Hothouse Fiction expands team

Creative agency Hothouse Fiction is expanding its team to increase output and extend its international sales, especially into the US.

Hothouse, which develops commercial series fiction for children aged five years and older, has promoted managing editor Ben Horslen to editorial director. Matt Drew has been appointed as creative director. Anne Marie Ryan, currently children's book specialist with Darley Anderson, will join as an editorial consultant in May. The company will also appoint a new managing editor.

Reg Wright, one of the founders of Hothouse, said the agency had had to focus on survival during the "unbelievably tumultuous economic times" following its launch in 2006, but was now focused on growth. "With 13 series sold to publishers so far, we've proved our worth—now we can consolidate," he said.

Hothouse's most successful series to date is the Young Adult Darke Academy series; the launch title Darkside won the 2007 Waterstone's Children's Book Prize. Hothouse is also behind the Random House series Monster Republic.

Horslen said: "Our YA series have been more high profile but we will have more younger series publishing going forward." Orchard, for example, will publish The Secret Kingdom in July.

The company is developing a screenplay for Monster Republic through the Random House initiative, RHCSE, and is talking to producers about Darke Academy and other series.