Bright News: Arabella Stein joins Bright Group International

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Bright Group International, founded in 2003 by Vicki Willden-Lebrecht, set out to be a pioneering agency that prioritised the creative needs as well as the legal and financial offerings of a standard agency. Bright has since grown into one of the most forward thinking talent management agencies with exceptional results in the last 12 years, now managing artists including Benji Davies, Sue Hendra and Yasmeen Ismail, to name a few.

With a growing portfolio Bright have appointed Arabella Stein as their new Senior Agent. Previously Editorial Director at Pan Macmillan, Fourth Estate and Paperback Publishing Director at Bloomsbury, Arabella was then a director at the Abner Stein Literary Agency for over 12 years representing a variety of prize-winning and bestselling authors.

Arabella will be managing her own list of author illustrators, covering illustrators only as well as author illustrated trade picture book artists. She will develop a fiction author list, inheriting some of the agencies biggest stars as well as signing new talent. On joining Bright, Arabella has said:

‘I have long admired Bright Group, in all its energy and ambition, and I am now absolutely delighted to be joining the agency at this enormously exciting time in the company history.  On first meeting Vicki, and then the rest of the team, I was immediately drawn to the warmth, wit and professionalism they displayed, and of course the unparalleled list of illustrators and authors whom they represent, and whom I can’t wait to start working on behalf of.’

Bright Offers a full spectrum of artist management, from graduation, new artists starting out, and overseas to full rights management and career guidance. Bright artists are highly recognized, topping sales charts, winning illustration and publishing awards including, The AOI World Illustration Award, The Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards, Waterstones Picture Book Prize and The V&A Best Illustration Book Award. With artists contributing to major literary festivals including Oxford and Cheltenham and newer festivals such as The National Trust Children’s Book Festival.

The Bright Group had a phenomenal year in 2015, opening their US office with a team of 4 on 5th Avenue in New York. With recent success such as Lee Wildish making it to #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List with How to Catch Santa, signing 10 new US based artists and securing 12 new author illustrator titles in the last quarter. With Yasmeen Ismail and Benji Davies also selected for the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show in NYC, the US team have a promising year ahead.

In UK news, in November last year Bright opened The Bright Emporium in Clapham, London. A dedicated space focused on driving the discoverability of its clients’ work, this gallery-come-shop celebrates the creative process that goes into making a book and Bright artists’ work.

Emporium window on opening night

Bright are now developing further as a media agency, by signing joint ventures to take its artists books beyond the page with rights for TV and film. 2016 will be a year of core business for the agency and developing author illustrator management with Arabella’s senior appointment, will be driving force within that.

Managing Director Vicki Willden-Lebrecht has said:

‘The demands on my time change as Bright evolves, recently I have become more gate keeper than promoter, my expertise in seeing the commercial ‘hit’ and making things happen are shifting into more rights management. I will always remain heavily involved in the art direction of new artists and catching new talent – but there is a new generation of current middle weight artists emerging that warrant strong, experienced and expert management. With Arabella’s background and new thirst for children’s literature, she will be the perfect person to do this. On meeting Arabella I was dazzled by her intelligence and wonderful likability, as I know my clients will be. I immediately knew we would work brilliantly together and she will have the freedom, whilst having my support, to carve out a truly exciting and exceptional list of proposals for clients. She will be an absolute gift for our artists to work with.’

A testament to the growth of the children’s publishing industry, Arabella’s transition from adult publishing to the world of children’s picture books is truly exciting for Bright, further validating their expanding business within this sector.