Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Publishers Lunch

Today's Meal

For the first time, Americans won both the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, the UK's top children's book prizes. Ruta Sepetys won the Carnegie Medal for Salt to the Sea (Penguin Children's/Puffin), and Lane Smith won the Kate Greenaway Medal category with picture book There is a Tribe of Kids (Roaring Brook Press/Two Hoots). In accepting the award, Sepetys said: "As a writer, I am drawn to underrepresented stories and history in hiding. I spend a lot of time pondering the question - why do some parts of history penetrate our collective consciousness while others remain hidden? When I began work on the novel years ago, I had no way of knowing that when it was published, we would be amidst a refugee crisis. Then and now, my thoughts return to the children."

Sebastian Barry won the UK's Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction for Days Without End, becoming the first author to win the prize twice (he won for On Canaan’s Side in 2012).

Also in the UK, the Queen's annual Birthday Honors list
named J.K. Rowling a Companion of Honor, the highest category awarded, for her services to literature and philanthropy. Among others on the list, Virago Press founder Carmen Callil was made a Dame.

Melissa Ashley won the Australian Booksellers Association Booksellers Choice Award for her debut novel
The Birdman's Wife.

David Fromkin, 84, author of NBCC and Pulitzer finalist
A Peace to End All Peace, died June 11. He was a lawyer, historian, and the author of seven books.

Former publishing executive Dick McCullough, 67, died last week following a battle with brain tumors. Mike Shatzkin has posted a testimonial to "the best leader I ever met in the corporate world." He notes: "Dick was not an unconventional person, but he loved eccentricity in other people. He wasn't a brilliant thinker, but he gravitated to people who were. He learned from everybody. He respected everybody. He was relentlessly fair....He inspired us all to be better people. He inspired us all to have a generous spirit. He valued hard work, but he also valued a good time. I have never had a real job or a real boss, but I think most of the people who worked for Dick will tell you they never had a better boss. I never had a more enjoyable client relationship. What a fabulous person he was."

Arsenal Pulp Press has paired author, comedian, and playwright Charles Demers as curator and editor for a new comedy book imprint: Robin's Egg Books, launching in October with Evany Rosen's comic essays, What I Think Happened: An Underresearched History of the Western World.


Black Bird Bookstore has opened in the Outer Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco. Owner Kathryn Grantham described the store as a "community bookstore for all" focus that will include "both local and global authors," highlighting diverse voices and women of color.

The University of Connectitut plans a $3 million renovation of the bookstore at its main campus in Storrs. With students increasingly buying books online, general manager Len Oser
said the goal of the renovation will be to create a "gathering place for students, faculty, alumni, and visitors."

Following the absorption of the IDPF into WC3, the parent organization has
launched a standards-track Publishing Working Group and is inviting participation, as well as submissions for a conference in November. The publishing group's mission is "to provide the necessary technologies on the Open Web Platform to make the combination of traditional publishing and the web complete in terms of accessibility, usability, portability, distribution, archiving, offline access, and reliable cross referencing."

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