Better Than


Transworld has acquired an unmissable collection of recently rediscovered short stories by the late Sir Terry Pratchett. The collection, titled A Stroke of the Pen: The Lost Stories, will be published on 5th October 2023.

Larry Finlay, MD, and Charlotte Trumble, Assistant Editor, acquired world rights in a six-figure deal from Jon Wood at RCW, on behalf of the Pratchett Estate.

A Stroke of the Pen will contain twenty short stories by Pratchett dating from the 1970s and 1980s. Written for a regional newspaper, mostly under the pseudonym Patrick Kearns, these stories had never been attributed to Pratchett until now, and may never have been found if not for a few dedicated fans.

One of the longer stories, 'The Quest for the Keys', had been framed on Pratchett fan Chris Lawrence's wall for over forty years. When he alerted the Pratchett Estate to its existence, the rest of the stories were unearthed by fans Pat and Jan Harkin who went through decades' worth of old newspapers to rediscover the lost treasures.

Whilst none of the stories are set in the Discworld, they hint at the world Sir Terry would go on to create in his hugely successful, bestselling series, containing his trademark wit, satirical intelligence, and fantastic imagination. Readers can expect to meet characters ranging from cavemen to gnomes, wizards to ghosts, and read about time travel tourism, the haunting of Council offices, and a visitor from another planet.

The final ever 'new' writing to be published from one of the world's best loved authors, this will be a must have for Pratchett fans of all ages. Transworld will publish in a beautiful gift edition hardback in October 2023.

Larry Finlay said: 'A Stroke of the Pen is such an exciting treasure trove of unearthed riches. Reading Terry's rediscovered stories is going to be a joy for his army of fans as they spot nascent characters and settings that were to define his long career as one of the most exciting and inventive writers there has ever been.'

Rob Wilkins said: 'The rediscovery of these stories is nothing short of a miracle and represents the last 'new' Pratchett material we are ever likely to find. Whilst Terry was always very focussed on the next novel and maintained that his unpublished works should never be released, he always held a grudging admiration for his younger self's work, and he would be tickled to see these stories celebrated in one wonderful volume. The stories from the beginning of his career, before he became the Terry Pratchett we know and love, are no less inspired and give real insight into the development of his creative genius.'

Chris Lawrence said: 'The Quest for the Keys resonated with me as a 15-year-old, which is why I made the effort to collect each part. I treasured and kept them safe for over 35 years. Having survived numerous house-moves, little did I know of their importance. Following contact with Colin Smythe, I realised just how significant they were.'

Colin Smythe said: 'For all the years I was Terry's publisher and then agent he never ever gave me any help in finding his shorter writings - but as he wrote in his dedication to me in Dragons at Crumbling Castle, there were stories he had carefully hidden away. Just how true these words were, I had no idea.'

For rights enquiries please contact Lucy Beresford-Knox at Penguin Random House: LBeresford-

For publicity enquiries please contact Milly Reid at Transworld:

ISBN: 9780857529633
RRP: £20.00
Also available in ebook and audiobook

A Stroke of the Pen: The Lost Stories, will be published in a beautiful gift edition hardback, with special editions to be announced later this year.

Pre-Order Links for standard hardback

Note: When you pre-order from the links above we earn a small commission. This helps us to keep reporting the news to you in an orderly manner.
Facebook Twitter X Instagram Kofi Tumblr YouTube