Penguin Life and the Penguin Business imprints have announced a series of new editorial hires and promotions.
Jamie Birkett (pictured above) joins as commissioning editor across both imprints with a remit including smart thinking, neuroscience, psychology and economics. He was previously commissioning editor at Bloomsbury Continuum where he acquired and published serious non-fiction in popular philosophy, biography, current affairs and smart thinking. Two of his recent titles, Dostoevsky in Love by Alex Christofi and When America Stopped Being Great by former BBC correspondent Nick Bryant, were Financial Times books of the year. He has worked with authors including David Cannadine, Douglas Murray, Justin Welby, Quentin Blake, Selina Hastings and Ferdinand Mount.
Anya Hayes (pictured below, right) has joined the Penguin Life team as commissioning editor to cover editorial director Emily Robertson’s maternity leave. Until recently, Hayes was a commissioning editor at Watkins Publishing focusing on psychology, wellbeing, spirituality and personal development. She is a pilates instructor, a qualified mindfulness-based cognitive therapy teacher and the author of five books including Postnatal Pilates (Bloomsbury) and The Supermum Myth (White Ladder). She will be working closely with Robertson’s existing authors as well as commissioning new books in her areas of interest.
On the illustrated side, Amy McWalters, editor at Penguin Life, has been temporarily promoted to acting commissioning editor covering Robertson's illustrated titles in cookery and health including Megan Rossi’s Eat More, Live Well and the next book from The Happy Pear creators. She has also started to commission her own titles including most recently But What Will People Say? by Sahaj Kaur Kohli, founder of Brown Girl Therapy.
At Penguin Business, Lydia Yadi has been promoted to senior commissioning editor. She joined the imprint (then called Portfolio Penguin) in 2016 and since then has published Sunday Times bestsellers including The Squiggly Career by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis, Everything is Figureoutable by entrepreneur and YouTube star Marie Forleo, Damaged Goods by Oliver Shah and, most recently for Penguin Life, Preparing for the Perimenopause and Menopause by GP Louise Newson.
Birkett, Hayes, McWalters and Yadi will report to Martina O’Sullivan, publisher for Penguin Life and Penguin Business in their new roles. O’Sullivan said: “It’s a really exciting time for both imprints with so much opportunity to grow. I’m delighted to be working with such a talented and creative team to seek out and publish the most cutting-edge ideas from leading experts across both imprints.”