Scholastic Partners With The Chicken House

Posted on November 17, 2000

Scholastic has announced a new publishing partnership with The Chicken House, headed by Barry Cunningham, best known as the man who discovered J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter in the United Kingdom. Scholastic will begin publication of The Chicken House titles in the U.S. in Fall 2001.

``We are excited and proud to welcome Barry Cunningham and The Chicken House to Scholastic,'' said Barbara Marcus, President, Scholastic Books. ``Barry's stellar instinct combined with his strong sense of developing new authors, original formats and inventive series will be a wonderful asset to Scholastic.''

``The Chicken House is about having fun, developing imagination and new formats. We always like to find, build and encourage new writers -- J.K. Rowling was just the first,'' said Barry Cunningham, Publisher and Managing Director of The Chicken House. ``Scholastic's extensive distribution coupled with our creativity and ability to find new talent make this a winning partnership.''

The Chicken House list is primarily targeted at ages 8-12 years. The Chicken House is also targeting the expanding ``tween'' market of pre-teen girls. To promote The Chicken House titles, Scholastic will develop marketing campaigns and programs, design new covers, and collaborate on new projects for the North American market.

For Fall 2001, The Chicken House key fiction titles include Spellfall, written by Katherine Roberts, a fantasy tale about kidnap and sorcery spanning two worlds and The Witch Trade, from first-time children's author M.C. Molloy, a fantasy set in a magical world where good is threatened by evil witches. Non-fiction titles include Girl Heaven, a girl's guide to the universe, Girl.Net, a girl's guide to a world of computers and the Internet, and Girl Band, a girl's guide on how to start a band. Several giftbooks will also be published.

Chicken House Publishing Ltd. is an Egmont Joint Venture Company, founded in the United Kingdom by Barry Cunningham, who is now the publisher and managing director of The Chicken House. His previous roles have included sales and marketing director positions at Penguin Books and Random House UK. He was the publisher of Bloomsbury Children's Books, where he discovered J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling has publicly praised him for his creative and commercial skill, ``If it hadn't been for Barry Cunningham, Harry Potter might still be languishing in his cupboard under the stairs ... I doubt any of the writers with whom he has worked could be more grateful to him.''