People in Publishing

Margaret O'Connor has parted amicably with Renaissance Literary & Talent and started her own agency, Innisfree Literary. She will continue to represent her current list of authors and is looking for commercial and up-market fiction, including historical, paranormal, quality women's fiction and YA, memoir, narrative non-fiction, sports, pop-culture, humor, cookbooks and food/wine narratives.

In other agency moves, Kathleen Rushall, previously an agent at Waterside Productions, has joined the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency and is looking for fresh voices in all areas of young adult and middle grade literature including fantasy, historical fiction, science fiction, dystopian stories, and contemporary fiction. She also represents select picture books and adult non-fiction from how-to to lifestyle and parenting.

Publisher of Whitecap Books since 2001, Robert McCullough will join Random House Canada on July 11 as publisher of a new imprint. The line will focus on "the type of lifestyle and food titles for Canada and the North American marketplace that he has published" in the past. The unit will draw on all of RH Canada's shared services. It's designed to grow to publish 15 to 20 titles a year. McCullough will remain based in Vancouver, and reports to president Brad Martin.

UK literary agents Patrick Walsh and Clare Conville of Conville & Walsh are launching a speakers' agency later this month, on June 28, called Hire Intelligence. They will represent 40 lecturers at launch, primarily existing book clients, including Richard Wiseman, Simon Singh, Helen Castor, Carl Honore, Elaine Fox, Misha Glenny, Mike Dash, Andrea Wulf, Gavin Pretor-Pinney and Society of Authors chairman Tom Holland.

Molly O'Neill has been promoted to editor of Katherine Tegen Books.

Murdoch Books has further restructured its workforce following owner Matt Handbury's move into the role of c.e.o. last week. Christine Jones will become managing director of Murdoch Books UK, which has its UK offices in Putney, south-west London, moving from her role as sales and marketing director, with the role of sales manager now created. The independent company will also now publish fewer titles each year, hoping to output 140 titles between July 2011 and June 2012, its financial year, with this figure dropping by about another 20 titles between June 2012 and July 2013.

Jones added that this will depend on "the market realities, but we will be focusing our efforts much more on our UK and North American businesses, both of which include a lot of packaging and rights sales not included in these totals".

Murdoch Books Australia has appointed Deborah Brash, previously art director of Penguin Australia, to the role of creative director, with Lynn Lewis appointed publisher, Lifestyle, and Melanie Ostell appointed publisher for the Pier 9 list. Publicist Shannon Blanchard also joined the publishing team as publisher, Authored Food. The publisher is a specialist in food and illustrated titles with its head office in Sydney.

At Little, Brown Children's, Alvina Ling has been promoted to fiction editorial director, and Julie Scheina is moving up to editor.

Literary agent Weronika Janczuk has joined Lynn C. Franklin Associates, where she will represent a range of adult literary and commercial fiction, non-fiction, and YA. Janczuk has been at D4EO Literary Agency