Wildfire appoints Butler as Stephenson departs

Wildfire appoints Butler as Stephenson departs

In a slew of changes to its editorial team, Wildfire Books has appointed Jack Butler from Amazon Publishing as fiction publisher, while publisher Kate Stephenson is leaving to go freelance.

Butler (pictured), currently senior editor at Amazon Publishing’s Thomas and Mercer imprint, will be joining the Wildfire team in January 2021. Butler joined Amazon Publishing in 2017 and leads the Thomas & Mercer and 47North imprints in the UK, publishing authors across crime & thriller and sci-fi & fantasy genres. Prior to this he worked at Endeavour Press, acquiring commercial fiction and launching the publisher's first sci-fi imprint.

Meanwhile Stephenson, who was an integral partner in setting up the Wildfire imprint, is leaving to go freelance. Among her acquisitions for the Wildfire list have been Harriet Tyce’s Blood Orange, Karen Hamilton’s The Perfect Girlfriend and Chris Hammer’s Scrublands. She will be "continuing to edit from afar", the publisher said.

In further moves at the imprint, Ella Gordon has been promoted to senior commissioning editor following her publishing of Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, while Serena Arthur has joined as editorial assistant, after having worked at Headline on the Hachette Traineeship Scheme since autumn 2019.

Alex Clarke, publishing director of Wildfire, said: "We have been on an amazing journey setting up Wildfire, and Kate Stephenson’s brilliant contributions will always be part of our DNA. It’s only fitting that we welcome another hugely talented fiction publisher in Jack Butler. Jack’s success at Amazon Publishing speaks for itself, with him having worked with an amazing stable of authors who have seen great success during his tenure. We’re really excited that the next chapter in his publishing career will be with Wildfire."

Butler said: "I'm so excited to be joining the Wildfire team. I've long admired their commercial vision and since its launch, the list has gone from strength to strength, publishing diverse, quality, commercial fiction and non-fiction with exceptional results. Their ambition and drive make them the perfect destination for authors, and I can't wait to help build on their incredible success."