Publishing News

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt fired 525 employees on the first of October, fol­lowed by more than 150 employees who took early retirement in September. In all, their workforce has dropped by over 20%, from about 3,3000 to 2,600. They have implemented other cost-cutting measures, most related to the increased popularity of ebooks and a new “digital first” approach.

Harper Children’s has announced changes at their Harper imprint. Director of publishing VP ...Read More

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HMH for Sale

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) announced it will explore selling its publishing company, HMH Books & Media.

The potential sale would reduce debt and build on the Company’s October 1 restructuring to align its cost structure to its digital-first, connected strategy, and create a pure-play learning technology company. The Company has engaged Centerview Partners to explore the potential sale of HMH Books & Media.

Jack Lynch, president and CEO of HMH, ...Read More

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Sheree Renée Thomas Named New F&SF Editor

Sheree Renée Thomas will be the new editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction starting with the March/April 2021 issue, replacing current editor C.C. Finlay, who is stepping down to devote more time to his writing. Gordon Van Gelder remains as publisher. Thomas will be the tenth editor in F&SF‘s history, which is currently in its 71st year of publication.

To prepare for the transition, F&SF closed to ...Read More

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Staff Changes at Augur

Canadian speculative fiction magazine Augur has announced changes to its editorial staff, via Twitter. Editor-in-chief Alex De Pompa will be leaving after 2020. He will be replaced by current poetry editor Terese Mason Pierre and managing editor Lawrence Stewen as co-editors-in-chief. Victoria Liao will become managing editor, and Kerrie Seljak-Byrne will remain as publisher.

Other changes include graphic fiction editor Amy Wang promoted to senior editor, comics and illustration; assistant ...Read More

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Harlan and Susan Ellison Trust

J. Michael Straczynski announced that he was appointed executor of the Harlan and Susan Ellison Trust. He says,

Looking after all this, and seeing to Harlan and Susan’s wishes, is something I will likely be doing for the rest of my life.

Everything that Harlan ever owned, did or wrote will be fiercely protected. Steps are being taken to certify Ellison Wonderland as a cultural landmark, ensuring that it will ...Read More

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Spectrum 28 Submissions Delayed

Submissions for Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art #28 have been delayed until 2021, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cathy & Arnie Fenner, who recently replaced John Fleskes as directors of the Spectrum Fantastic Art competi­tion and editors of the annual art book, said,

We believe the responsible thing for us to do is to delay opening Spectrum 28 for submissions until after the first of the ...Read More

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New PS Imprint: Absinthe Books

UK small press PS Publishing has launched a new imprint, Absinthe Books, with author/editor Marie O’Regan serving as managing editor. The imprint’s “remit is to publish a wide range of authors and material, predominantly but not exclusively new to PS Publishing.”

The first titles are novellas Mr. Sandman by S.J.I. Holliday, Broken Things: A Tale of Durstan by George Mann, and On the Shoulders of Otava by Laura Mauro, launching ...Read More

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People & Publishing Roundup, October 2020


HOWARD V. HENDRIX‘s home near Shaver Lake CA was destroyed in the Creek Fire in September 2020, shortly after the area received an evacuation order. He and his wife are “displaced persons staying in a motel in Fresno.” He wrote about the experience for the San Francisco Chronicle: <>.

FRAN WILDE is the Fall 2020 Pearl S. Buck Writer in (remote) Residence at Randolph College, beginning in October. ...Read More

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Random House Launches New Children’s/YA Imprint

Random House Children’s Books has announced a new middle grade and YA imprint, Labyrinth Road, with a focus on contemporary fantasy and realistic literary novels. Liesa Abrams will serve as vice president and editor-in-chief of the imprint, effective November 9, 2020. Abrams was most recently vice-president, editor-at-large at Simon & Schuster. In a statement, she says,

Labyrinth Road is a home for books about epic journeys—both fantastical and emotional—that give ...Read More

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Barnes & Noble Legal News

Former Barnes & Noble CEO Demos Parneros has failed in his defamation suit against the company. Judge Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil dismissed his claim, saying “there is no genuine dispute about the truth of the statement that Parneros was terminated for violations of the company policies.” The judge denied B&N’s motion for summary judgement on the good faith and fair dealing claim, however: “Parneros raises a triable question as to ...Read More

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Publishing News

Five percent of Hough­ton Mifflin Harcourt’s employees (166 people) agreed to take part in a voluntary early retire­ment incentive program. The offer was open to all US employees age 55 or up with at least five years at the company (about 18% of employ­ees qualified). Most left effective September 4, 2020. The cost of the incentives is around $13.5 million, and should save HMH 17 or 18 million dollars per ...Read More

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HMH to Discontinue JJA Books

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) will discontinue science fiction and fantasy imprint John Joseph Adams Books, launched in February 2016. Editor John Joseph Adams says,

We’ve still got several books forthcoming, and those will still be published, but nothing new beyond those, alas. Cheers to all of the authors who went on this ride with me, and to all who bought & read.

