Kim Scott Walwyn Prize announces its 2019 shortlist of outstanding women in publishing

Posted on May 14, 2019 in UK

The Kim Scott Walwyn Prize has named its 2019 shortlist of talented women. The prize, founded in 2003 in honour of Kim Scott Walwyn, former Publishing Director of OUP, recognises the professional achievements and promise of women who have worked in the UK publishing industry for up to seven years.

This year’s shortlist demonstrates the dynamism of the independent sector and the power of entrepreneurism whilst being the prize’s most diverse shortlist ever.

The 2019 Kim Scott Walwyn Prize shortlist is comprised of

AIMÉE FELONE, co-founder, KNIGHTS OF

AKI SCHILZ, Director, THE LITERARY CONSULTANCY

CRYSTAL MAHEY-MORGAN, co-founder, OWN IT!

HEATHER McDAID and LAURA JONES, co-founders of 404 INK
OLA GOTKOWSKA, Contracts Manager, NOSY CROW

This 2019 shortlist is a list of true change-makers. Each of the shortlistees is notable for developing new business models and funding processes, with a clear awareness of nurturing new partnerships and widening diversity. They demonstrate the changing roles in both the traditional and non-traditional publishing landscape and offer a huge range of talents and skills sets. They are opening up publishing to new voices, increasing representation of unheard and under-represented voices and prove that the most exciting businesses don’t have to be in London.

The judges were impressed by the dedication and passion of all the submissions received in 2019.

The judging panel explained why each of the shortlist were selected:

AIMÉE FELONE, co-founder, KNIGHTS OF

In her five years in publishing Aimée Felone has made an astonishing contribution to the industry: not only has Knights Of, the publishing house she co-founded, established itself as a vibrant and inclusive independent publishing house, but in 2017 Aimée also launched a crowdfund campaign which raised £50,000 to open Brixton’s first permanent inclusive children’s bookshop. In addition to the management and direction of the company, she contributes energetically beyond the walls of the publishing house, sitting on numerous boards and steering groups dedicated to the creation of a more representative workforce.

AKI SCHILZ, Director, THE LITERARY CONSULTANCY

Aki has impressively dedicated herself to building on Rebecca Swift’s huge contribution to literature, not only keeping The Literary Consultancy steady after Rebecca’s sad and untimely death but building on her long legacy. At a young age, Aki has shown incredible strength and vision, indeed, The Literary Consultancy could not be in better hands.

CRYSTAL MAHEY-MORGAN, co-owner, OWN IT!

Having first cut her teeth at Penguin Random House, Crystal has demonstrated incredible entrepreneurism, dynamism, creativity and business management in the founding and development of OWN IT! Refusing to be bound by what others might think is the right way to do publishing, Crystal has shown time and again what true innovation looks like in creating a business with a powerful publishing core but that is constantly evolving to meet the needs of readers and authors alike whilst herself being a powerful force for change and good in the industry.

HEATHER McDAID and LAURA JONES, co-founders of 404 INK

The judges decided to include both Laura and Heather as one entry in this year shortlist. When reading each of their applications, it was clear how the success of 404 Ink was due to the exceptional work of two incredibly talented partners. Laura and Heather’s entrepreneurship and commitment to a different kind of publishing made them stand out. They are a fantastic example of innovative thinking and have contributed to the thriving of the Scottish publishing scene greatly, putting transparency and new voices at the heart of what they do.

OLA GOTKOWSKA, Contracts Manager, NOSY CROW

The judges were incredibly impressed not only by Ola’s stellar achievements in the sale of rights but also by the fortitude and courage with which she has adapted to her changing life circumstances. It was obvious from the genuine praise she has received from all quarters that she is a joy to work with, a real and demonstrable asset to a publishing house, and an inspiring mentor to more junior colleagues.

Founded in 2003, the Prize honours the life and career of Kim Scott Walwyn, who was Publishing Director at Oxford University Press and who died in 2002 at the age of 45. The Prize is run in partnership with the Society of Young Publishers (SYP). The winner of the Prize receives £1000, sponsored by the SYP.

The judging panel comprised 2017 winner Alice Curry; Ain Deheb Bensenouci (2018 Chair of the Society of Young Publishers and Senior Academic Partnership Manager at Epigeum); and prize committee members Rukhsana Yasmin (Deputy Editor of Wasafiri Magazine and winner of the 2012 Prize), Julia Kingsford (Co-founder of Kingsford Campbell and The Good Agency); and Emma Paterson (Agent at Aitken Alexander Associates). The panel was co-chaired by Catherine Clarke, Agent and MD of Felicity Bryan Associates, and Denise Johnstone-Burt, Publisher at Walker Books.

The winner announcement will be on Tuesday 28 May 2019 at a prize ceremony at Stationers’ Hall in central London, with a keynote from Deborah Frances-White, comedian and Sunday Times bestselling author, best known for her hit podcast The Guilty Feminist.