the rare powers of a witch. They warn her she is being hunted. Her parents think she is hallucinating and needs help.

All Bea wants to do is get on with her life, and to get closer to Lars, the mysterious young man she has met at the skate park. But her life is in danger, and she must break free. The question is – who can she trust?

Melvin Burgess describes the process of writing, The Lost Witch is the first book that I’ve felt really committed to for a long time. It’s given me a chance to explore a world that people everywhere believed in for hundreds of thousands of years and rebuilding that world in the modern day has been a remarkable experience. I hope that comes across in the reading of it.”

Klaus Flugge, founder and publisher at Andersen Press has said of Melvin’s return to the list, “I am very proud to be Melvin Burgess’ first ever publisher, working with him since 1990 through major successes including winning the Carnegie Medal in 1996 with Junk. To bring him back to our list with The Lost Witch feels like a real homecoming and we’re delighted to be publishing such a fantastic book.”

On the deal Melvin has said, “I’m delighted to be back with Andersen Press. Small is beautiful as they say, and small publishers don’t get any prettier than Andersen. Special thanks go to my editor Charlie Shepherd, it was she who suggested witches in the first place and guided me all the way through. Hard experience has taught me that I cannot do good without a good editor, and Charlie is the best.”

The book’s release will be backed up by a large scale publicity and marketing campaign, with appearances from Melvin at festivals and events over the summer and autumn, including special events at YALC, Edinburgh International Book Festival and more. Proofs are on the way out to the trade now.

Andersen Press will release The Lost Witch in hardback on 2nd August