Cathy Rentzenbrink is stepping down as project director of adult literacy charity Quick Reads to pursue her writing career.
Rentzenbrink, who has been in the role for four years, published a memoir, The Last Act of Love (Picador), last year and then signed a six figure deal for two more books with Picador in October. Rentzenbrink, who is also a contributing editor for The Bookseller, will continue to be an advocate for the initiative which became part of national charity The Reading Agency in September 2015.
Jo Dawson, currently Quick Reads project manager, will now become programme manager to lead the development and growth of Quick Reads within The Reading Agency. She will support the further integration of the initiative into the charity’s programmes for adults, including World Book Night.
Quick Reads author Fanny Blake (left), a former publisher and books editor for Woman & Home, meanwhile, will join The Reading Agency in a new role as Quick Reads commissioning editor to develop future lists.
Baroness Gail Rebuck thanked Rentzenbrink for her "passion and imagination" and "help in steering" Quick Reads to its "long term home" at The Reading Agency. She said: "I am delighted Cathy will continue to support Quick Reads - perhaps she might one day write one herself."
Welcoming Dawson and Blake, Rebuck added: "I am confident this crucial initiative will continue to do well".
Sue Wilkinson, chief executive of The Reading Agency, said: "I know that Jo and Fanny are the perfect team to build on what Cathy has achieved; we are looking forward to working with them and our publisher partners to develop future lists, and using these great books to help us bring the benefits and pleasure of reading to everyone.”
Rentzenbrink said after four "happy and stimulating" years at Quick Reads she was "rather sad to leave, but completely confident that the programme founded and still chaired by Baroness Gail Rebuck 10 years ago will continue to flourish in its new home at The Reading Agency".
"Breaking down the barriers between literacy and literature will continue to be extremely important to me and I am looking forward to supporting Quick Reads and The Reading Agency as an author," she said.
Quick Reads, set up in 2006, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. It has distributed 4.7m books and provided 4.3m Quick Reads library loans.
In February, six new titles for 2016 were published including a title from Malala Yousafzai, the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.