Book deal thanks to XpoNorth Tweet Pitch

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Debut writer wins book deal thanks to XpoNorth New Year Tweet Pitch 

In January 2017 Fife-based writer Esther Rutter decided to quit her day job to write and knit her way round the British Isles, combining locally-produced wool and historic knitting patterns to explore UK’s long love affair with wool.

After entering writer development agency’s XpoNorth’s Tweet Your Pitch competition on 6 January 2017 with her idea for This Golden Fleece, Esther attracted the attention of Edinburgh literary agent Jenny Brown. There was a flurry of interest in the book at the London Book Fair, and, after a two-way auction, world rights in the book were won by Bella Lacey, Editorial Director of Granta Books in April. This Golden Fleece is due to be published by Granta Books in Autumn 2019.

Esther Rutter

Esther Rutter commented: “Tweet Your Pitch is a fantastic initiative, enabling new non-fiction writers like me to grab the attention of publishers and agents with a dash of chutzpah and a good idea. Without this competition it would have taken me much longer to attract not only a well-respected and experienced agent, but also a fantastic publisher and the opportunity to be a Writer in Residence. Thank you XpoNorth for making my long-held dream of becoming a writer into a reality.”

Bella Lacey of Granta said: “I’ve been captivated by Esther Rutter’s absorbing history of wool and her intimate, inspiring mediation of the craft and history of knitting. She’s an instinctive storyteller, with a brilliant eye for detail, and brings startling new, and forgotten, histories to the surface. I’m thrilled to be welcoming her to the Granta list.”

Following a successful pilot in 2016, XpoNorth’s writing and publishing network worked with Scottish publishers and agents in a New Year tweet pitch session on Friday 6th January 2017.   Scottish-based writers were given the opportunity to pitch their unpublished books to agents and publishers using the hashtag #xpo.  Hundreds of ideas were pitched in the 24 hours.

XpoNorth’s next initiative for new writers is a live pitch session in Inverness at Scotland’s premier creative industries festival, XpoNorth, on Wednesday 7 June.  Find out more about XpoNorth and register for your free delegate pass here:
THIS GOLDEN FLEECE tells the story of Britain’s long love affair with wool, and its influence on our history, landscape, and culture. Esther Rutter – who grew up on a sheep farm in Suffolk, and learned to spin, weave and knit as a child – travels the length of the British Isles from Shetland to the West Country, unearthing fascinating histories of communities shaped by the wool trade. Along the way, she makes garments connected to those places – a pair of gloves, a scarf, socks, a fisherman’s jumper, a blanket – reminding us of the value of local craft and our long and complex relationship with wool.
You can follow Esther’s adventures on Instagram @thisgoldenfleece and Twitter @thisgoldfleece.