HarperCollins Children's Books and Walden Media, the film studio behind THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA and BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, have formed a strategic partnership to establish a new children's book imprint called Walden Pond Press.
The announcement was made by Susan Katz, President and Publisher of HarperCollins Children's Books and Micheal Flaherty, Co-Founder and President of Walden Media.
Under the multi-year agreement, Walden Pond Press will acquire and publish books for young readers; pair book properties with filmmakers and actors; and collaborate on the development and production of motion pictures based on select book titles.
The joint venture follows a longstanding promotional partnership between Walden Media and HarperCollins supporting literacy, featuring books such as THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, PRINCE CASPIAN, BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA and CHARLOTTE'S WEB that have been published by HarperCollins and adapted for the big screen by Walden.
The first Walden Pond title will be THE WILL OF WILL WOLFKIN, by Steven Knight, the Academy Award-nominated screenwriter of DIRTY PRETTY THINGS, who also wrote the screenplays for EASTERN PROMISES and AMAZING GRACE. In addition, Walden Media has hired Knight to be principal screenwriter of VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER, the third installment of the CHRONICLES OF NARNIA series produced by Walden Media in association with the Walt Disney Company. THE WILL OF WILL WOLFKIN, a sweeping epic fantasy set under a glacier in Iceland, is scheduled to be published by Walden Pond Press in Fall 2009.
Walden Pond Press is Walden Media's first dedicated publishing imprint. The deal was negotiated by Susan Katz of HarperCollins and Chip Flaherty, Executive VP of Publishing at Walden Media. The imprint will be led editorially at HarperCollins by Brenda Bowen, VP and Publisher, the Bowen Press, and at Walden Media by Deborah Kovacs, SVP of Publishing. The new entity will have offices at HarperCollins headquarters in New York and at Walden Media offices in Boston and be supported by its own dedicated editorial and marketing staff.
"We have partnered with Walden Media successfully on many projects -- NARNIA, CHARLOTTE'S WEB, BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA. This joint venture solidifies our already successful relationship," said Susan Katz, President and Publisher of HarperCollins Children's Books. "Having a single imprint will enable Walden Media to focus their book publishing program and Harper to market and sell the books most effectively."
"We've had extraordinary success turning great stories into great films," said Micheal Flaherty, Co-Founder and President of Walden Media. "Walden Pond Press will continue that success on the printed page, delivering Walden's uplifting and entertaining stories to an even wider audience."