In a week that has seen Penguin Random House's workforce winnowed by buyouts and layoffs and the Independent Publishers Group lay off nine staffers, HarperCollins has announced that Inkyard Press, the YA imprint under the publisher's Harlequin Trade Publishing division, will be shuttered, and its staff laid off on August 1. The move comes less than a month after PRH folded its Razorbill imprint, and during a down year for sales of books for children and young adults.

Inkyard published approximately 2-4 books a month, and those titles, a representative of HarperCollins and Harlequin told PW, "will transition to [HarperCollins Chidlren's Books] imprints." When asked by PW how many employees were impacted, the representative provided no comment. Among those laid off were senior publishing director Bess Braswell; editors Meghan Maria McCullough, Claire Stetzer, and Olivia Valcarce; and senior marketing manager Britt Mitchell.

"Harlequin Trade Publishing has made the difficult, strategic decision to close the Inkyard Press imprint and transition the titles to HarperCollins Children’s Books," the publisher's statement read. "Current market conditions have posed a variety of challenges for the business, which [have] been acutely felt in the YA/middle grade space, with a shifting retail landscape, reduced distribution, and higher production costs in a price-sensitive segment. Inkyard titles will benefit from the synergies and streamlined processes as part of a larger Children’s division.”

At least one additional layoff at HarperCollins was made yesterday: Stephanie Guerdan, an associate editor at HarperCollins Children's Books and a shop steward in the HarperCollins Union, which signed a new contract with the company in February after a months-long strike. When asked about the scope and specifics of any layoffs outside of Inkyard, a representative of HarperCollins declined to comment.

Following some layoffs in fall 2022, HarperCollins announced earlier this year that it would cut its North American workforce by 5% before the end of its fiscal year on June 30. Among the casualties of those cuts was the Harper Design imprint. It is unclear whether closing Inkyard and laying off its staffers is a delayed part of the cuts that were to be completed by June 30 or a new, previously unannounced round of layoffs.

Inkyard was founded as Harlequin Teen in 2009 and relaunched under its current name in 2019. Initially YA only, the imprint began publishing middle grade books in 2021. Authors published by Inkyard include Adi Alsaid, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Melissa de la Cruz, H.E. Edgmon, Julie Kagawa, Rex Ogle, Aden Polydoros, Gina Showalter, and Eric Smith. The imprint was known for its commitment to publishing diverse books and authors.

Shortly after the announcement, members of the publishing community, and especially literary agents, took to social media to decry the move.

This story has been updated with additional information.