National Book Awards Winners for 2013
James McBride has won the fiction award for The Good Lord Bird from Riverhead Books.
George Packer has won the nonfiction award for The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Mary Szybist won the Poetry award for Incarnadine from Graywolf Press.
The Young People’s Literature award went to Cynthia Kadohata for her book The Thing About Luck from Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
Sally Green, first-time novelist, signs £1m deal for witch books
Sally Green's spellbinding book about witches, Half Bad, has landed her with a £1 million book deal three years after she started writing
After the whirlwind successes of Stephenie Meyer's vampire-themed books, and JK Rowling's world of wizards before them, Sally Green has become the latest author to sign a seven-figure fantasy book deal with her novel about witches.
Green, a 52-year-old former accountant, started writing her debut novel Half Bad three years ago. The thriller, which tells the story of modern witches who live secretly among Britons, has been bought by publishers in 36 countries, from Canada to Ukraine. According to The Guardian, the advances for a trilogy of novels are expected to earn £1million.
Added to that, the film rights to Half Bad have been bought by Fox 2000 and Karen Rosenfelt, producer of The Twilight Saga, based on Meyer's novels, which grossed more than £2 billion at the global box office.
The black and white witches in Half Bad are divided by rivallry but united in their fear of a boy called Nathan, who has ancestry on both sides and is "wanted by no one; hunted by everyone". Green said she never really believed she could write, but after embarking upon the novel's draft found herself "staying up until 2am just writing".
Penguin acquired the novel earlier this year and predicts it will have the Twilight effect for witches, as the novel is predicted to be enjoyed by the young adult and adult markets alike when it is published in March.
Ben Horslen, editorial director of the publisher's Puffin imprint, said Half Bad had an Orwellian aspect, describing it as "Nineteen-Eighty-Four with witches".