The Kim Scott Walwyn Prize, celebrating exceptional women in publishing, is back for 2017, following 2016's "fallow" year. The prize, which recognises the "professional achievements and promise of women in publishing" opens for submissions today (9th January).
There are two ways to enter: nomination or self-submission. The rules state women must have worked in publishing in the UK for no more than seven years to be eligible, but those who would have qualified in 2016 are also able to enter.
The deadline for nominations is 5pm (GMT) on Friday 27th January while the deadline for self-submission is 5pm (GMT) Friday 10th February. Both entry forms can be found on the prize's website.
The award was founded in 2003 to honour the life and career of Kim Scott Walwyn, former publishing director at Oxford University Press, who died in 2002, aged 45. It is run in partnership with the Society of Young Publishers (SYP) and the Publishing Training Centre (PTC).
A prize pot of £1,000 is up for grabs sponsored by the SYP, as well as a two-day training course of their choice at the PTC. Shortlisted candidates also receive a one-day training course courtesy of the PTC.
Co-chair of the prize committee, Catherine Clarke, an agent at Felicity Bryan Associates, welcomed its return in the context of an industry that has seen "a recent rolling back of women in the top echelons".
“We are delighted to be relaunching the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize this year, with the generous support of the Publishing Training Centre and the Society of Young Publishers. In an industry that has seen a recent rolling back of women in the top echelons, the prize continues to shine a light on the considerable talents and achievements of women in publishing.”
Among the past recipients of the prize include Rebecca Lewis-Oakes, then editor at Puffin, now managing editor for fiction at Egmont, in 2015, and Anne Perry, founder of The Kitschies and now commissioning editor at Hodder & Stoughton, in 2014. The winner of the 2013 Prize was Miriam Robinson, programme director for The Bookseller’s Marketing & Publicity Conference and associate director at The Literary Platform, formerly of Foyles.
Peter McKay, chief executive of the Publishing Training Centre, said: “Most of the training that the PTC undertakes is with individuals who are in the early stages of their publishing careers. Being involved with the Kim Scott Walwyn Award gives the PTC the chance of seeing how those careers develop.
"Being successful in publishing is a combination of the creative and the entrepreneurial, one needs to balance intuition and inspiration with methodology and endeavour. All previous award winners, diverse as they have been, demonstrated how to succeed in the publishing world. I look forward to celebrating this year’s nominees and winners.”
Zara Markland, 2016 Chair of the Society of Young Publishers, said: “I am thrilled that the SYP is able to support and be such an intrinsic part of the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize once again this year. The prize is something we are very proud to be a part of as its celebration of female success in the early stages of the career is an inspiration to our members, sending the message that fresh insight and being bold with your ideas will be both recognised and rewarded.”
The judging panel, under the chairmanship of Clarke, comprises also Denise Johnstone-Burt, publisher at Walker Books, Professor Dame Hermione Lee CBE (biographer and President of Wolfson College Oxford), representatives of the Society of Young Publishers and the Publishing Training centre and a former winner.
The shortlist announcement will be made on Tuesday 14th March 2017 during London Book Fair, to tie with the seminar "A Career in Publishing: How to Achieve Success" (4pm) featuring Clarke and Johnstone-Burt in conversation with a selection of former winners of the prize.
The winner announcement will be on Wednesday 10th May 2017 at a prize ceremony on the roof terrace at Carmelite House.