Ain Deheb Bensenouci becomes SYP's new chair

Ain Deheb Bensenouci becomes SYP's new chair

Ain Deheb Bensenouci, academic partnership executive at Oxford University Press and former events coordinator of the London branch of the society, will be the Society of Young Publishers' new UK chair for 2018. She succeeds outgoing chair Alice Geary.

Bensenouci's appointment was one of several at last night’s SYP a.g.m. hosted in the gallery of Stationers Hall near St Pauls in London.

Sophie Waddy, marketing officer at Discover Children's Story Centre and former managing editor of the SYP magazine, InPrint, has been appointed to the newly-created position of vice UK chair.

The London branch of the SYP, which shares the London-based a.g.m., announced Phoebe Morgan, commissioning editor at Harper Collins, and Katrin Krusch, sales manager at London Book Fair, as the new London co-chairs for 2018.

The Oxford branch welcome Daisy Simonis, publicity assistant at Oxford University Press, and Christie Anderson, assistant editor at Oxford University Press, as its new co-chairs; and the North Committee will be chaired by Publishing Studies graduate Rebecca Walker. 

Heather Champion, product editor at Lonely Planet will continue to chair the Ireland branch in Dublin. Catriona Cox and Heather McDaid, co-chairs of the Scotland branch will remain in their roles until the Scotland branch a.g.m. in the spring. 

Other highlights during the evening included announcing the launch of a new cross-branch inclusivity committee to ensure all activity is "welcoming and accessible to aspiring publishers from all backgrounds" 

The a.g.m. included a review of the year too from outgoing chair Geary, acknowledging initiatives such as the collation of the society’s near-70-year archive, the start of an alumni community, the launch of a pop-up event series around the UK, and a relaunch of the website including a new digital membership.

This was followed by a panel talk on the future of audio in publishing from Miles Stevens-Hoare of RB Media, the company behind audiobooks.com, and the team from the Mostly Lit podcast. 

Bensenouci, 2018 UK Chair, said: “I’m honoured and excited to have been appointed UK Chair 2018 and to be joined by Sophie Waddy in the new role of UK Vice Chair. The SYP is developing and expanding rapidly thanks to the hard work of our 5 regional branches, managed by teams of brilliant volunteers. We will continue to advance the society's brand and values across the UK and Ireland, through the help and support of our fantastic members and partners, with whom I look forward to working."

Geary, outgoing UK chair, said: “It has been a real honour to be the first UK chair of such a respected society, and what a year of triumphs it’s been. I have learned so much from my committee members around the UK and Ireland, all of which do this in their spare time, and I can’t wait to see what the society will go on to achieve in 2018.”

The SYP volunteers around the UK and Ireland are appointed or re-elected each year; the maximum term is three years. Full committee lists will be listed on the SYP's website.