Virago has appointed Rose Tomaszewska from Quercus as senior commissioning editor, covering parental leave for Sarah Savitt.
Tomaszewska, who has been at Quercus for eight years and is currently a commissioning editor for imprint riverrun, will look after Savitt’s authors and also commission new titles for the Virago list. Starting in June, she will report to Clare Smith, associate publisher for literary imprints at Little, Brown.
She joined Quercus in 2011 and began assisting publisher Jon Riley in 2012, working with authors including William Shaw, Claire Vaye Watkins, John Bew and Polly Clark. With the launch of the riverrun imprint in 2016 she helped shape the list alongside Riley, Niamh Mulvey and Rich Arcus.
Tomaszewska began commissioning in 2015, including fiction by the Women’s Prize-shortlisted Heather O’Neill and Desmond Elliot Prize-longlisted Kim Sherwood, as well as non-fiction by Stanfords Prize-shortlisted Alev Scott and human rights campaigner Joan Smith.
She said: “Having been at Quercus for eight years, I have a deep affection for all my colleagues and authors here. It’s been transformative, a vital and exciting place to have started my first list and I’m grateful above all for the kindness, insight and brilliance of my mentor Jon Riley.
“Some of the first books I began reading as a young adult were Virago Modern Classics and many of their titles have had a profound and lasting impact on me. I’ve watched the imprint continue to grow, to challenge itself and its readers, and love the projects Sarah Savitt has brought to the list. Working with her authors and with such an inspiring and creative team will be a dream come true.”
Savitt explained she first met Tomaszewska when she helped out on a Hachette charity performance of The Vagina Monologues. She joked: “Her kind yet precise and constructive advice on our patchy amateur acting made me think that this was someone to watch.
“During her interviews she impressed us hugely with her passion for Virago, her editorial knowledge and instincts, and her creative approach to every aspect of publication. I am thrilled that she will be working with existing Virago authors and look forward to seeing what new books she will bring to the list as well.’”
Riley said: “Rose has been a wonderful colleague whom we will miss immensely. Her friends here, and our authors have had every reason to value her flair, dedication, energy and generosity of spirit. She is at an exciting new phase in her career and we will watch her successes with real pleasure and pride.”