People: Barer, Bender, Bloom & Weed Form The Book Group; Allison to Retire from Berkley

Julie Barer, Faye Bender, Brettne Bloom and Elisabeth Weed are launching The Book Group, a new full-service literary agency. Barer, Bender, and Weed have each spent the past 10 years running their own agencies; Bloom joins from Kneerim, Williams & Bloom, where she spent the past 15 years (and 3 as a partner.) With Bloom's departure her former agency will revert back to its earlier name, Kneerim & Williams. "Brettne is a great agent, and she has all our congratulations on the new venture," Jill Kneerim told us, adding the agency "salutes Bloom in her new enterprise."

In addition, Newbery Award-winning children's author Rebecca Stead, an agency client, also joins The Book Group as a literary agent, representing all categories of fiction, including children's, middle grade, young adult, and adult. Clients of The Book Group include Kristin Cashore, Liane Moriarty, Paula McLain, Elisabeth Egan, Lisa Fain, Joshua Ferris, Sarah Jio, Lily King, Celeste Ng, Allison Winn Scotch, Helen Simonson, J. Courtney Sullivan and Luisa Weiss, among many others.

The Book Group's foreign rights agents includes Anna Geller, who will work with Barer exclusively at TBG, as she did before at Barer's agency; and longstanding co-agents Jenny Meyer, Caspian Dennis, and Lora Fountain, among others.

Berkley Publishing Group  vp, editorial director Susan Allison will retire on July 1 after more than 40 years in publishing, and more than 33 years spent at Penguin. In a note to staff, Berkley NAL Publisher Leslie Gelbman called Allison "a driving force behind Berkley's success" and noted with "mixed emotions" that "her calm, professional manner, her valuable editorial insights, and her willingness to help in all situations, have made her my highly trusted and respected partner for over twenty-five years." Gelbman continued: "I'm incredibly proud of all that Susan and her editorial staff have accomplished for Berkley. Under Susan’s steady leadership, the Berkley team acquired and edited countless books that climbed to the top of bestseller lists, predicted and created new subgenres, achieved pop culture ubiquity, and entertained a wide array of readers around the world. She has been an invaluable colleague and friend to me and all those who have had the pleasure of working with her. I know I speak for all of us when I say she will be greatly missed."

Distribution
Ampersand Inc. will distribute the University of California Press effective immediately.

Finally, we noted Steve Osgoode's previous employment incorrectly. He was vp, digital products at HarperCollins Canada.