Australia Has a New Award for Editorial Excellence: The Rosie

In News by Dennis Abrams

A new competition has been announced in Australia’s publishing community. And this time, the honorees aren’t authors but editors.

Image – iStockphoto: dmark

By Dennis Abrams | @DennisAbrams2

‘Rapport With the Author’ is a Criterion
Australia’s Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) has announced that one of its branches, Editors Queensland (EDsQ), is launching an award for editorial excellence, The Rosie.

The award honors the memory of Rosanne Fitzgibbon (1947-2012), a distinguished editor of literary fiction and nonfiction, and of scholarly work in literary studies. She was with the University of Queensland Press for many years. Fitzgibbon won the inaugural Beatrice Davis Editorial Fellowship in 1992, and was called Rosie by colleagues.

The Rosie is devised to award excellence in editing in a single work. Testimonials are collected from the works’ author, publisher, and editor. Any of these parties can nominate an entry for the honor.

Both fiction and nonfiction are eligible, in any genre, or in another substantial body of work.

The Rosie is planned as a biennial award, to coincide with IPEd’s National Editors Conference every other year. As such, it will alternate with the Davis Fellowship, which also is an IPEd-sponsored prize.

“An editor may be nominated for more than one project in a given year,” according to the guidelines, “and may be nominated in multiple years, provided the nominations are for different editorial relationships.”

The nomination process has two parts:

  • An initial short nomination must be made by March 1. From this judges will select a longlist of nominees by the end of March. Nominees must be members either of IPEd or the Canberra Society of Editors.
  • A more detailed nomination phase then will follow, involving short written commentaries from author, publisher, and editor. Longlisted nominees will be asked to submit this material by the end of May.

A shortlist is expected in mid- to late-August, with the inaugural Rosie to be announced at the IPEd conference dinner on September 14.

The winner of the Rosie will receive a cash prize of Australian $4000 (US$2,995).

Key criteria in this award for editing include:

  • Rapport with the author;
  • Adherence to or improvement of the brief, or editing assignment;
  • Thoroughness and consistency;
  • Attention to detail;
  • Problem-solving;
  • Appropriate research, and rewriting where required; and
  • Credibility and trustworthiness.

For further information on the nominating process, click here (PDF).

About the Author

Dennis Abrams

Dennis Abrams is a contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives, responsible for news, children's publishing and media. He's also a restaurant critic, literary blogger, and the author of "The Play's The Thing," a complete YA guide to the plays of William Shakespeare published by Pentian, as well as more than 30 YA biographies and histories for Chelsea House publishers.