Sunday, December 16, 2018

Latest from The Bookseller

BBA 2019
The Bookseller is expanding The British Book Awards (a.k.a. The Nibbies) by splitting the Children’s Book of the Year category in two and adding a new prize for Small Press of the Year.
Head of Zeus
A redundancy process has begun at independent Head of Zeus, with a number of posts involved, The Bookseller understands.
Bertrams Group
Bertram Group has acquired Education Umbrella, a leading supplier of books and digital learning resources, in its first strategic bolt-on acquisition under its new ownership.
Export Nibbie
A new British Book Award celebrating the best in publishing exports—a sector worth £3.4bn to the trade annually—will be awarded for the first time next year.
The Bookseller Podcast
The Bookseller is this month launching a podcast to run alongside The British Book Awards.
Eleanor Dryden
Eleanor Dryden, currently publishing director at Bonnier Zaffre, is joining Headline Review in April to head up its commercial fiction team.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Heather Morris’ The Tattooist of Auschwitz is proving indelible in both the Mass-Market Fiction chart number one—it racked up its 10th consecutive pole last week—and the Weekly E-Book Ranking top spot, which it grabbed for a sixth time.
Lisa Finch
Bloomsbury’s Lisa Finch will join Canongate in February to cover Steph Scott’s maternity leave.
Michael Morpurgo
Daunt Books, Waterstones and Foyles are raising money for The Passage, a charity that supports people who are homeless, by selling a book of short stories by AS Byatt, Lennie James and Michael Morpurgo.
Jenni Murray
Woman’s Hour presenter Jenni Murray is publishing a book called Fat Cow, Fat Chance with Transworld, investigating the science, social history and psychology of women and weight.
Libraries Connected
Libraries Connected, the charity formerly known as the Society of Chief Librarians, has been awarded £75,000 from the Arts Council to develop better regional support.
A document has been unearthed revealing the existence of a secret “book club” among the CIA operatives who campaigned against the USSR during the Cold War.

The Roundup with PW


Tin House to Shutter Its Lit Mag: Production of the 20-year-old journal will stop after its next issue, but its book imprint, online publication, and workshops will continue.

Poehler Options Makkai: Amy Poehler has landed rights to author Rebecca Makkai's bestseller 'The Great Believers' with the goal of adapting the novel for television.

Wait Wait...for NPR Host Peter Sagal: A "classic midlife crisis" has led to obsessive running, a new marriage, and a new book for the 'Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!' host.

Repurposing Coloring Books to Teach Kids: Artist Sable Elyse Smith uses a coloring book about children going to court to critique the violence of social control.

The 2019 Tournament of Books: 'The Morning News' announces the shortlist, judges, and commentators for its 15th annual March Madness–esque literary competition.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Publishers Lunch

Marnie Cochran will move over to become executive editor at Harmony and Rodale, starting January 1. She has been at Ballantine for over 10 years.

Kerri Kolen has joined Audible as executive editor on their originals team. Most recently she was executive editor at Putnam.

Lucille Rettino has been promoted to the new position of vp, associate publisher, director of marketing and publicity for Tom Doherty Associates. In addition to her existing reports, Melissa Singer will report to Rettino in her scheduling/list management capacity while continuing to report to Patrick Nielsen Hayden for editorial work.

Rachel Richardson is joining Watson, Little as their first-ever rights director. She has been rights director at Rights People.

Susan Yates has announced her retirement from Yates & Yates, where she is office manager, at the end of the year after over 30 years of service.

The inimitable Seth Godin will receive the annual Jack Covert Award for contribution to the business book industry. Covert says in the announcement, "One name is all you need. He is that influential. And he is just as generous. Talking to Seth is like drinking from a firehose. The ideas that come from the man's brain seem endless, and we have benefited greatly as a company from our conversations and connection to him. I know for a fact that he has had a similar impact on countless others."

Godin's longtime publisher Adrian Zackheim at Portfolio adds, "No other author has challenged us quite so much to up our game. No other author has rewarded us, and his readers, with so many remarkable books of enduring value. Indeed, no other author has guided us, as Seth has, to define what we really stand for."

Year-End Letters
Penguin Random House ceo Markus Dohle wrote to employees on Thursday expressing gratitude for their efforts in an annual "tradition that holds significant meaning to me." While "2018 was not an easy year," it still yielded "continued success for Penguin Random House – both creatively and commercially. Most notably, there was Michelle Obama's memoir, "which has been brilliantly published and internationally coordinated by our Crown colleagues with our publishing teams in all our territories, plus many more countries and languages.... Total copies currently in print worldwide: more than five million."

They also "again achieved significant growth in our Audio programs; increased revenues globally; welcomed several publishing houses into our family of imprints in the US, India, Brazil, and Germany; and created a wide range of promising new imprints throughout our territories."

The letter was once again accompanied by a
video, celebrating the company's belief "in the power of books to connect and transform us." Dohle writes: "Penguin Random House's overall success and recognition as the industry leader is inextricably linked to our purpose and social responsibility efforts, which reflect who we are and how we choose to operate. Our shared values and belief in doing good beyond our publishing is a source of strength, pride, and active citizenship for us all."

Adam Foundation Prize

‘Scalp-prickling dazzler of a novel’ wins Adam Foundation Prize

 A sharp, funny, ‘white-hot burn’ of a novel has been awarded the 2018 Adam Foundation Prize in Creative Writing by Victoria University of Wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML). 

Laura Southgate wrote the winning book, The Boyfriend, as part of her 2018 Master of Arts (MA) at the IIML.  

The Boyfriend tells the story of Erica, a student whose life is turned inside out by a relationship with a much older man. Comic and devastating by turn, it applies a scalpel to ideas of romantic love, social mores, and the question of coming of age.

