JK Rowling announced on Twitter that she has written a play — Harry Potter and Cursed Child — that will open in London’s West End next summer. She calls it “a collaboration” with writer Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany, along with singer-songwriter Imogen Heap. Tickets will go on sale this fall, and the production will be stated at the Palace Theatre. The theater’s website says the play “will explore the backstory leading up to Harry’s parents untimely death at the hands of Lord Voldemort.”
Rowling writes, “I’ve had countless offers to extend Harry’s story over the years, but Jack, John and Sonia Friedman are a dream team!” Saying “it is not a prequel” but rather an “untold part of Harry’s story,” Rowling tells fans: “Why isn’t #CursedChild a new novel? I am confident that when audiences see the play they will agree that it was the only proper medium for the story.”
Marian Brown joins Blue Rider Press/Plume as executive publicist on June 29. She has owned and operated her own publicity firm, Marian Brown Public Relations, for the past eight years and before then was publicity director at Bloomsbury.
At the Crown Publishing Group, Christopher Brand has been promoted to vp, creative director, where he will continue to oversee cover design for Crown, Hogarth, Archetype, Tim Duggan Books, Broadway, and Three Rivers Press, while also taking on additional design oversight responsibility for Crown Business, Crown Forum, and Convergent Books. In addition, Brand will also now oversee art direction for Harmony’s non-illustrated titles and continue to lead the design of all of Crown’s corporate branding projects.
In the UK, co-founder of The Book People Seni Glaister is stepping down as ceo (though remaining as a diretor of the company), and starting a new company. She tells the Bookseller: “I’m going to surround myself with astonishingly clever, nice people and I’m going to set out to do two things: to attempt to solve an intellectual conundrum and, separately, to provide a service nobody yet knows they need.”
William Wellesley will take over as ceo. He was joint managing director at Molton Brown and group chief operating officer at GEMS Education before that, and joined The Book People in January.
Georgina Le Grice will join Ed Victor Ltd as head of translation rights. She is currently rights and co-editions manager at Pan Macmillan, and as the The Marsh Agency before that.
Johnson & Alcock has acquired the Fox Mason literary agency and is taking on their authors as well as associate agent Becky Thomas. Founder Ben Mason is moving to San Francisco to pursue a new field.
Spiegel & Grau has moved up the release date of Ta-Nehisi Coates‘ Between the World and Me to July 14 (from September 8.) The publisher says in a statement they are moving up publication because the book “offers a powerful new framework for understanding America’s history and current crisis, and a transcendent vision for a way forward.” Executive editor Chris Jackson told the WSJ: “We started getting massive requests from people [for advance copies.] It spoke to this moment. We started to feel pregnant with this book. We had this book that so many people wanted.”
Bonnier Publishing has made the first of what fiction ceo Mark Smith says will be “several acquisitions we anticipate on the fiction side of our business.” They have acquired fiction publisher Totally Entwined, founded in 2006 by Claire Siemaszkiewicz.
Penguin Random House rolled out an upgraded version of their Authors Portal — now incorporating Penguin authors — which is previewed in a video on the portal home page. The site includes a wealth of features, though for most authors the first and biggest draw is the detailed sales data and sales tracking. (Disclosure: PRH authors also have access to publishing news, bestseller and review data licensed through PublishersMarketplace APIs.)