HarperFiction literary imprint The Borough Press has announced expansion plans and a string of promotions within its editorial team.
The growth plans will see the imprint broadening its remit to include more narrative non-fiction, as well as literary and literary-commercial fiction. It will considerably increase both its overall title count and its percentage of authors from underrepresented backgrounds.
Ore Agbaje-Williams (pictured above) is promoted to commissioning editor, with an additional remit to focus on diversity and inclusivity across the entire HarperFiction division. Previously an editor, Agbaje-Williams has made multiple significant acquisitions including Laura Friedman Williams’ Available, Kimberly Mackintosh’s black girl, no magic and J K Chukwu’s The Unfortunates. With HC colleague Nancy Adimora, she conceived and co-edited Of This Our Country, a collection of non-fiction pieces from Nigerian diaspora writers. Her broader HarperFiction role will see her continuing to lead lasting change in the diversity of the division’s publishing.
Ann Bissell (pictured right) will become a full-time editorial director on the team from 1st November. She was previously publicity director with a commissioning remit. Her publications so far have included Bella Mackie's How To Kill Your Family, Layla AlAmmar’s The Pact We Made and Waterstones Thriller of the Month author Charlotte Philby. As well as commissioning both fiction and non-fiction, Bissell will work with publishing director Suzie Dooré on several areas of list strategy, including digital.
Carla Josephson (below left) is promoted to editorial director, and will take over line management for Agbaje-Williams and Borough editorial assistant Margot Gray. She will also oversee strategy for Borough’s backlist, including authors such as Maggie Shipstead, Amitav Ghosh and the Austen Project novels. Josephson joined from Simon & Schuster in 2018 and has triumphed in auctions for numerous high-profile titles, including Christina Sweeney-Baird’s The End of Men, Carole Johnstone’s Mirrorland and Emilia Hart’s forthcoming Weyward. She also published Costa-shortlisted The Other Half of Augusta Hope by Joanna Glen.
Dooré said: "I have been working on the plans for Borough’s expansion for some time and am delighted to be able to announce them to the world. The list has gone from strength to strength since launch, and with Ann finally joining us full-time, Carla and Ore’s new roles and Borough’s assistant Margot (whose projects in her time with us have included a brilliant open submission for underrepresented writers), we have a tight-knit and visionary team who are hungry for new submissions and ready to build new literary careers.
"Borough’s authors have always benefited from the focus of a boutique imprint and the heft of a Big Five publisher, and we are excited to keep working with the industry-leading HarperFiction team to deliver even more prize-winners and chart-toppers."
Kimberley Young, executive publisher at HarperFiction, added: "HarperFiction has had a record-breaking fiscal year but our eyes are very much on how to grow all areas of publishing for the future. Borough Press has grown over the last seven years to be a bright light in the literary world. With a roster of brilliant authors and a hugely talented team, this is an exciting new chapter in the imprint’s journey."