Wakefield acquires YA novel from critically acclaimed Adelaide author Allayne Webster

Wakefield Press acquires Allayne Webster's THAT THING I DID

We’re delighted to officially announce the acquisition of world rights to Allayne Webster’s young adult fiction novel, That Thing I Did, which Wakefield Press will publish in March 2022.

That Thing I Did is a rollicking road trip with a serious core, exploring issues like the dark side of social media use, teen sexuality and consent, superficiality and authenticity, mental health and friendship.

Told by 17-year-old Taylor Kennedy, it’s the madcap tale of five misfits (and a handful of spooks) on an Adelaide-to-Mt Gambier road trip, in a repurposed hearse … with the mission to fulfil mouthy grandmother Daisy’s dying wish to see her long-lost husband, Errol.

‘I’m thrilled that Allayne Webster is joining our YA list,’ says YA publisher Jo Case. ‘I’ve long been an admirer of her work, and this hilarious, subversively smart story has been a hit in-house already, attracting a cohort of early fans. We’re looking forward to sharing it with an audience.’

‘Set in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, journeying along the coastline to Mount Gambier and back, this novel sings with the authentic, sardonic-edged outsider teen voice that Allayne employed so brilliantly in her critically acclaimed YA novel, The Centre of My Everything, with an affecting blend of vulnerability and grit. You can taste the chips from the local corner shop, visualise the RSL fancy-dress party the gang stumbles into on the road, and feel the ache of the characters’ underlying dilemmas, while enjoying their chemistry.’

Allayne is author of eight books, the recipient of three Arts grants, a twice CBCA Notable and AFAL shortlisted author, also listed in the Davitts, Inkys, and Speech Pathology Awards. Allayne is published in Sweden and Russia, and is a SA Premier’s Reading Challenge Ambassador.

‘I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with Wakefield Press to bring readers a laugh-out-loud young adult comedy set in South Australia,’ says Allayne. ‘A quintessential Aussie tall story, this gloriously twisted yarn was so much fun to write and I hope readers will soon be snorting back tears of laughter. Maybe it should come with a warning: Don’t Consume in Public.’


The novel was acquired at Wakefield Press by Jo Case, YA publisher, who read the manuscript after receiving it via agent Jane Novak.


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