Scotland ready to host international book figures

Scotland is set to host senior publishing figures from the US, South Korea and Europe who are on a trade mission.

The fourth International Fellowship Programme from Publishing Scotland facilitates international exchange and comprises nine invited Fellows from Germany, France, Italy, Finland, US, and includes – for the first time – a delegate from South Korea.

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 planned across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.

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.

The Fellows will experience the Edinburgh International Book Festival and – in another first for the scheme – attend a showcase of Scottish writing hosted at University of Glasgow by best-selling author Louise Welsh who is the university’s Professor of Creative Writing.

The 2018 Fellows are:

Regina Kammerer, Publisher, btb Verlag, Germany; Raphaëlle Liebaert, Editorial Director Foreign Fiction, Editions Stock (Hachette Group), France; Gregory Limpens, Rights Manager, Open Books, Korea; Beatrice Masini, Founder/Publisher, Bompiani-Giunti Editore, Italy; Andrea Morstabilini, Acquisitions Editor and Rights Director, Il Saggiatore, Italy; Patrick Nolan, VP, Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Penguin Books, USA; Päivi Paappanen, Publishing Director, Like Publishing, Finland; Melanie Tortoroli, senior editor, WW Norton and Co, USA; Eva Wallbaum, Editor, Harper Collins, Germany.

The first Fellow from Korea to take part in the programme is Gregory Limpens, the Rights Manager at Open Books,a publishing house based in Paju Book City near Seoul, which specialises in literature in translation.

Originally hailing from Belgium, Mr Limpens has lived and worked in South Korea since 2005. He said: ‘I’ve always wanted to attend the Edinburgh International Book Festival and am eager to learn about the Scottish publishing industry and book market.

‘Works by Scottish authors are translated into Korean as a result of the author’s visibility on the international literary scene so Korean readers have enjoyed translations of books by Jenni Fagan, Irvine Welsh, A.J. Cronin and George MacDonald, and one of Korea’s largest publishers has recently published the first translation of Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

‘I’m looking forward to coming to Scotland to be inspired to add a few more Scottish authors to our own list, which already includes Iain Banks, Ali Smith and Graeme Macrae Burnet.’

Scotland-based Andrea Joyce, rights director of Canongate, who has been involved with the Fellowship since it was established in 2014, said: ‘The Fellowship enables us to punch well above our weight on the international stage.

‘It’s been hugely beneficial to Canongate by establishing and strengthening relationships with international publishers, and we have wrapped up several major deals with Fellows over the years.

‘A great example of the reach of the connections created through the scheme is when publisher Elena Ramirez at Planeta bought the Spanish rights to The Last Night Out’ by Catherine O’Connell. Elena then recommended the book to her colleagues at Planeta Italy, Portugal and Brazil who subsequently bought the Italian, Portuguese and Brazilian rights.’

Marion Sinclair, chief executive of Publishing Scotland, said: ‘Now more than ever, it’s vital that we maintain our international connections and ambition. The book world is fuelled by relationships that we make through bookfairs, selling rights and licensing, and the Fellowship scheme allows us to develop and deepen those relationships between the Scottish publishing industry and the rest of the world.

‘In four years, we have invited 36 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 internationalisation strand within our work and is a key way of getting more visibility for the sector here.’

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 Scottish Development International.

Alan Bett, literature officer at Creative Scotland, said: ‘By inviting these nine publishers to Scotland for their International Fellowship Programme, Publishing Scotland helps connect Scottish literature to the world.

‘The fellowship ensures that the work of our writers will be available in different languages and sit on bookshop shelves across Europe and further afield in the US and Korea. This is only one side of a cross-pollination process though, with the other encouraging Scottish publishers to build strong commercial relationships with the Fellows and enhance their lists with international titles, therefore providing our readers access to new literary voices and stories from diverse cultures.’