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Oh, do I love announcing deal announcements for debut authors! There is something so exciting about a new voice poised to make way into readers’ hearts…

Our latest is Christina Wyman, who caught the eye of the fabulous Joy Peskin at FSG with an essay in the Washington Post  about how wearing masks has been a gift for someone who has always been subconscious about her smile—in Christina’s case, due to having grown up with a facial deformity.  At the bottom of the piece in the bio: "She is working on a children’s book.” Joy reached out, and the rest is history! Well somewhere in there, I was looped in, and offered representation, and now I’m lucky to be along for this ride.

Here’s the official announcement:

Joy Peskin at FSG has acquired, in an exclusive submission, JAWBREAKER, a debut middle-grade novel about a seventh-grader with a craniofacial anomaly that’s caught the attention of her school bullies—including her own sister, for publication in spring 2023. Author Christina Wyman, like the novel’s protagonist, grew up with a Class II malocclusion, which affected the shape of her jaw and therefore her teeth and her smile. Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights. 

I’m so excited about the perspective that Christina brings to this audience. In addition to the facial differences and the bullying, Christina draws on her experience growing up in a family where money was scarce, causing its own set of stresses. The journey that protagonist Max takes in this story is full of growth and self-acceptance, and of moving toward the light in dark times. It’s going to be beautiful.

Christina has been publishing a lot of wonderful essays lately, so give her a Google! Some are under the name Christina Berchini and some under Christina Wyman. In her day job, she is Dr. Wyman, college professor, who was awarded one of two honorable mentions for NCTE’s 2017 National Intellectual Freedom Award for her work in furthering conversations on race and racism.

So many congratulations, Christina!

—Erin