The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2019: Winners Announced

The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2019: Winners Announced

The winners of The London Book Fair (LBF) International Excellence Awards were announced at a prestigious ceremony last night, on the first day of the Fair.

Recipients of the awards, held in association with the Publishers Association, came from countries across five continents.

The Espoo City Library in Finland took home The Library of the Year Award, with judges calling it “a fine example to the world of an open and innovative service for everyone, with an enormously successful reading challenge open to all ages. Its locations and its community programs ensure it reaches the hearts and minds of everyone in the city, embracing new technology and reaching out to the elderly, special needs groups and refugees.”

The Bookstore of the Year Award, sponsored by Gardners, went to Fang Suo Commune in Guangzhou, China. “This award goes from strength to strength and the entries were exceptionally strong this year,” the judges said, “Fang Suo is…breath taking in scale and conception. A vast range and constant activities and events…that gives you a glimpse of what bookstores of the future will be.” A special mention was also given to Yemen Book Shop, Yemen, which was praised for “importing and promoting books and multi-cultural understanding in extraordinarily difficult circumstances, where the mere fact it is there and functioning is remarkable.”

The Literary Festival Award went to the Book Arsenal Literary Festival, which takes place in Kiev, Ukraine. The judges said that the Festival “particularly impressed us because of the commitment of the curators and the breadth and innovation of the programming which engages with cross-disciplinary themes designed to attract a range of different audiences without losing the core literature focus.”

Returning for a second year, the Audiobook Publisher of the Year prize was taken home by Booklava in the UAE. The judges congratulated Booklava on “creating and driving a new market, using successful audiobook models as their starting point, then twisting and reshaping them to create a new model for their own market.”

Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives (USA), was awarded the inaugural International Book Trade Journalist prize. Recognising the talent in the shortlist, the judges said, “from a strong shortlist of international reporters, Publishing Perspectives’ Porter Anderson emerged as our winner. We were impressed by the international nature of his coverage, moving from Greece to Brazil, by the mix of news and analysis he provides, and by his energy and dedication in championing the book industry.”

In the Market Focus Indonesia categories, PT. Bestari Buana Murni was awarded The Market Focus Indonesia Children’s, Young Adult and Education Award, with judges remarking on “their ambitious and vast children’s publishing programme which sees over 300 new titles published each year, and their support of reader development through partnerships with libraries, UNICEF and Room to Read amongst others”. Bentang Pustaka won the Adult Trade Award, winning praise for their “broad scope in genres and innovative ideas to connect with readers”.

The Literary Translation Initiative Award went to India’s Tulika Publishers. Judges praised the children’s book company, commenting, “Tulika is a unique and important initiative. Its ambitious, energetic and inclusive publishing programme is driven by a real social imperative, to promote multilingualism and give children stories in the languages they speak at home. Resisting the absolute dominance of English is vital work, and Tulika does that work with charm and humour. Their books, and the messages from the children who read them, brought a smile to our faces.”

This year’s Inclusivity in Publishing Award, supported by the Publishers Association, was awarded to Jacaranda Books. The judges said that they “were really impressed by Jacaranda’s submission and felt they were an inspiration to some of the other diversity-led imprints that have followed them. The company is run by senior BAME women who themselves are excellent role models and their Twenty in 2020 project is an ambitious and exciting one, backed up strong promotional and marketing campaigns.”

The Nick Perren Publishing Foundation – established in memory of the “publisher’s publisher” and former Profile chairman Nick Perren presented its inaugural Post-Graduate Publishing Award, in support of African publishing careers, to students Tsholofelo Matlhadji and Kirsten Benecke.

Jacks Thomas, Director of The London Book Fair, said “The International Excellence Awards remind us of the inspiring work being done by all those in the global publishing community. From translators in India and librarians in Finland to booksellers in China and literary agents in France, these awards show the breadth of talent working in the publishing industry around the world today. We are thrilled to recognise and celebrate individuals and organisations here at The London Book Fair, in the creative capital of the world.”

Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive, The UK Publishers Association, said: “From Brazil to Kenya, this year’s winners epitomise the potential of publishing to build a better world, making us proud to be part of this global community. We are particularly delighted to see Jacaranda take home the Inclusivity in Publishing Award in recognition of their proven track record and vision in championing diverse talent. It is inspiring to see that the next generation of publishers are equally passionate about reaching every reader – the future is in good hands.”

The full list of this year’s International Excellence winners is below:

The Academic and Professional Publisher Award

  • De Gruyter (Germany)

The Audiobook Publisher of the Year

  • Booklava (UAE)

The Bookstore of the Year Award sponsored by Gardners

  • Fang Suo Commune (China)

The Educational Initiatives Award

  • Tata Trusts (India)

The Educational Learning Resources Award, supported by The China Publishing & Media Journal

  • Virtual Reading Gym (South Africa)

International Book Trade Journalist

  • Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, Publishing Perspectives (USA)

The Library of the Year Award

  • Espoo City Library (Finland)

The Literary Translation Initiative Award

  • Tulika Publishers (India)

The Literary Agent Award

  • Pierre Astier, Founder and Director, Astier-Pecher Literary & Film Agency (France)

The Literary Festival Award

  • Book Arsenal Literary Festival (Ukraine)

The Rights Professional Award

  • Rose Janssens, Foreign Rights Key Account Manager, Clavis Publishing (Belgium)

Eligible for entries from Market Focus Indonesia only:

 The Market Focus Indonesia Adult Trade Award

  • Bentang Pustaka

The Market Focus Indonesia Children’s, Young Adult and Education Award

  • Bestari Buana Murni

Eligible for entries from all countries, including the UK:

 The London Book Fair Simon Master Chairman’s Award

  • Jessica Kingsley, Founder, Jessica Kingsley Publishers (UK)

Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award: Publisher

  • EDITORIAL 5 (Brazil)

Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award: Initiative

  • eKitabu (Kenya)

Eligible for entries from the UK only:

Inclusivity in Publishing Award, supported by the Publishers Association

  • Jacaranda Books

The Association for Publishing Education (APE) Dissertation and Project Prizes

  • Postgraduate Dissertation Prize: Emilie Hames (LCC UAL), ‘Environmental Sustainability Within the UK Book Publishing Industry’
  • Undergraduate Dissertation: Fanny Laetitia Allart (Oxford Brookes University), ‘#PublishingSoWhite: To What Extent is the Lack of Diversity Impacting the Anglo-French Publishing Industry?’
  • Major Project: Leanne Manfredi (LCC UAL), ‘Re-imagining the archive: activating creativity through publishing’
  • Overall Winner: Emilie Hames (LCC UAL), ‘Environmental Sustainability Within the UK Book Publishing Industry’.

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