Antonia Hodgson, editor-in-chief of Little, Brown, is to leave the company after 23 years to focus full-time on her career as a writer.
Hodgson joined Little, Brown in 1995 as editorial assistant for the Abacus list, soon progressing to commissioning roles for Abacus and then Virago. Within a few years, she was running Little, Brown’s commercial publishing and was acquiring an "extraordinary" range of bestsellers across many different Little, Brown imprints.
She is also the author of the Tom Hawkins historical crime series, set in the 1720s. Her first novel, The Devil in the Marshalsea (Hodder) was published in 2014 and won the CWA Historical Dagger Award.
In publishing her stand-out successes include Sharon Osbourne’s series of memoirs, the number one bestsellers Long Way Round and Long Way Down by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman; Rupert Everett’s "timeless, brilliant" autobiographies; landmark music memoirs Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis, Bit of a Blur by Alex James, Le Freak by Nile Rodgers and I Am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne; and the humour bestseller Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Shit?
Hodgson has also had success at the more literary end of the non-fiction market, most notably with Åsne Seierstad’s "extraordinary" The Bookseller of Kabul and Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues.
On the fiction side, Hodgson has published many "outstanding" works, including Gregory David Roberts’ Shantaram, Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian and Stephenie Meyer’s two adult titles The Host and The Chemist. More recently, as she has divided her time between her publishing and writing careers, Hodgson has focused on a handful of key Little, Brown authors, including Stella Duffy, Jenny Eclair, Stephenie Meyer and Nora Roberts.
She leaves Little, Brown on 24th August.
Little, Brown’s managing director Charlie King said that Hogdson is "one of the most talented, likeable and inspiring people" he has ever worked with.
"Her track record is extraordinary, and she has published an amazing array of bestsellers in so many different areas of the market, across almost every single one of Little, Brown’s imprints", said King. "In recent years, her work on growing the Nora Roberts brand in our markets had been particularly exceptional. We will miss her very much, as a colleague and as a friend, and we wish her all the very best as she scales new heights as an author with her terrific Thomas Hawkins novels."
Hachette UK c.e.o. David Shelley added that he will miss Hodgson's presence at Little, Brown base Carmelite House "so much".
"She is one of the all-time great editors in my opinion, with uniquely eclectic taste, acquiring some of the most successful Little, Brown books ever across imprints and genres" he said. "As well as being a genius editor, Antonia has also been a wonderfully supportive and nurturing colleague and has given wise advice and encouragement to many of us over the years. Although we will miss her here, she will remain a friend to lots of us, and we are also so proud to have her as a Hodder author with her fantastic Thomas Hawkins novels, and I am pleased that she will have more time to devote to these."
Hodgson said: "Little, Brown has given me so many incredible opportunities over the years – offering me the freedom to publish wherever my passion and instincts took me. That’s a rare privilege, and I’m tremendously grateful. I will miss working with my wonderful colleagues and friends. Most of all, I will miss my authors – though I will of course continue to champion their work from my kitchen table. It’s taken me a long time to make the leap to writing full-time, and really it’s all Little, Brown’s fault for being such an irritatingly lovely place to work."