Simon & Schuster has started a new literary fiction imprint called Scout Press, launching it with the debut novel Did You Ever Have a Family, by literary agent Bill Clegg. The imprint will be housed in the Gallery Books Group and Jennifer Bergstrom, publisher of Gallery, will be overseeing it.
Describing the type of books Scout will be publishing, Bergstrom, in an announcement, said they will be works by "ambitious, conversation-starting novelists who are pushing the boundaries of contemporary fiction while also creating books that will stand the test of time."
In addition to Clegg's novel, which is coming out on September 15, 2015, the second and third novels from Scout will also be debuts. British author Ruth Ware's psychological thriller Dark Wood will be released in fall 2015, and Molly Prentiss's Tuesday Nights in 1980 will be released in spring 2016.
Alison Callahan and Karen Kosztolnyik, executive editors at Gallery, will also be acquiring for Scout. Callahan edited The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and has also edited novels by Ann Patchett and Liane Moriarty; Kosztolnyik worked on Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen and Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason.
Clegg's novel, which Kosztolnyik acquired, is about a group of characters in the aftermath of a tragedy. For the book, which follows two Clegg memoirs, Ninety Days and Portrait of an Addict, Scout is sending Clegg on tour (to 10 cities) as well as to make appearances at ABA Winter Institute and BEA. Ware's novel, which Callahan bought, is about a crime writer who wakes up in the hospital after attending a bachelorette party in the English countryside. Prentiss, who has an MFA from the California College of Arts and is based in Brooklyn, follows an artist and critic on the edge of success just as the downtown New York art scene is exploding in the 1980s; Callahan also acquired this novel.