Kelly swaps Fourth Estate for Virago

Kelly swaps Fourth Estate for Virago

Anna Kelly will join Virago and Little, Brown/Abacus as publishing director after six years at Fourth Estate. 

Currently Fourth Estate's editorial director, Kelly will take on her new role at the Hachette imprints on 12th July. She will report to Virago publisher Sarah Savitt and Clare Smith, executive publisher for the literary division. She is succeeding former publishing director Ailah Ahmed, who recently joined Cornerstone as part of a restructure announced in February. 

Smith said: “Anna blew us away with her passion, her commitment and her incredible track record. We feel very lucky that the next step in her career will be with us.” 

Savitt added: “I have admired Anna’s taste and publishing flair from afar and I’m thrilled she will be joining us at Little, Brown. She also brings a particular passion for feminism and championing women’s voices which will be a wonderful addition to the Virago acquiring team alongside Donna Coonan and Rose Tomaszewska.” 

Kelly joined Fourth Estate in 2015, where she acquired and published debut hit My Dark Vanessa, US journalist Jia Tolentino’s book of essays Trick Mirror as well as banned French book I Hate Men. Her books have been recognised for various prizes including Valeria Luiselli’s Lost Children Archive, winner of the Rathbones Folio Prize and longlisted for the Booker and the Women’s Prize among others, and Life as a Unicorn, winner of the Polari First Book Award and a Somerset Maugham Award. Kelly also played an important role overseeing the 4thWrite Short Story Prize and the HarperVia imprint, a new list dedicated to translated and international books. 

“I have loved my years at Fourth Estate and its independent spirit, fierce creativity and sense of fun will always hold a special place in my heart,” Kelly said. “But when I met the teams at Little, Brown/Abacus and Virago, I felt inspired by their intelligence, publishing wisdom and enthusiasm, and I could see the potential for some irresistibly exciting chemistry between their brilliantly astute acquiring and my own taste. I feel privileged to join two imprints with such rich history, dazzling lists of authors and high standards of publishing, and I can’t wait to see what we can do together over the coming years.”