Macmillan Children’s UK announced the creation of two audience-focused publishing divisions, Macmillan Under 6s, to be overseen by publisher Stephanie Barton, and Macmillan Over 6s, led by Venetia Gosling. Both Barton and Gosling will report to Belinda Rasmussen, with Gosling also working with Pan Macmillan publisher Jeremy Trevethan on crossover projects.
Each new division also announced additional promotions: At Under 6s, Suzanne Carnell becomes publishing director, Picture Books & Pre-School, and Jackie McCann moves up to editorial director, Campbell and nursery. At Over 6s, Gaby Morgan has been promoted to editorial director, adding backlist strategy to her existing remit of Non-fiction and Poetry, and Rachel Petty moves up to senior commissioning editor with a particular focus on the Teen and YA segments.
Rasmussen said in a statement: “This new alignment holds transformational value and makes me very confident about the future for Macmillan Children’s Books. It allows us to be increasingly relentless in our focus on target audience, to build our author and illustrator brands and to be creative around delivering content, supported as ever by ingenious promotion.”
In advance of the opening of the next Hunger Games movie Catching Fire on Friday — expected to gross $170 million or more domestically in its opening weekend — Time’s Lev Grossman has been posting a five-part interview with author Suzanne Collins and director Francis Lawrence this week. Collins’ broad theme is: “I think we put our children at an enormous disadvantage by not educating them in war, by not letting them understand about it from a very early age. It’s not about scaring them. The stories didn’t scare me when I was a child, and in these cases they’re fictionalized. Gregor is set in a fantasy world and The Hunger Games is set far in the future. I don’t get the sense that the young readers are frightened by them. I think they’re intrigued by them and in some ways I think they’re relieved to see the topic discussed.”
Audio rights agent at Trident Media Group Mark Gottlieb has been promoted to literary & audio rights and will take on publishing clients of his own in addition to handling the agency’s audio list.
Author and children’s book editor Charlotte Zolotow, 98, died on Tuesday at home in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. Zolotow worked for Harper for many years, and had her own imprint, Charlotte Zolotow Books. She wrote over 70 picture books, which Margalit Fox in the NYT calls “cleareyed explorations of the interior landscape of childhood by one who had obviously not forgotten what it felt like to dwell there. Delicately, with surgical precision, they plumbed children’s interior lives, often ranging over loneliness, loss, longing and other painful topics that earlier generations of children’s books had either sugarcoated or ignored outright.”
Overdrive has launched a pilot version of their new streaming video lending service (e.g. Netflix for libraries) at the Los Angeles Public Library, as the company prepares “to roll it out to their entire network.” They note that company executives “have been busy in California talking with major motion picture studios, and big announcements are coming soon. Thousands of additional titles in all genres from major studios, including Hollywood blockbusters, will be added on a continual basis.”