James Jayo has joined Penguin as senior editor. Previously, he was at Sterling.
Two longtime Penguin Random House sales executives will retire soon. VP, group sales director, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group Janet Cooke will leave at the end of the year, and Christopher Dufault is being promoted to that position. SVP, director of adult hardcover sales, Penguin Publishing Group John Lawton is retiring in the spring (having worked for Penguin since 1996), and vp, group sales director Lauren Monaco will expand her oversight to all of the division’s imprints.
Additionally, Cynthia Lasky is formally named svp, group sales director for the newly-combined Random House & Crown. Candice Chaplin is promoted to the new position of vp, backlist sales, Penguin Random House adult.
Separately, at Random House Children’s, Megan Mitchell joins as marketing coordinator; she was previously marketing coordinator for St. Martin’s. Whitney Leopard joins as senior editor for Random House Graphic; she was previously editor at BOOM! Studios. Audrey Steuerwald has been promoted to assistant art director for the trade marketing team.
Lionsgate and Common’s Freedom Road Productions are developing a limited series based on Zora Neale Hurston‘s Barracoon, which was published for the first time earlier this year.
Separately, Netflix has licensed rights to many works by Roald Dahl, for adaptation into animated series, produced in conjunction with the Roald Dahl Story company. The deal includes Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; The BFG; The Twits; Matilda; and many others. Production on the first series will begin in 2019. Dahl’s wife Felicity Dahl said, “Our mission, which is purposefully lofty, is for as many children as possible around the world to experience the unique magic and positive message of Roald Dahl’s stories. This partnership with Netflix marks a significant move toward making that possible and is an incredibly exciting new chapter for the Roald Dahl Story Company. Roald would, I know, be thrilled.”
Sarah Jessica Parker‘s latest pick for the ALA’s Book Club Central is Heartland by Sarah Smarsh.
Columbus, Ohio’s Prologue Bookshop opened on November 21, the first independent bookstore in the Short North neighborhood in more than a decade. The 1,100 square-foot store was designed to fit in with the “upscale and touristy” location.
Harlequin announced a multi-part Feel Good Project, “designed to explore the power of positive experiences,” under the direction of vp, marketing, general fiction Merjane Schoueri. The initiative includes a Creator Fund, “designed to attract and support a wide range of new and established female content creators.” It will “aim to award financial grants to storytellers in order to provide them with an opportunity to complete their manuscripts with Harlequin.” The first selection period opens in January, with a call to “female writers of uplifting stories in three categories—novels, television and movies.” Winners will “receive funding and guidance to complete and package their story ideas for advancement. Details on selection criteria, submission format and rules will be available shortly.”