Amid Calls for Independence: Publishing Scotland’s ‘Outward-Looking Initiatives’

In News by Dennis Abrams

‘All designed to move Scottish publishers into the international arena,’ Publishing Scotland’s program includes fellowships, translation support, travel aid, and a 2017 catalog.
Publishing Scotland

The 2016 Publishing Scotland Fellows. Image: Publishing Scotland

There may be more resonance this year in Publishing Scotland’s resolute outreach to the international industry. As Edinburgh and London square off on Scottish voters’ rejection of the Brexit referendum, plans may be laid for what Scotland’s first minister calls “democratic self-determination”: another independence vote. Should Scotland leave the UK, its publishers’ networking efforts with world colleagues will be all the more valuable.—Porter Anderson

By Dennis Abrams | @DennisAbrams2

‘Reaching a Worldwide Audience’
Scotland’s trade-industry service organization Publishing Scotland is stressing international outreach in some of its spring activities this year.

Initiatives include the International Publishing Fellowship, now in its third year, which has announced 10 fellows to visit Scotland between August 21 and 26. They include publishing professionals from Germany, the United States, Australia, Finland, Canada, Poland, and Argentina, and they’ll be meeting with publishers, agents, and writers in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Inverness.

Fellows named to this year’s program are:

  • Jackie Cantor, Senior Editor, Gallery Books/Simon and Schuster, USA
  • Melanie Tortoroli, Editor, Viking/Penguin Random House, USA
  • Alana Wilcox, Editorial Director, Coach House Books, Canada
  • Jane Palfreyman, Publisher, Allen & Unwin, Australia
  • Kristina Arnold, Senior Fiction Editor, DTV, Germany
  • Nina Grabe, Acquiring Editor, Rowohlt Verlag, Germany
  • Bénédicte Lombardo, Senior Acquisitions Editor, Éditions Michel Lafon, France
  • Ana Laura Caruso, Editor, Penguin Random House, Argentina, South America
  • Aleksi Siltala, Publisher, Siltala Publishing, Finland
  • Andrzej Zysk, Head of Rights, Zysk Publishing, Poland

In addition, the Publishing Scotland program includes:

  • Residencies for translators at Loch Long’s Cove Park;
  • Funding for Scottish publishers to participate in leading international festivals and book fairs; and
  • The New Books Scotland Spring/Summer 2017 catalog, devised to “showcase the energy and dynamism of the current” Scottish book market.

In a press statement, the chief of Publishing Scotland, Marion Sinclair, is quoted, saying, “It’s more important than ever to be outward-facing and open to the world.

“This range of initiatives—from the fellowship to the Go-See Fund, translation residencies and New Books Scotland—are all designed to move Scottish publishers into the international arena and be of real, practical help to them in reaching a worldwide audience.”

The Go See Fund mentioned by Sinclair supported three Scottish publishers in being at Bologna Children’s Book Fair this year.

One of the program’s fellows last year, Stephen Morrison, publisher and vice president of Picador USA, is quoted in press materials, describing the program as, “one that I think will become one of the most sought-after invitations for people from around the world working in publishing.

“Incredibly well-organized and warmly hosted by a wonderful team, the fellowship was a fascinating introduction to Scotland, its authors, agents, and publishers, both large and small, and to its lively creative community. I cannot recommend the fellowship highly enough.”

The New Books Scotland catalog is created in partnership with a sister agency, Creative Scotland, and highlights new books and authors for the first half of the year.

Aly Barr, acting head of literature in the languages and publishing division with Creative Scotland, is quoted in media materials, saying, “Following on from the recommendations in 2015’s literature sector review, Publishing Scotland’s program is an ambitious and outward-looking series of initiatives based on strong partnerships.

“The design team at Creative Scotland worked closely with Publishing Scotland to produce a guide to Scottish books that’s informative, up to date and, above all, a great read.”

The newly released New Books Scotland catalog is available in PDF here.

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.