The Kim Scott Walwyn Prize has received a record number of 33 nominations this year with potential applicants now urged to “shake off the fear" and apply themselves.
The £1,000 award, which recognises the professional achievements and promise of women in publishing, is open to any woman who has worked in publishing in the UK for up to seven years.
Nominations closed on Monday (25th February) with a record number of 33, while the deadline for self-submission runs until 18th March at 5pm.
Founded in 2003, the prize is run in partnership with the Society of Young Publishers (SYP) honouring Kim Scott Walwyn, publishing director at Oxford University Press, who died in 2002 at the age of 45.
One of this year’s judges, Julia Kingsford, has welcomed the strong showing of support and called on women to apply.
Kingsford, co-founder and director of The Good Agency and Kingsford Campbell, told The Bookseller: "I think it's really empowering to see such a high level of nominations as it's always really pleasing to see colleagues supporting each other in their career progression."
Kingsford added: "I am really hoping to see the level of nominations matched by people putting themselves forward. It isn't always easy to blow your own trumpet for anyone and every study shows that women are less inclined to do this than men, but whether this is because of lack of confidence or fear of being judged we are better off when we are loud and proud about our achievements and I would encourage anyone worrying about putting themselves forwards to shake the fear off and do it.
"I think it's very much the case that the days of pulling the ladder up behind oneself are long gone (if they ever really existed) and with initiatives such as this and The Bookseller's Rising Stars it's fantastic to see so much energy being invested in considering and developing the industry leaders of the future.”
The news comes a month after the hugely successful launch of the digital platform and newsletter, The FLIP (Female Leadership in Publishing), from three Transworld colleagues to showcase "brilliant, inspiring, courageous and creative" women in the industry.
Joining Kingsford on the judging panel will be Aitken Alexander Associates agent Emma Paterson along with 2017 prize-winner and founder and publisher of Lantana Press Alice Curry, Ain Deheb Bensenouci, senior academic partnership manager at Epigeum, and Rukhsana Yasmin, deputy editor of Wasafiri Magazine and winner of the 2012 Prize.
The panel will be jointly chaired by Catherine Clarke, agent and m.d. at Felicity Bryan Associates, and Denise Johnstone-Burt, executive editorial director at Walker Books.
The prize has now been awarded 11 times. Organisers say it has "a proven track record in highlighting ‘ones to watch’ from across the industry” with winners such as The Bookseller's Miriam Robinson and editorial director at Simon & Schuster Anne Perry, while shortlisted entrants included Queenie author and Vintage employee Candice Carty-Williams.
Entry for self-submissions closes on 18th March at 5pm with the shortlist revealed on 1st May. The winner will be announced on 28th May at a prize ceremony at Stationers’ Hall in central London. This year’s keynote speaker will be author and comedian Deborah Frances-White.
For more information, visit kimscottwalwyn.org.