Blackburn to lead HCG's picture books and trade non-fiction publishing

Blackburn to lead HCG's picture books and trade non-fiction publishing

Emma Blackburn is leaving Bloomsbury Children's Books after eight years to join Hachette Children’s Group in the role of picture book and non-fiction publisher.

Reporting to senior group publisher Ruth Alltimes, Blackburn will lead the picture book team and the Wren & Rook trade non-fiction team and manage the strategic and creative development of HCG’s picture book and trade non-fiction lists.

She will join HCG in July, from her current role of publishing director for Illustrated Publishing at Bloomsbury Children’s Books, where she has grown the picture book list, publishing authors and illustrators such as Patricia Cleveland-Peck and David Tazzyman (You Can’t Take an Elephant on the Bus), Martha Mumford and Laura Hughes (We’re Going on an Egg Hunt) and Tom Percival (Perfectly Norman, Ruby’s Worry and Ravi’s Roar).

Before working at Bloomsbury, Blackburn was editorial director at Simon & Schuster and has held roles at other publishers including Little Tiger Press, Orchard, Ladybird and Macmillan.

Blackburn said: "HCG has a rich tradition of publishing the very best in children’s storytelling and illustration, alongside a reputation for creating bestselling, highly imaginative and innovative trade non-fiction. I’m very much looking forward to working with everyone there to ensure the ongoing success of these creative and dynamic areas of the business."

HCG c.e.o. Hilary Murray Hill commented: "I am extremely pleased that Emma will join HCG to lead the publishing and management of picture books and Wren & Rook’s expanding non-fiction list.  Her appointment will bring significant strategic insight to both areas in terms of new publishing and driving the growth of our authors, illustrators and brands, under Ruth Alltimes’ outstanding leadership. Emma is a publisher of huge creativity and demonstrable commercial understanding and we look forward to welcoming her in July."

Alltimes added: "The continued growth of our outstanding of picture book and trade non-fiction publishing is a huge area of focus for us. So, I, along with all the brilliant picture book and Wren & Rook team, am delighted to welcome Emma to Hachette Children’s. With her extensive experience and expertise, she will be instrumental in driving things forward in the coming years."

In November, HCG announced a new role for Emma Layfield, then picture book publisher in the London office, as picture book development director, North. Layfield, who is now based in Manchester, is responsible for networking and building relationships in the North of England and Scotland, with a remit to acquire northern and Scottish talent for the HCG list; she started her new role in January and will report to Blackburn from July.