News Round Up: 19th May

News Round Up: 19th May

Kim Scott Walwyn Prize: Still needed
Publishing is an industry pretty much dominated by women, both inside the big houses and outside at the bookshop check out. We edit, market, licence, translate and buy.

So it’s perhaps a little odd that one of the biggest awards in UK publishing – the Kim Scott Walwyn – is one designed to recognise women’s achievements in the industry.

It was won this week won by Miriam Robertson, Head of Marketing at Foyles, who, as a bookseller, got some rare but well-deserved recognition for her creative and innovate approach.

Author and activist Joan Smith, meanwhile, underlined the reason why the award is still important in a speech at the awards ceremony. “When I got my first job as a journalist,” she said, “I was told I’d have to train a bit. But not to worry, because then I could write about fashion.”

She also told of her editor at Faber, who’d worked her way up from secretary and, more soberingly, of the thousands of women across the world denied the education to even know how to read.

Maybe in such a society, an industry which recognises women’s contributions is still desperately needed. Our congratulations to Miriam and the runners up.

Mantel proves her worth in the bestseller charts
Hilary Mantel’s
Bring up the Bodies has done yet another undeniably fantastic thing to quell those critics saying it doesn’t deserve more awards – the mass-market edition stormed to the top of the bestseller charts in one week, selling nearly 20,500 copies.

It’s the first Booker prize winner to top the charts since records began, as well as Mantel’s first official number one. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, naysayers.

It knocked Sophie Kinsella’s I’ve Got Your Number off the top comfortably – Kinsella too had managed to get to number one after just one week.

I’ve Got Your Number had previously replaced Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl as the number one book in the UK. Clearly readers, at least, don’t need awards to recognise women’s achievements in publishing.

Yet another literary award manages to do what the press still can’t
The Commonwealth Foundation announced the regional winners of the Commonwealth Book Prize and the Commonwealth Short Story Prize this week, and five women were amongst the overall nine.

Lisa O’Donnell and Nayomi Munaweera were regional winners of the Book Prize in the UK and Asia respectively, whilst Eliza Robertson of Canada, Sharon Millar of Trinidad and Tobago and Zoe Meagar of New Zealand each won the Short Story Prize in their countries.

The overall winners will be announced at the Hay Fesitval on the 31st May.

That’s all folks. What did you think of the week that was? Did we miss anything?
Rebecca Winson