Puffin is strengthening its licensing division and roll-out with new executive appointments

Puffin, the children’s publishing division of Penguin Random House has strengthened its licensing and non fiction team with a swathe of new appointments.

Amanda Punter, publishing director (pictured), has assumed responsibility for licensed and non-fiction publishing for Puffin, alongside her responsibilities for Puffin Fiction, Picture Books, Partnerships and Illustrated Non-Fiction.

Reporting to Punter, Ruth Knowles, publisher, has also taken an expanded role in heading up a newly created Puffin Fiction, Non-Fiction and Licensing team. Knowles has shown ability in steering the Fiction team in recent years, overseeing a successful 2017 and the landmark publishing of The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman.

Both have made their own slate of new appointments in order to grow Puffin’s publishing in the licensed and non-fiction areas for six years up and awards.

Jamie Coleman joined the team as editorial director for licensing and non-fiction from Pan Macmillan, where he acquired and published Scarlett Moffatt, Jim Chapman, Doug the Pug and the recent best-seller, The Secret barrister. He will be commissioning new properties and titles, helping to develop and implement the team’s non-fiction and licensing strategy.

Meanwhile, Emil Fortune has joined the team as commissioning editor in April from Egmont where he had been a part of the UK Star Wars publishing team. Fortune will manage the Doctor Who children’s publishing programme among others and will be working with Coleman to seek out new licensing opportunities within existing brands in the wider entertainment market.

Amanda Punter, publisher director for Puffin, said: “Puffin started out as a non-fiction publisher with its first title appearing in 1940, and I am thrilled to be taking on this additional responsibility and working with Ruth and the team to further cultivate Puffin’s reputation in both the non-fiction and licensed areas of the market.

“At Puffin, our aim is to publish stories for everyone and I am excited about the new literary storytelling opportunities that enduring entertainment franchises and characters such as Dr Who and DC Superheroes afford us, as well as more recent properties like Stranger Things and their reach in terms of creating new readers.”

Both Coleman and Fortune will work alongside Holly Harris, editorial director, in actively developing partnerships and trend-driven titles for readers aged six and upwards through to crossover audiences and across all genres.

Ben Horslen, publisher for Puffin Fiction will continue to focus on best-selling authors John Green, Rick Riordan, Ransom Riggs and new and growing talents such as Sam Copeland and Jennifer Niven, among others.

The team will work closely with Leanne Gill, publisher for Ladybird Licensing, who is looking for new licensed properties for a pre-school audience.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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