Publishing alumna wins Kim Scott Walwyn Prize

Kay Peddle wins 2011 Kim Scott Walwyn Prize

Kay Peddle, the woman behind Bodley Head’s innovative Brain Shots audiobooks, was last week named the winner of the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize 2011. The accolade, which recognises the professional achievements of women in publishing, was announced by Prize Committee member Kate Jury at a ceremony at the Free Word Centre in Farringdon. Helen Fraser, former Managing Director of Penguin UK, delivered the keynote speech on women and success.

Born and raised in South Africa, Kay Peddle came to Britain in 2006 and studied for an MA in International Publishing at Oxford Brookes University. She graduated with Distinction and started her publishing career as a Marketing Assistant at Random House. In 2008, she moved into editorial and, as Assistant Editor at Vintage, conceived and produced the Bodley Head Brain Shots, which launched to great acclaim in 2009. The success of this industry-first series shows her ability to explore new formats and to respond to the fast-changing market with great agility and flair.

Kay Peddle said, on winning:

'Kim Scott Walwyn's life and memory is such an inspiration and it is a true honour to receive this prize. Meeting Kim's family, friends and colleagues, as well as the award winners from previous years, was so special and moving. In keeping with the spirit of the award, I would like this prize money and the training course to go to a young woman looking to get into publishing but who would not otherwise be able to undertake a work experience placement in London. I hope Kim would approve.'

Kate Jury, Chair of the prize-awarding committee, commented:

'The committee's warmest congratulations go to Kay Peddle on winning the first of the new Kim Scott Walwyn prizes, sponsored by the Society of Young Publishers and the Publishing Training Centre. The judging committee were very impressed by both Kay's achievements, and by her clear-sighted analysis of how she could use her skills and experience to reach out to new and different audiences. We hope her achievements will inspire women from all areas of publishing to apply for the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize next year.'

Viv Bird, CEO of Booktrust, added:

'Booktrust is proud to manage a Prize that celebrates exceptional women publishers and helps them to continue developing their careers. We are delighted that Kay Peddle has won this year’s Prize, and applaud her dedication to books, authors and readers alike. 

Kay’s past achievements are impressive, particularly the innovative Bodley Head Brain Shots, as is her awareness of the role publishers play in bringing books and people together; we hope winning this Prize will spur her on to further success.'

Kay Peddle receives a cheque for £1000 sponsored by the SYP, as well as a one-day course of her choice, courtesy of the Publishing Training Centre (PTC) in Wandsworth.

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