Jack Scovil, a literary agent for more than 40 years and founding partner of Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency, died last week after a brief illness. He was 74. Scovil began his career and spent 20 years at the Scott Meredith Agency, leaving in 1992 to start the agency with Russell Galen and then-partner Ted Chicack. Among the authors Scovil worked with during his career included Norman Mailer, Carl Sagan, Arthur C. Clarke, Walter Anderson, Edward Klein, Larry Smith, Margaret Truman, and James Brady. Scovil was active in the firm’s affairs and the representation of his own clients until the onset of a brief illness just days before his death.
Courtney Young will join Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as a senior editor in the New York office starting April 16. She was most recently a senior editor for Portfolio, Current, and Sentinel. (Before joining Penguin she worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.)
Claudia Cross has joined Folio Literary Management. She was at Sterling Lord Literistic, and represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction, including religious and spiritual titles, romance, women’s fiction, and cookbooks.
The UK’s Granta Publications is reorganizing the commissioning of books at its two imprints. Editorial director of Portobello Books Laura Barber is now also acquiring English-language fiction and non-fiction as a senior editor for Granta Books. Portobello is narrowing its focus back to literature in translation and issue-led non-fiction.
Meredith Kaffel is joining DeFiore and Company as an agent on March 19. She has been at the Charlotte Sheedy Agency for six years, and will continue to represent books for children (including YA and middle grade) as well as fiction, literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, history, and pop culture/humor.
At Chronicle Books, Laura Lee Mattingly has been promoted to editor, lifestyle and Amy Treadwell is now senior editor, food and drink.
Roxanna Aliaga has joined Insight Editions as senior editor. She was with Counterpoint for six years, first as managing editor and then editor-at-large.
At Samhain Publishing, managing editor Lindsey Faber has been promoted to publisher, overseeing day-to-day operations, while company founder Christina Brashear remains as president.
Pablo Defendini announced on Twitter that he has left Open Road and is working for Safari Online, still based in New York.
Kate Lyall-Grant has been promoted to publisher at Severn House.
The Book Report Network has launched 20SomethingReads.com, a book website for readers in their twenties, the seventh addition to their network of editorial sites.