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June 9, 2022

Student Signs Multi-Book Deal for Debut Novel

Keith F. Miller, Jr.
Keith F. Miller, Jr. Photo: Alexey Kim

Pritty, a young-adult novel penned by Keith F. Miller, Jr., a student in the M.F.A. program in creative writing at St. Francis College (SFC), has been acquired by HarperCollins Children’s Books as part of a multi-book deal.

Book one will be published in the fall of 2023, while book two will hit shelves the following autumn. Written by Miller more than a decade ago, Pritty tells the story of Jay, a Black queer boy growing up in Savannah in the early 2000s.

“It’s not every day that a student lands a multi-book deal before graduating,” noted Miller. “I’m grateful to SFC for teaching me critical skills and for the incredible support of amazing faculty who saw the potential in the story and pushed me to rewrite the novel.” Miller worked on the manuscript for Pritty with program mentor Yahdon Israel, a senior editor at Simon & Schuster.

“He’s an extraordinary talent with a unique vision and a story to tell,” said Theo Gangi, director of SFC’s low-residency M.F.A. program in creative writing, about Miller. “We are very proud of the book he is bringing into the world and honored to be present for the launch of his career.” Lecturer Hannah Assadi added, “Keith is an innovative, imaginative and deeply empathetic writer, and I am so excited for the wider world to be graced with his debut novel, Pritty.” Fellow lecturer Lincoln Michel echoed Assadi’s sentiment, saying, “Pritty is a high-octane novel that knocked our classes’ collective socks off in workshop.”

With more than 10 years of experience as an artist and educator, Miller is known nationally for his work supporting boys and young men of color in healing from trauma and has spearheaded a variety of youth arts, leadership, social justice and community engagement initiatives. The founder of Healing by Any Means, he works to “power people, projects and research in service of narrative change,” combining his passion for fearless storytelling and healing-centered work rooted in the BIPOC experience.

While Miller works toward the publication of Pritty, he is serving as the executive producer of the eponymous Kickstarter project to turn it into an animated short film. To learn more, visit Pritty: The Animation.

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