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Jo Fletcher

Jo FletcherJo Fletcher is a writer, ghost-writer, poet, critic, journalist and publisher who will be launching her own imprint, Jo Fletcher Books, under the umbrella of Quercus Books, an independent publishing house in the UK. For sixteen years she ran Victor Gollancz, the award-winning fantasy and science fiction imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, where her authors included such giants of the field as Sir Terry Pratchett, the late Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Charlaine Harris, Stephen Donaldson, Robert Rankin, Ursula K. Le Guin, Joe Hill, and Polish superstar Andrzej Sapkowski

Fletcher started her publishing career when she joined the five-week-old publishing company Headline on a part-time basis to publish their SF and Fantasy list*. After two years with Headline – all the while working as an investigative journalist in Fleet Street – she joined Mandarin (part of the Hamlyn group) as SF consultant before taking over newly revamped Pan Fantasy, SF and Horror list from Kathy Gale, where she published Sunday Times Top Ten bestsellers including Melanie Rawn, Charles de Lint, Graham Joyce and Peter F. Hamilton.
           
 After a brief stint at Penguin, working on a short-lived horror line, she joined Gollancz in 1994, first caretaking the SF & fantasy list for Richard Evans, then, after his tragic death, taking it on full-time. Fletcher helped launch Gollancz’s first paperback imprints, Vista and Indigo, then stayed on to run Gollancz as a genre imprint when the company, then part of the Cassell Group, was taken over by Orion in 1998. Her prestigious stable of authors have been shortlisted for and won every major award in the genre, and include the Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling authors Terry Pratchett and Charlaine Harris, and covers every aspect of fantasy, science fiction and horror, from SF bestsellers Alastair Reynolds, M. John Harrison and Arthur C. Clarke to fantasy superstars like Stephen Donaldson, Michael Moorcock and Robert Rankin, to Joe Hill, the newest horror star in the firmament, to European bestsellers like Andrzej Sapkowski, as well as literary greats like Ursula le Guin and Geoff Ryman. She was instrumental in launching the World Fantasy Award-winning Fantasy Masterworks, a companion list to the SF Masterworks, a library of the greatest, most original and most influential fantasy books ever written. Most recently she has taken Charlaine Harris to the very top of the bestseller charts, making her an overnight success after 23 years’ writing.

Outside of her work as an editor and publisher, Fletcher is an award-winning poet (her first collection, Shadows of Light and Dark, published by Alchemy Press) was shortlisted for the British Fantasy Award. She has ghost-written everything from fantasy epics to history books to military memoirs, several of which have been international bestsellers. On the fiction front she has co-edited a number of anthologies with multiple award-winner Stephen Jones, and edited the 2010 poetry anthology Off the Coastal Path. Her journalism, which included a decade in Fleet Street as an investigative reporter (uncovering back market arms dealers and exposing corrupt politicians) and two stints as a film critic, won her a number of plaudits, including an Old Bailey High Court Commendation after she helped foil a bombing raid on Rupert Murdoch’s Wapping plant, home of The Times, Sunday Times, News of the World and the Sun. She has won an International Society of Poets Award, a World Fantasy Award and a British Fantasy Society Award.

*  Sue Fletcher, Publisher of the new company, asked original Gollancz editor Malcolm Edwards, then MD of HarperCollins, where to find a genre editor, and he said it was easier to teach a journalist who knew the field inside out how to be an editor, than to teach an editor how to love fantasy and science fiction. It’s a very small world!

 

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