Maxim Jakubowski has been appointed the new chair of the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA).
He will succeed outgoing chair Linda Stratmann, after she served the maximum two-year term in the role at the organisation, which aims to support and promote the literary genre and its authors. He was voted in unanimously at the CWA’s annual general meeting.
Jakubowski was elected to the CWA committee in 2014, and has held the role of joint vice-chair from 2017 and publishers' liaison officer from 2019.
Jakubowski has worked as an editor, translator, publisher, author and critic. Following an editorial career in both France and the UK, during which time he launched several crime imprints, including Black Box Thrillers and Blue Murder, he opened the Murder One bookstore in London. He now writes and edits full-time.
He has compiled more than 120 anthologies including the Mammoth Book of Best British Crime, Pulp Fiction, Vintage Crime, Future Cops and London, Paris, Rome and Venice Noir. He won the Anthony award for non-fiction for 100 Great Detectives. He is also the author of 20 novels.
A director of London’s past Crime Scene festival, Jakubowski was also the co-chair of the Nottingham Bouchercon and is a regular broadcaster on matters literary on TV and radio, and a frequent participant in crime festivals around the world. He was also the Guardian's crime reviewer for 12 years.
He said: "As a member for several decades of the CWA, I am excited to take the helm of a vital organisation, which is constantly in the process of reinventing itself and am keen to see it becoming even more relevant to writers in a changing literary and publishing landscape, and currently troubled social landscape. With board members past and new at my side, I hope that my stewardship will do honour to my illustrious predecessors in the chair."
Dea Parkin, secretary at the CWA, said: “We are extremely grateful to Linda for her service at the CWA as chair during especially challenging times. She has helped our organisation grow and innovate. Maxim is a true polymath of the genre, with a wealth of experience on both sides of the fence, as an author and publisher. We’re excited to welcome him as our new chair.”
The organisation's annual general meeting also saw two new faces join the committee. Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin joined as a board member. She writes crime novels as Sam Blake and is founder of the writing resource website, Writing.ie and Murder One, Ireland’s international crime writing festival. She was joined by Simon Michael, a barrister since 1978, who began writing crime fiction in the 1980s alongside a successful Legal 500 career and retired early in 2016 to resume his writing. He has also established and managed a national charity.