Born and raised in South Africa, Kay Peddle came to Britain in 2006 and studied for an MA in International Publishing at Oxford Brookes University. She graduated with Distinction and started her publishing career as a Marketing Assistant at Random House. In 2008, she moved into editorial and, as Assistant Editor at Vintage, conceived and produced the Bodley Head Brain Shots, which launched to great acclaim in 2009. The success of this industry-first series shows her ability to explore new formats and to respond to the fast-changing market with great agility and flair.
Kate Jury, Chair of the prize-awarding committee, commented:
'The committee's warmest congratulations go to Kay Peddle on winning the first of the new Kim Scott Walwyn prizes, sponsored by the Society of Young Publishers and the Publishing Training Centre. The judging committee were very impressed by both Kay's achievements, and by her clear-sighted analysis of how she could use her skills and experience to reach out to new and different audiences. We hope her achievements will inspire women from all areas of publishing to apply for the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize next year.'
Viv Bird, CEO of Booktrust, added:
'Booktrust is proud to manage a Prize that celebrates exceptional women publishers and helps them to continue developing their careers. We are delighted that Kay Peddle has won this year's Prize, and applaud her dedication to books, authors and readers alike. Kay's past achievements are impressive, particularly the innovative Bodley Head Brain Shots, as is her awareness of the role publishers play in bringing books and people together; we hope winning this Prize will spur her on to further success.'
Kay Peddle receives a cheque for £1,000 sponsored by the SYP, as well as a one-day course of her choice, courtesy of the Publishing Training Centre (PTC) in Wandsworth.
Peddle joins an impressive list of previous winners of the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize which include Annette Thomas, then Managing Director of Nature Publishing who later became CEO of Macmillan, and Lynette Owen, Copyright Director of Pearson Education Ltd, who was recently awarded an OBE. In 2009, the Prize was awarded to Kathy Rooney, Managing Director of Bloomsbury Publishing.
The Prize was founded in honour of Kim Scott Walwyn, a Publishing Director at Oxford University Press, who died in 2002 at the age of 45. She was an outstanding editor and a generous and inspirational manager whose career was widely recognised and celebrated during her life. The Prize – open to any woman who has worked in publishing in the UK for up to seven years – is managed by Booktrust, the independent national charity which encourages people of all ages and cultures to discover and enjoy reading.
The 2011 shortlist was:
Lucy Cuthew, Commissioning Editor, Meadowside Children's Books
Jessica Leeke, Fiction Editor, Simon & Schuster UK
Sarah Norman, Senior Editor, Atlantic Books
Kay Peddle, Assistant Editor, The Bodley Head (Vintage Publishing, Random House)