Greg Michalson, one half of the partnership that formed the literary publisher BlueHen, has been named editor-at-large at Algonquin. Michalson will bring out books from some of his BlueHen authors as well as from new writers, working from his office in Columbia, Mo.
BlueHen has been defunct since the end of 2002, when its contract with Putnam expired. (The house still holds the rights to the name and continues to bring out some of the books acquired by Michalson and partner Fred Ramey.) The pair had talked to a number of publishers since 2002, but could not find a buyer.
That didn't change with Algonquin, but the house did like a modified setup. "For a house the size of Algonquin to absorb BlueHen didn't make as much sense as bringing Greg on, at least at this time," explained Algonquin publisher Elisabeth Scharlatt. She described it as a "very easy arrangement" and said that while there was no fixed length to the agreement, she understood that sales results with the kind of debut fiction Michalson specialized in might not happen quickly. "We're very patient," she said.