Laura says, “It’s been a wonderful privilege to spend this year at the IIML in such inspiring company and under the expert mentorship of senior lecturer Emily Perkins. My folio was definitely a group effort and I owe a huge debt to Emily and my classmates for their critique, encouragement, and support. I’m very grateful to the examiners for this honour and of course to the Adam Foundation for their remarkable generosity.”

Wellington-born Laura works as a technical writer and is a co-editor of the newly launched 2018 edition of online literary journal Turbine | Kapohau.

Supported by Wellingtonians Verna Adam and the late Denis Adam through the Victoria University of Wellington Foundation, the $3,000 Adam Prize is awarded annually to an outstanding student in the MA in Creative Writing programme.

Emily Perkins says it has been a privilege to read the novel as it has developed over the course of the year.

“This is a scalp-prickling dazzler of a novel, fizzing with quotable lines and remarkable characters—an astute comedy of manners combined with wrenching events that charts a new path through one of humanity’s oldest stories. Laura is an enormously exciting new writer.”

Acclaimed author Tracey Slaughter and Adam Foundation Prize examiner says, ‘Edgy, original, cutting, brave… The Boyfriend announces the arrival of a hard-eyed author with something crucial to say and all the high-impact talent to say it.’

Previous Adam Foundation Prize recipients include authors Eleanor Catton, Catherine Chidgey, Ashleigh Young, Hera Lindsay Bird and Annaleese Jochems.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Māori comedy series wins Victoria University of Wellington Prize

television comedy series that confronts the polarising question of ‘What is a real Māori?’ has been awarded the 2018 David Carson-Parker Embassy Prize in Scriptwriting at Victoria University of Wellington.

Written by Dana Leaming (Ngāpuhi) as part of her 2018 Master of Arts folio at the University’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML), the Not Even series is described by its examiners as ‘intelligent, refreshing and highly entertaining’, ‘very funny and surprisingly thoughtful’ and ‘irreverent, raunchy, bold and appealing’.

Named in honour of the late David Carson-Parker, who established the prize to support the Master of Arts (Scriptwriting), it is continued by David’s partner Jeremy Commons through the University’s Development Office. The $3,000 prize is awarded annually to an outstanding Master of Arts (Scriptwriting) student at the IIML.

Not Even features a group of young Māori friends in their twenties, all wrestling with the tricky question of identity. Their attempts to function as adults blow up like cultural time bombs in ways that are hilarious, humiliating and just straight tragic, says Dana.

She describes the course as “challenging, but the best decision I have made in a long time.” “The mentoring I received pushed through all the doubt I constantly have about my writing. I was able to work through some of my own cultural identity insecurities by literally putting my most humiliating moments on the page,” she says.

An examiner of the winning script wrote, ‘Not Even had me frequently laughing out loud, it shocked me on occasions. I winced now and again at the outrageousness of some of the things being said, and I appreciated the very smart politics at play.’  Another examiner observed, ‘Not Even takes the often lofty, angsty kaupapa of identity politics and gives it an irreverent once-over. The central theme of cultural identity is something that many young Māori contend with and it is fantastic to hear these voices crafted into such a vivid and accessible comedy series.’

Fellow Master of Arts student Vincent Konrad, who identifies as non-binary and uses the pronoun they, has won the Brad McGann Film Writing Award for their feature film script Blue Smoke.


Described by Vincent as a dark Hitchcockian fable, it follows young bride Lottie as she discovers her new life in a small rural town is very different to what she had anticipated.


Examiners described Blue Smoke as ‘a very strong piece of work’ showing ‘originality of voice and a strong setting up of character and style, with many exciting, dramatic moments, set in an interesting world where issues of morality, power and freedom are investigated by story and symbol.’


Vincent says, “I did not expect to write a film this year, and even less so to write one that would win an award. It is a great honour and a comfort that I am grateful for.”


Named in honour of the late Brad McGann (writer/director of In My Father’s Den) the award is also worth $3,000.



Latest from The Bookseller

Hachette UK’s challenge to all major publishers to present their gender pay gaps in a more “transparent” way has been met with silence from the trade's other key players.
Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Jenny Lord, publishing director for Weidenfeld & Nicolson non-fiction, has been promoted to publisher for the imprint while non-fiction publisher Alan Samson's role is expanding to become W&N chairman.
Man Booker Prize
The 2019 Man Booker Prize for Fiction judges have been announced, with book trade heavyweights Peter Florence and Liz Calder on the panel.
Kate Morton
Australian author Kate Morton has won a $500,000 lawsuit against her former literary agent Selwa Anthony.
Pirate site Sci-Hub has been blocked in Russia after a group of publishers applied to the courts to get service providers to stop serving the site.
Hodder & Stoughton
Hodder & Stoughton has acquired the rights to The Clapback: How to Call out Harmful Black Stereotypes by Elijah Lawal.

Bryony Gordon
Journalist and mental health campaigner Bryony Gordon will share her ten crucial life lessons for teenage girls in a book due to be published by Hachette Children’s Group in May.
David Walliams
David Walliams has called for better access to reading and for libraries to be safeguarded, revealing he would introduce new laws on children’s literacy if he were prime minister. 
Mark Billingham
Sphere has acquired three new novels from Mark Billingham for Little, Brown, the first of which will be a new Tom Thorne novel and the crime writer's 20th novel to date, publishing in 2020.
Usborne has bought a LGBTQ+ YA love story by US author Meredith Russo.
Viking is publishing a new novel next year by John le Carré, Agent Running in the Field.
A document has been unearthed revealing the existence of a secret “book club” among the CIA operatives who campaigned against the USSR during the Cold War.