Bonnier Zaffre has hired Felicity Johnston as its new commissioning editor at children’s imprints Hot Key Books and Piccadilly Press. She replaces Tilda Johnson, who is leaving the company in August.
Johnston is currently a commissioning editor of children’s fiction and non fiction at Hachette Children’s Group and will join Bonnier in September.
Tilda Johnson is leaving Bonnier to go travelling before setting herself up as a freelance editor.
Jackie McCann, previously editorial director for Campbell Books at Macmillan Children’s Books, is moving to Penguin Random House Children’s to take on the role of publisher at Ladybird.
McCann will be responsible for commissioning new publishing at Ladybird, drive a refresh of its backlist and look at new digital developments. She will also develop the ‘vintage Ladybird’ publishing strand.
Francesca Dow, m.d. for Penguin Random House Children’s, said: “This is a key new appointment for our business which signals our excitement and ambition for Ladybird and its role in shaping and driving the children’s pre-school market.”
McCann’s appointment follows a reorganisation of the Ladybird team in April that saw Shannon Cullen take on the role of publishing director and Kate Head become publisher for education and international.
Anna James is joining the Sylvie Zannier Literary Scouting agency as a scout for children’s and YA books. She is taking over from Helen Boyle who is moving to agency Picked Ink.
James is the literary editor of Elle magazine and a freelance journalist.
In a highly newsworthy appointment, Sarah Hughes (previously at Puffin and currently at Egmont) is moving to HarperCollins:
HarperCollins Children’s Books has hired Sarah Hughes, currently publishing director at Egmont, as its fiction publisher.
Hughes will lead the fiction team in the newly-created role…
Her team will include fiction publishing director Nick Lake, editorial director Harriet Wilson and commissioning editor Lizzie Clifford.
Viking Children’s Books has announced a reorganization that eliminates senior editor Sharyn November’s position. November joined Penguin in 1990 as an associate editor at the Puffin Books imprint, and was editorial director of the Firebird imprint, established in 2002.
In a statement on Twitter she said, “Leaving is hard—but I’m excited to see what’s next, and what publishing/editorial opportunities arise.”
Sarah Odedina, former m.d. of Hot Key Books and children’s publisher at Oneworld, has been appointed to the new role of editor-at-large of Pushkin Children’s Books.
Odedina will acquire and edit up to six titles per year for Pushkin Children’s Books.
Pushkin publisher and managing director, Adam Freudenheim, said Odedina was “undoubtedly one of the great children’s editors in the UK.”
He said: "In less than three years since its launch Pushkin Children’s Books has become a major part of our entire publishing programme. I’m a huge admirer of Sarah’s editorial nous and look forward to seeing what gems she brings to the Pushkin Children’s list which we look to grow even further in the coming years."
Literary agent Arabella Stein right has joined illustrator agency Bright Group international’s London office.Stein, whose official title at Bright is senior agent, reports directly to m.d. and founder Vicki Willden-Lebrecht. She will take on some of the company’s existing clients as well as looking for new talent.Stein told The Bookseller she wanted to help her clients to have as broad a career as possible. “The market for children’s books is exciting globally, not just in the UK. We are going to be looking at doing everything we can do for our illustrators. Yes, it’s about picture books, but also activity, educational and commercial work.” Bright Group is particularly interested in helping its lesser-known artists become brands, she added.
Thomas, who is currently fiction editorial director at Scholastic, will acquire titles across the Orion Children’s and Indigo YA lists, and will report to m.d. and publisher Fiona Kennedy.
“We’re delighted to welcome Helen to the Orion Children’s team as our editorial director and look forward to working with her,” said Kennedy. “Her experience and keen eye for the very best books will make a great contribution to our list.”
Thomas, who has also worked for Walker Books, added: “I’m thrilled to be joining the brilliant team at Orion Children’s Books, particularly at such an exciting time for Hachette Children’s. I’ve long admired Orion’s rich and varied list, with its wonderfully talented authors and strong core value of excellent story-telling.”
Jane Harris is to join the Bonnier Publishing Fiction division as executive director for children’s fiction.
Harris will report to recently appointed Bonnier Publishing Fiction c.e.o. Mark Smith, and will be responsible for all the company’s children’s fiction output, including imprints Hot Key Books and Piccadilly Press.
Harris and Smith previously worked together at Quercus, where Smith was founder and c.e.o. and Harris was executive director of sales and marketing, after a previous role in children’s publishing as sales and trade marketing director for Walker Books. Harris left Quercus last July following its acquisition by Hodder, and subsequently took up a role as interim m.d. at Inpress.
Her appointment at Bonnier in the children’s fiction role follows on from the surprise announcement late last year that Sarah Odedina, who launched Hot Key in 2012, was stepping down from the position with immediate effect.
Sarah Odedina leaving Hot Key, The Bookseller reports:
Bonnier, which owns Hot Key, made no comment on Odedina’s departure apart from saying the search for her replacement had started. Odedina will stay at the company until 30th April 2015 but Bonnier did not say in what capacity that will be.
Odedina launched Hot Key Books in 2012 after leaving her position as group editor-in-chief for children’s books at Bloomsbury, where she oversaw J K Rowling’s Harry Potter series.