Emily Barrett leaves Orion for Sphere senior commissioning role

Emily Barrett leaves Orion for Sphere senior commissioning role

Orion Spring and Seven Dials commissioning editor Emily Barrett is leaving the lifestyle and non-fiction imprints to join Sphere.

Barrett will join Sphere as senior commissioning editor on 30th July, reporting to Little, Brown deputy m.d. Cath Burke. The new role will include commissioning gift and humour, narrative non-fiction and commercial pop science, with a focus on IP development.

In her role supporting publisher Amanda Harris, Barrett has worked on Fearne Cotton’s wellbeing titles, as alongside Love as Always, Mum xxx by Mae West and The Modern Italian Cook by Joe Trivelli. Barrett joined Orion from HarperCollins in June 2016 as an editor and has been promoted twice. 

Recent publications include Mim Skinner’s Jailbirds, a memoir about life inside women’s prisons, YouTuber Rebecca Meldrum’s activity books Mummy and Me and Daddy and Me, plus The F Team’s F**k Plastic, which has more than 40,000 copies in circulation across 18 countries, with rights deals sold for a further four.

She has also commissioned books including wildlife cameraman Gavin Thurston’s Journeys in the Wild, out in August with a foreword attached from David Attenborough, YouTuber and Oxford University astrophysicist Dr Becky Smethurst’s Space: 10 Things You Should Know, out in September, and “I’m a Celebrity” runner-up Emily Atack’s autobiography Are We There Yet?

Barrett said: “I’ve had a fantastic few years at Orion learning from and working with some of the best people in the industry. When I started in 2016 I was an editor supporting solely on Amanda’s list and, whilst I really enjoyed working with so many wide-ranging and talented authors, it has been such a joy to build my own over the last 18 months. I’m sad to leave behind so many wonderful books, especially those which haven’t published yet, but I’m very excited to be joining the dynamic Sphere team under the excellent leadership of Cath now I’ve hit my commissioning stride. I’m looking forward to continuing my search for brilliant writers who have stories with important messages to share, as well as commercial pop science, gift and humour, and hope I can replicate the success I’ve enjoyed with my IP titles at Orion on the Sphere list.”

Sphere non-fiction editorial director Hannah Boursnell and senior commissioning editor Rhiannon Smith will continue to report to Burke with editorial assistant Simon Osunsade reporting to Hannah Boursnell.

Burke said: “Emily is a phenomenal editor and strategic publisher and we have all been impressed by her vision, tenacity and passion for the books she is publishing and the authors she is working with. We are delighted to be welcoming Emily to Sphere and Little, Brown and I know she is going to be an integral part of our ambitious team.”