Pan Macmillan celebrated female writers at its annual women’s fiction party on Tuesday evening (30th January).
Women speaking publicly about sexual harassment is “changing the role for all of us”, Pan Mac adult publisher Jeremy Trevathan told the 200-odd assembled guests at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London’s Kings Cross.
Kate Mosse, Kate Morton, Lucy Diamond and Katy Regan were some of the authors attending the 'time'-themed event, which took place in the Ladies Smoking Room, situated above the St Pancras clock tower which was built in 1868.
Anthony Forbes Watson, Kate Mosse and Mark Lucas
Journalists from print, online media, bloggers, podcasters and retailers also filled the room as well as literary agents, who were described as the ‘Dick Dastardly of the literary community’ by Trevathan.
The Pan Mac adult publisher, who has been with the company for around 25 years, revealed that he felt reluctant to categorise the writers as “women authors” but that 2018 was an important year for gender equality. He also alluded to the international outcry about harassment and #MeToo movement, prompted by the allegations against Harvey Weinstein in October, which the Hollywood producer denies.
Trevathan said: “As many of you know, I feel angry and a bit queasy at defining the wonderful array of writing by the gender of the authors. After all these are just thundering good reads.
“But this a particularly important this year to celebrate women’s writing. It is, after all, the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote in the UK which is amazing. Also all over the world have started to stand up and take a stand about abuse and sexual behaviour and I hope changing the role for all of us by doing that.”
He revealed that the celebration above the clock tower, and various clock faces around the room, all aligned with the party’s theme of ‘time’.
Holly Ringland and Rosie Walsh
Trevathan said this this could be about “either books that take you back in time or taking time for yourself or reminiscing on good times gone by like the founding of Macmillan 175 years ago this year… Macmillan is 25 years older than the building we’re standing in”.
The room was decorated by proofs of books such as Mosse’s The Burning Chambers, The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen and debut novel, Dear Mrs Bird, by A J Pearce which was scooped by Picador in a seven-way auction.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Pan Mac's creative director Geoff Duffield would leave the publisher after 16 years to found an author-brand agency, with Anna Bond taking on a "new and broader" role as sales and brand director.
Since 2012 Pan Mac sales have risen by 38.5% in the TCM value, from £50.1m to £69.4m in 2017, according to Nielsen BookScan.