Melissa Cox, currently editorial director for Hodder & Stoughton’s Coronet imprint, is joining Bonnier Books UK as a publishing director for its flagship adult fiction imprint, Zaffre.

She will acquire and commission titles for Zaffre’s flourishing list across the full gamut of commercial fiction publishing as part of the next phase in Bonnier Books UK’s strategy for growth.

Since joining Hodder & Stoughton in 2016 from Waterstones, Cox’s publishing has included the Costa-shortlisted The Stranding by Kate Sawyer; the National Book Award-winning Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo; RNA-shortlisted writers Amber Crewe and Lizzy Byron; the New York Times and number one Sunday Times bestseller Grace D. Li; Crazy Ex-Girlfriend creator, Rachel Bloom; and Rowan Coleman.

Cox was shortlisted for the 2021 RNA Inclusion Award, recognized for her work promoting greater inclusion and representation within the commercial fiction space, and has previously been featured in both the Bookseller 100 and its Rising Stars lists.

Melissa Cox said: ‘I am so delighted to be joining this incredibly dynamic publisher during a period of exciting growth. From the very first meeting with Kate, Margaret and the rest of the Bonnier team, I was dazzled by their strategic thinking, creativity, ambition and energy. While sad to be leaving my wonderful authors at Coronet, I am thrilled to be taking this next step and I cannot wait to get stuck in and start reading – and acquiring – plenty of books.’

Kate Parkin, m.d of adult trade publishing, added: ‘Melissa’s creativity, spark and brilliant editorial eye makes her the perfect addition to the talented fiction team at Bonnier Books UK.  The spectacular and rapid growth of our fiction publishing since we launched in 2016 continues, with over 20% of our titles hitting the Sunday Times Top Ten in the first six months of this year alone. Melissa’s appointment signals our intention to build on this and on our reputation for focused publishing.’

Margaret Stead, publisher, said: ‘Melissa’s energy and creativity are hugely impressive, and we’re just so excited to have her join us at Bonnier Books UK. She brings excellence and passion to everything she does, and we can’t wait for her to get started.’

Cox will join the company in August, reporting into Stead.