Villard Books plans to reprint ‘Spilling Open’

Publisher pays over $300K for Harrison memoir

NEW YORK — Villard Books has paid more than $300,000 to reprint “Spilling Open: The Art of Being Yourself,” as the first of a two-book deal with Sabrina Ward Harrison. The small-press memoir has made Harrison a guru to women entering their 20s throughout the Pacific Northwest.

A mixed-media collection of journal entries, pastel drawings, matchbook covers, nail polish, leaves and other items that belonged to Harrison, the daughter of TV director John Kent Harrison (“What the Deaf Man Heard”), “Spilling Open” was issued with little fanfare by the Novato, Calif.-based New World Library in February 1999. With 17,500 copies in print, the book has become such a local phenomenon that Jane magazine has taken serial rights to Harrison’s next book and her agent, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh of the Writers Shop, will soon show it to new-media and TV outlets.

“Sabrina’s is a completely refreshing voice,” said Walsh. “She’s an old soul in a young person’s body and that could translate into different types of media.”

The sale is one of the first since Walsh became a partner at the Virginia Barber Literary Agency in January, and since the agency’s name was switched to the Writers Shop.

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