Hodder & Stoughton (H&S) has appointed Wellcome Collection publisher Kirty Topiwala to lead its general non-fiction publishing.
Topiwala has spent eight years at Wellcome, where she is also the book prize manager, and transformed its publishing from a collection of catalogues into a vibrant trade-facing list.
Currently on maternity leave, she will join H&S in October, reporting to m.d. Carolyn Mays.
Mays said: “I could not be more delighted that Kirty has agreed to join us. We already have a group of experienced and highly successful non-fiction commissioners who have delivered major successes year after year. Kirty will add a new dimension to this team. She has a fascinating ability to find the twist that gives the usual book an unusual shape. Her combination of intelligent creativity and appetite for the ambitious commercial publication, along with her determination and flair, will take Hodder’s non-fiction publishing to the next level.”
In 2014, Topiwala helped launch a partnership with Profile Books, leading to successes including Forensics by Val McDermid, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande and Adventures in Human Being by Gavin Francis. She set up a second, illustrated, partnership with Thames & Hudson, publishing titles like The Sick Rose by Richard Barnett.
She was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2014 and made a name for herself matching unexpected authors with a creative approach to medicine and science. Commissions include Iain Sinclair on architecture and health in Living with Buildings, Michael Rosen’s Book of Play, coming this autumn, and Martin Sixsmith on the psychology of the Cold War, The War of Nerves, to be published in 2021.
After taking over the management of the Wellcome Book Prize in 2013, she grew its profile and impact, relaunching and rebranding the contest.
Topiwala said: “I've had a wonderful eight years building up Wellcome Collection's publishing, working so closely with the brilliant people at Profile Books and in our museum and library. I'm exceptionally proud of what we've achieved together, bringing original and important books into the world. Hodder & Stoughton is one of the biggest names in British publishing, with a peerless commercial track record. I’m really excited to be working across a broad range of genres with such a talented group of editors. I can’t wait to join the team.”