Algonquin Adds Imprint
Bob Summer -- 9/4/00

Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill announced last week that editorial director Shannon Ravenel has been given her own imprint, which will be launched next spring with four books. A search to find her successor as editorial director is now underway.

"I have wanted for some time to step back on administrative matters and give my full attention to my favorite part of publishing, working with writers," Ravenel told PW, adding that she agreed on the change with publisher Elisabeth Scharlatt, and with Peter Workman, who acquired Algonquin in 1989. A cofounder with Louis D. Rubin Jr. of Algonquin in 1982 and editor of Houghton Mifflin's Best American Short Stories series from 1978 to 1990, the native South Carolinian was named editorial director in 1993; the writers she has worked with include Clyde Edgerton, Jill McCorkle, Larry Brown, Julia Alvarez and Lewis Nordan.

Ravenel also began Algonquin's 15-year-old Best New Stories from the Southannuals, which she will continue to edit. The inaugural Shannon Ravenel Books list will comprise Suzanne Berne's follow-up novel to her Orange Prize-winning A Crime in the Neighborhood, Larry Brown's account of his son's determination to farm the family's ancestral land in Mississippi, Tony Earley's debut nonfiction book (after Jim the Boy) and suspense writer Tim Junkin's second novel. "I'm delighted to be able to celebrate Shannon's accomplishments in this way," Scharlatt said in announcing the imprint's creation.

In other changes, Ina Stern has been promoted from director of marketing to associate publisher. Craig Popelars, previously assistant director of marketing and sales, is the new director of marketing, while Shelley Goodin and Michael Taeckens have been named senior publicists, reporting directly to him.

"Ina and Craig have played a crucial role in strengthening Algonquin's position in the marketplace," Scharlatt said, adding, "We're looking to a future in which a strong list of books will have even greater marketing strength behind it."