September 19, 2016 | Press


Creative writing tutor has penned novel narrated by character with severe cerebral palsy 

 Egmont Publishing UK has announced it will be publishing a gripping and unique YA thriller on its Electric Monkey list in May 2017.

I Have No Secrets is a YA debut by Penny Joelson, a creative writing tutor at The City Literary Institute.  The book is narrated by Jemma, a 14-year-old girl with severe cerebral palsy.  Due to her condition, Jemma relies on her family and carer for everything – she has no secrets of her own.  But sometimes, because people forget that just because she can’t move or communicate, it doesn’t mean she’s not listening, watching and thinking – so they tell her their secrets.  And her carer’s boyfriend Dan has confessed a horrible one.  He’s murdered someone, and Jemma is powerless to do anything about it.  But all that could be about to change…

Stella Paskins, Fiction Publisher, acquired world rights in all languages for I Have No Secrets from Anne Clark at the Anne Clark Literary Agency in a two book deal and said, ‘I’m absolutely delighted to be publishing such a unique and unputdownable novel.  Jemma’s voice is incredible.  She may be unable to move or speak, but her mind is sharp, her observations are wry and her nature is inquisitive.  Besides being a voice of diversity in teenage and YA fiction, I think Jemma also speaks for all children who feel powerless or frustrated because adults ignore or won’t listen to them.’

 Penny Joelson said, ‘I’m really thrilled that I Have No Secrets has found such passionate champions with the team at Electric Monkey, I’m looking forward to all of the exciting things to come!’

I Have No Secrets will publish 4th May 2017 and be priced at £7.99.  Joelson’s second book with Electric Monkey will publish in 2018.


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Notes to Editors

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Maggie Eckel, Press Officer on 020 3220 0429, or at


About Electric Monkey

Launched in 2102, Electric Monkey is Egmont Publishing’s dedicated teen and YA imprint, publishing top quality fiction that is both memorable and desirable.  Our list includes some of the most unique voices in teen and YA fiction from both sides of the pond.  We’re the UK home of US authors Michael Grant, David Levithan, and Andrew Smith, and also publish top UK talent like Kevin Brooks, Lisa Heathfield and Elizabeth Wein.

Each of our authors has a standout voice and something new and different to say – together they make up a list that tackles topics from diversity, to friendship, to giant bugs, making Electric Monkey a list that encompasses truly high voltage reading.

About Egmont Publishing

In the UK, Egmont Publishing is the leading specialist children’s publisher for babies to teens, inspiring children to read through more than 25 million award-winning books, magazines, ebooks and apps sold each year. We’re proud to be home to many of the world’s favourite stories and best-loved authors, illustrators and characters such as Michael Morpurgo, Andy Stanton, Enid Blyton, Julia Donaldson, Lemony Snicket, Michael Grant (Gone series and BZRK), Winnie-the-Pooh, Tintin, Mr. Men, Thomas & Friends, Disney Princess, Ben 10, Fireman Sam, Angry Birds, Minecraft and Star Wars.

Egmont Publishing is part of Egmont, a leading Danish media group, with activities in 30 countries and 6,600 employees. Our media world includes Nordisk Film, TV2 in Norway, cinemas, book publishers, educational publishers and PlayStation, as well as a number of partly owned film companies, including Zentropa.

Egmont is a commercial foundation that generates revenue amounting to EUR 1.6 billion. Every year we donate over EUR 10 million to help improve the lives of children and young people.