Ten editors from publishers such as Nosy Crow, Penguin Random House and Little Tiger have won a place on a funded scouting trip to Bologna to look for foreign-language titles.
The project was set up by Daniel Hahn, a writer and translator, who received funding from Arts Council England. Any editor could apply as long as they worked in children’s and YA publishing and wouldn’t otherwise be going to Bologna in 2019. The only stipulation was that they didn’t already have extensive experience publishing work in translation but had an interest in doing so.
The 10 successful applicants are: Tom Bonnick (Nosy Crow), Callum Kenny (Bloomsbury), Emily Lamm (Hachette), Emily Lunn (Puffin/Penguin Random House), Kesia Lupo (Chicken House), Fiz Osborne (Scholastic), Becky Walker (Usborne), Becky Watson (Walker), Helen Weir (Two Hoots/Macmillan) and Mattie Whitehead (Stripes/Little Tiger).
All 10 work in an editorial capacity, ranging from senior commissioning editors to assistant and junior editors. Some work in fiction, some in non-fiction and others on picture books.
“I’ve been delighted by the response to this new scheme from people right across the UK children’s publishing world,” said Hahn. “We had more than thirty really strong expressions of interest, and the selection process was a particularly painful one. But it’s meant I’ve ended up with a really first-rate selection of editors – some very experienced, others new and promising – who I hope will all in different ways benefit from the experience. I look forward to working with them.”
The project is being supported by partners such as Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Book Trust, The British Council and the magazine Words Without Borders, which, after the trip, will produce a children’s literature special. In addition, BookTrust will produce a set of resources to help non-English publishers pitch to UK editors, as well as a guide to help UK editors spot international excellence.