Mairi Kidd, previously m.d. at Barrington Stoke and head of literature at Creative Scotland, has been appointed c.e.o. of the Newcastle-based National Centre for Children's Books, Seven Stories. Kidd will take up the role in early 2021.
Previous c.e.o. Kate Edwardes left last year; since then creative director John Coburn and collections director Sarah Lawrance have been acting joint chief executives for the interim and they will assume their previous roles when Kidd joins.
Chris Pywell, chair of the Board of Trustees at Seven Stories, said: "In Mairi we have appointed the very best person to lead Seven Stories through a period of exciting sustainable growth. The wealth of her experience is vast and covers all of the main areas of our interest. She has run an award-winning publishing company; she has excellent relationships with many of our author, illustrator and publishing friends; she has worked in a senior role for a government cultural agency and expertly understands policy and funding; and finally, she is a published author with a passion for literature and literacy."
Fellow board member Annie Rigby, founder of Unfolding Theatre, also paid tribute to Kidd's "absolute personal passion for children's literature."
Kidd said: "I'm tremendously excited to join Seven Stories in the New Year, at a time when the imaginative escape, challenge and joy offered by books and reading are more vital than ever for children and young people. I've known the organisation for many years and look forward to helping shape its future programmes, reaching across Newcastle and beyond, and informed and inspired by the world class collection at Seven Stories' heart."
As well as her roles at Barrington Stoke and Creative Scotland, Kidd is a published author for children and adults, with her most recent title being Feisty and Fiery and Fierce: Badass Celtic Women to Live your Life by from the Celtic Nations of Scotland, Ireland and Wales (Black & White Publishing, September 2020).