The imprint published work by Bryan Camp, Hugh ...Read More

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Diversity in Publishing Initiatives

Penguin Random House US released the results of company’s demographic analysis. CEO Madeline McIntosh says, “I don’t think any of us is likely to be surprised by the data, which show that our company, like our industry, is far too homogeneous. But seeing what we generally know to be true documented this way is hard: the distance we have to travel to become a truly diverse company feels all the ...Read More

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Adeyemi On Time‘s 100 Most Influential List

Author of the Legacy of Orïsha trilogy, Tomi Adeyemi has been named one of the 100 most influential people of 2020 by Time Magazine. Categories include Artists, Leaders, and more; Adeyemi is listed among Pioneers.

For more information, including the full list, see the Time article.



While you are here, please take a moment to support Locus with a one-time or recurring donation. We rely on reader donations ...Read More

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ABA Board Changes

The American Booksellers Association (ABA) has appointed Jake Cumsky-Whitlock of Solid State Books in Washington DC and Melanie Knight of Books Inc. in San Francisco CA to the board, to serve until board elections in April 2021. This follows changes to bylaws which “bring the number of board members to 13 (from 11) and that require the board to include at least four booksellers who are Black, Indigenous, or People ...Read More

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Voice of the Heartland Award

Publisher Two Dollar Radio won the 2020 Voice of the Heartland Award, given “to individuals and organizations who uphold the value of independent bookselling and who have made a significant contribution to bookselling in our combined regions.” The award is given by the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association (GLIBA) and the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association (MIBA). Nominating bookseller Gary Lovely of Book Loft in Columbus, OH called them “a shining ...Read More

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Constelación Magazine Launches

Co-editors Coral Alejandra Moore and Eliana González Ugarte announced the creation of Constelación Magazine, “a bilingual magazine of speculative fiction.”

Publishing quarterly, each themed issue will feature original artwork. Stories can be submitted in either English or Spanish; selections will be translated and published in both. Submissions for the first issue open in October, concurrent with the launch Kickstarter.

Joining Moore and Ugarte on staff are Christina Jurado and Libia ...Read More

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Changes at Macmillan

John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan Publishers, will be leaving the company and its parent, Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, on January 1, 2021 due to “disagreements regarding the direction of Macmillan.” Sargent has held the position since 2012, after originally joining Holtzbrinck in 1996 as CEO of St. Martin’s Press. Don Weisberg, president of Macmillan US Trade, will take Sargent’s place as CEO. Susan Winslow will move from general manager to president ...Read More

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People & Publishing Roundup, September 2020


EMILY INKPEN is now repre­sented by the John Jarrold Literary Agency.

MÁRIO SEABRA COELHO is now represented by Stevie Finegan of Zeno Agency.

JOSHUA WINNING is now represented by Kristina Perez of Zeno Agency.

YUDHANJAYA WIJERATNE is now represented by Stevie Fin­egan of Zeno Agency.

ANGUS WATSON is now rep­resented by Stevie Finegan of Zeno Agency.


PETER S. BEAGLE won the Jack Trevor Story Memorial Prize/Prix du Goncourt, ...Read More

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Publishing News, September 2020

Mark Teppo announced that his publishing projects will no longer operate under the Resurrection House name, with his Firebird Creative projects now appearing under the Underland Press and Underland Arcana banners. Speaking of: Underland Press has launched a new quarterly publication, Un­derground Arcana, with work inspired by the Minor Arcana of the tarot, launching in Fall 2020. The press has published two anthologies inspired by the major arcana (XII ...Read More

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BAME Fiction Development Program

Hachette UK has established a free fiction development program for “new, unagented and unpublished [writers] from a B.A.M.E (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) background with a novel that you hope to submit within 3-6 months of completing the workshops.” Authors in the UK and Ireland are eligible to apply. The program includes mentoring packages and online workshops with established editors, authors, and agents.

The application window closes September 14, 2020 at ...Read More

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Pandemic Publishing News

A Publishers Weekly survey in June revealed that most publishers in New York anticipated bringing employees back after Labor Day, but that’s not happening.

