Alex Clarke's new imprint named Wildfire

Alex Clarke's new imprint named Wildfire

Wildfire is the name of Headline's new imprint spearheaded by publishing director Alex Clarke.

Its aim is to publish “books that spread like wildfire,” with its first two titles set to be released in April 2017.

Senior commissioning editor Kate Stephenson and editorial assistant Ella Gordon will work with Clarke on the imprint, which will publish a broad-reaching mix of “quality” fiction and non-fiction titles which are "compelling and thought-provoking books, books that you will want to talk about endlessly with your friends, books that have a little bit of soul," according to the publisher.  

Its fiction publishing will range from crime and thrillers, to big-scale historical fiction, and imaginative concept-lead narratives. In non-fiction it is seeking to usher in "a new breed of hybrid non-fiction to Headline’s publishing, where well-known public figures write with passion about issues close to their heart".

The name of the imprint was chosen to mirror Headline’s ethos of mainstream word-of-mouth publishing, according to Clarke, who said: "We really want to publish books that do spread like wildfire”.

"Right now the world of publishing is buzzing with fantastic new writers, ever-more inventive ways to reach readers, and brilliant young publishing talent,” Clarke said. “Wildfire is all about setting these sparks going and making sure there is just no way readers will miss these amazing stories.”

Alex Clarke, Kate Stephenson and Ella Gordon

Three new authors have been signed to the imprint, making the total five so far. The first non-fiction title for Wildfire is Dummy, Parenting for the Inept and Clueless by Matt Coyne, based on his Facebook blog "Man Versus Baby", set for an April 2017 release. The imprint’s first fiction title will be Close To Me by Amanda Reynolds, about a case of partial amnesia that brings a family on the brink of collapse, also to be released in the same month. Wildfire has also acquired the debut of Faber Academy graduate, Karen Hamilton, called Borderline, about a woman's pathological mission to win back her pilot boyfriend.

They join two signings already made, Colette McBeth’s Precious Thing and The Life I Left Behind, which moved to Wildfire from Headline Review and Felicia Yap's debut high-concept thriller Yesterday, which will publish in August 2017.

"The name Wildfire is so evocative of the way we want our list to work,” said Stephenson. “We want to publish the kind of gripping page-turners that make hours feel like minutes, and that you foist upon your friends the minute you have finished, because you have to talk to someone about that twist, or that ending, or that heart-wrenching scene. It’s a rare opportunity for an editor to be part of an imprint from its inception, and to build a list from scratch. I’m so thrilled to be part of Wildfire, and I can’t wait to introduce readers to our brilliant authors."

Clarke's move from Michael Joseph to head the new imprint was revealed in January and he joined Headline as publishing director in March of this year. He had previously been in the editorial team of the Michael Joseph division of Penguin for 15 years. Stephenson, previously commissioning editor at Avon for HarperCollins, joined in August. Gordon began working at Headline as editorial assistant in April.

Wildfire's logo, a 'W' licked by flames, was designed by Patrick Insole, art director for Headline.