Andy Hunter, cofounder of Electric Literature, and Elizabeth Koch, cofounder of Black Balloon Publishing, have joined forces to create Catapult, a new publishing startup that "celebrates powerful voices, breakthrough narratives, and extraordinary storytelling experiences." Hunter will act as publisher, and Koch as CEO, with the new venture launching in fall 2015.

Catapult will be distributed by Publishers Group West and, beginning in spring 2016, will publish twelve titles annually. Black Balloon will continue as an imprint of Catapult. The group will be headquartered in New York City, with a second office in Portland, Ore.

Other new hires for the group include editor-in-chief Pat Strachan, who was most recently a senior editor at Little, Brown; and associate editor and community manager Julie Buntin, former director of programs and strategic outreach at the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses.

The Catapult senior staff also includes editor-at-large Leigh Newman, and publicity and marketing director Jennifer Abel Kovitz. Additionally, Black Balloon Publishing managing editor Lori Shine, senior designer and web developer Ryan DeShon, and publicity and marketing assistant Michelle King have all joined Catapult.

The group is currently accepting agented submissions, and will begin accepting unsolicited manuscripts on April 1. Its inaugural title will be Padgett Powell's story collection, Cries for Help, Various, which goes on sale in September. Gavin McCrea's debut novel, Mrs. Engels, will publish in October.

“Catapult will promote American and international fiction and narrative nonfiction that is alive, insightful, illuminating, stirring, and surprising by way of singular writers—whether emerging or established—who honor the craft of writing.” said Strachan. “We hope to contribute to contemporary literary culture and to the pleasure and knowledge of a diverse and serious readership."