Macmillan’s offices won’t open until January 11, 2021 at the earliest, but some employees will be al­lowed access to their Manhattan office on a trial basis upon request.

Simon & Schuster’s CEO Bob Bakish wrote in a memo that “at this point, we are assuming the ...Read More

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HWA and Harlequin Diversity Scholarships

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) has announced new diversity grants, “open to underrepresented, diverse people who have an interest in the horror writing genre, including, but not limited to writers, editors, reviewers, and library workers.” Through funding from NoveList, LibraryReads, ARRT, and RA for All, four grants of $500 each will be offered in 2020. “The number of grants awarded in the future is subject to the amount of funds ...Read More

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People & Publishing Roundup, August 2020


ALAN DEAN FOSTER began composing classical music in April, and has completed several short pieces, a symphony, and a sym­phonic suite. His Nightwish suite is online at <>.


COLSON WHITEHEAD won the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. At 50, he is the youngest author to receive that lifetime achievement award ever. Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys (Doubleday) won the 2020 Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, presented July ...Read More

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Rowling Controversy Continues

J.K. Rowl­ing’s ongoing commentary online about transgender people led four authors to resign from the Blair Partnership, Rowling’s literary agency: Fox Fisher, Drew Davies, Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdót­tir, and an author who chose to remain anonymous. The authors asked their agency “to reaffirm their commitment to transgender rights and equality,” and following discussions with the company, the authors “felt that [agency leaders] were unable to commit to any action that ...Read More

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Head of Zeus Launches New Imprint

Head of Zeus announced a new imprint, Ad Astra, which will publish “the best high-concept SFF our world can offer.” Cixin Liu will be Ad Astra’s “talisman.”

Ad Astra will launch six books on October 1, 2020: Attack Surface by Cory Doctorow; Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott; Hold Up the Sky by Cixin Liu; Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker; The Lost Colony by A.G. ...Read More

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Publishing News

In June, John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan, sent a memo to staff outlining plans to change their leadership structure. “It is clear that we have to change who occupies the seats at the table when the important decisions are being made.” They plan to create a new Trade Manage­ment committee with 13 members “who will meet regularly to decide on the key issues for Macmillan” and “focus on running the ...Read More

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Agency News

Dawn Frederick, owner of St. Paul MN-based agency Red Sofa Literary, is at the center of an ongoing controversy. On May 28, 2020, during protests following the death of George Floyd in the Twin Cities, Frederick tweeted, “The gas station at the END OF MY BLOCK is officially getting looted. Calling the police right now to let them know as someone will need to board up this place.” (Her Twitter ...Read More

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Internet Archive Suspends Lending

The In­ternet Archive ended their “National Emergency Library” program on June 16, 2020, two weeks earlier than planned, following lawsuits by four publishers. The suit, filed in New York federal court, alleges “willful mass copyright infringe­ment” and argues that, “despite the Open Library moniker, IA’s actions grossly exceed legitimate li­brary services, do violence to the Copyright Act, and constitute willful digital piracy on an indus­trial scale.” The Association of American ...Read More

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Photo Story: Fenners Take Over Spectrum

ARNIE FENNER retired as senior art director at An­drews McMeel on May 29, 2020. He & CATHY FENNER will take over as directors of the Spectrum Fantastic Art competi­tion and editors of the annual Spectrum art book, replacing JOHN FLESKES, beginning with the 28th competition this Fall. The Fenners founded the compe­tition in 1994 and ran it until Fleskes took over in 2013. Further announce­ments regarding the new advisory ...Read More

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People & Publishing Roundup, July 2020


GEORGE R.R. MARTIN (and two other investors) have purchased 18 miles of abandoned railway connecting the historic depot in Lamy NM with Santa Fe. Martin plans to restore the line as a tourist attraction and film shooting venue by 2022.

MEHDI BEL ABBES is now represented via the John Jarrold Literary Agency.

TOBI OGUNDIRAN is now represented by the John Jarrold Literary Agency.


Writer ELIZABETH KNOX was appointed ...Read More

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Bundoran Press Closes

Bundoran Press Publishing House has announced that it will cease operations by October 30, 2020. No new contracts will be signed, and all previously contracted books have been published. They will continue to sell books on their website and other platforms until that date. Authors and editors can request rights reversion at an earlier date; otherwise, all rights will revert at the end of October.

Hayden Trenholm spoke on behalf ...Read More

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