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Scottish publishers marked the beginning of the London Book Fair with the first ever ‘Scotland in London’ showcase chaired by TV presenter Sally Magnusson and featuring interviews with Scottish authors Chris Brookmyre, Helen McClory, Sara Sheridan and Andrew O’Hagan.
The event at Scotland House was attended by key figures from the book trade and a large cohort of international publishers who have participated in the Publishing Scotland Fellowship over the last four years.
Marion Sinclair, CEO of Publishing Scotland, revealed the 10 publishers who have been chosen for the fifth International Fellowship which marks 45 publishers who have visited Scotland – appropriate as Publishing Scotland celebrates its 45th year:
Christine Scholz, Fleuve Editions, Paris, France
Ingrid Greaker Myhren, Kagge Forlag, Oslo, Norway
Ingrida Dubauskiene, Alma Litera, Vilnius, Lithuania
Jenna Johnson, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, NYC, USA
Jennifer Croll, Greystone Books, Vancouver, Canada
Lisa Kramer, Penguin Verlag Taschenbuch und Pantheon, Munich, Germany
Nienke van Zwam, Unieboek / Het Spectrum, Houten, Netherlands
Pedro Reisinho, Zero a Oito, Lisbon, Portugal
Sabine Niemeier, Bastei Lubbe, Cologne, Germany
Sergi Siendones Sospedra, Planeta, Barcelona, Spain
The group will spend a week in Scotland at the end of August meeting Scotland-based publishers, agents and writers in a varied programme of events across the country including the Edinburgh International Book Festival, dinner at Robert Louis Stevenson’s former home, a writer showcase in Glasgow and a trip to the Highlands to meet publishers and writers here.
The purpose of the visit is to help develop relationships between the international publishing community and the Scottish sector, facilitate rights selling and bring Scottish books to an international audience.
Previous fellows have acted as disciples for the Scottish publishing scene and the Publishing Scotland drinks receptions at the Frankfurt and London Book Fairs is now a hive of international activity as Fellows reconnect with the publishers.
Former fellow, editor in chief of Penguin Books US, Patrick Nolan, said: ‘I had a chance to strengthen existing relationships and widen my network. I left Scotland with a suitcase full of submissions to consider – and some great new writers discovered and it was really exciting to acquire a new author for my Penguin list from that mix – Kathleen Jamie. I will publish her astonishing new memoir SURFACING this autumn… Scotland is a country with a rich literary heritage and the current publishing scene continues and builds on this legacy. There is a palpable sense of place – the land, the people, the cities that is distinctive and special.’
Scotland-based literary agent Jenny Brown of Jenny Brown Associates , who has been involved with the fellowship since it was established in 2014, said: ‘The fellowship enables us to meet publishers and understand their markets, introduce them to authors and for them to encounter the vibrant literary scene here, in a way that brief 30 minute meetings at book fairs can never achieve.
‘And it works in terms of selling rights: last year was especially successful for our authors, both fiction and non-fiction: Patrick Nolan of Penguin bought North American rights to Kathleen Jamie’s nature essays “Surfacing”, Regina Kammerer of btb Verlag bought German rights to two books by Malachy Tallack : ’60 Degrees North’ and ‘The Valley at the Centre of the World’ from Canongate, and Italian rights in this novel were also bought by Beatrice Masini, of Bompiani-Giunti Editore. Andrea Morstabilini from Il Saggiatore acquired two collections of short stories by Helen McClory.’
Marion Sinclair said: ‘We are hugely privileged to have this fellowship programme as a means of attracting people to come and experience the industry here. Thanks to our funders, in the five years since the fellowship began, we will have invited 45 senior international publishers to Scotland and given our publishers, agents, and writers the chance to get to know them in a more relaxed setting. It’s all part of a wider international strand within our work and is paying dividends in terms of rights deals made, and in the very important relationships that have been forged between the Fellows and the sector.’
The award-winning programme from the network, trade and development body for the book publishing sector in Scotland is supported by funding from Creative Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s XpoNorth Programme.