The Kim Scott Walwyn Prize 2017, co-chaired by Catherine Clarke, announced this year’s shortlist on 14 March, at the London Book Fair. Four of the five shortlisted women are from small independent companies, or houses they have started themselves. They are: Sarah Braybrooke, MD of Scribe UK; Candice Carty-Williams, marketer at PRH’s Vintage; Alice Curry of Lantana Publishing; Amy Durant, publishing director at Endeavour Press; and Zeljka Marosevic, co-publisher of Daunt Books. The winner will be announced on 10 May, at a ceremony on the roof of Carmelite House in London. More details are available at

The winner of the 2017 Jane Grigson Trust Award is:

Vicky Hayward: The New Art of Cooking: A Spanish Friar’s Kitchen Notebook. Drawing on her deep knowledge of Spanish culture, Vicky Hayward gives a modern retelling of an eighteenth-century classic cookbook, including fresh, simple and surprisingly easy to make recipes (Rowman & Littlefield, publishing September 2017).

The two other short-listed books were Bronwen & Francis Percival for Reinventing the Wheel: Milk, Microbes and the Fight for Real Cheese (University of California Press, September 2017) and Kitty Travers for La Grotta Ices (Square Peg, Spring 2018).

The Jane Grigson Trust Award, created in memory of the distinguished British food writer Jane Grigson, goes to a first-time writer of a book about food or drink that has been commissioned but has yet to be published.

Catherine Clarke has been shortlisted for the 2017 Agent of the Year award at the British Book Awards. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony held on 8th May at The Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

FIGHTERS IN THE SHADOWS by Robert Gildea has been chosen as one of Choice magazine’s Outstanding Books of 2016.

The Kim Scott Walwyn Prize, co-chaired by Catherine Clarke, was relaunched on 9 January. The Prize recognizes both outstanding achievement and promise in women in publishing in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The 2017 shortlist will be announced on 14 March at the London Book Fair, and the winner on 10 May, at a ceremony on the roof of Carmelite House in London. More details are available at

Gill Hornby is the new books columnist for the Inspire section of the Daily Mail, every Monday

Violet Moller has been awarded a 2016 Jerwood Award for non-fiction for her book The Geography of Knowledge which she is writing for Macmillan UK and Doubleday in the USA.

We are sad to report that our much loved author Mirabel Osler, whose writings on gardening include A Gentle Plea for Chaos and her memoir The Lemon Tree, died in November. She has a passionate following.

Edmund de Waal’s THE HARE WITH AMBER EYES won The Booksellers Association’s  ‘Best of The Best’ award celebrating the10th anniversary of Independent Bookshop Week (IBW) . Readers’ and retailers voted their favourite books from previous winners of the IBW Book Award since 2006.

Celebrating Rosamunde Pilcher‘s 92nd birthday, the photo shows her next to the Wall of Fame at the Hachette offices, where Tim Hely-Hutchinson gave a champagne lunch in her honour.


Katy Follain at Quercus has acquired world rights in NOT THAT KIND OF LOVE by Clare & Greg Wise, a moving, thought-provoking and surprisingly funny book, that is both a wonderful description of a journey to death and a celebration of the act of living. Publication: Feb 2018.

Weidenfeld are to publish a new and up-dated edition of Sir Roy Strong’s classic STORY OF BRITAIN.

Will Hammond at The Bodley Head has acquired World English Language rights in Catherine Fletcher’s new book, THE CRUCIBLE OF EUROPE: ITALY AND THE RISE OF THE WEST. Her most ambitious book to date, it will show how the tumultuous events in Italy in the sixteenth century turned Europe’s focus westwards and set the tone for the next 5 centuries.

Fiona Kennedy has acquired world rights for her new imprint Zephyr (Head of Zeus) in Lauren St John’s standalone short novel, The Snow Angel, for Christmas 2017 publication. Set in Africa and the Scottish Highlands, The Snow Angel tells the story of Makena, a Kenyan girl whose dream is to climb mountains. When her life is shattered, she embarks on a quest for a place she can call home. The Snow Angel is a deeply moving novel about love, loss and slum ballet. It will be illustrated by artist, Catherine Hyde.

A C Grayling’s new book DEMOCRACY AND ITS CRISIS has just been acquired by Bill Swainson as his first non-fiction title at Oneworld, for publication in September 2017.  A clarion call  for our times, it will look at what representative democracy is, how it evolved; why it is in crisis, and what the remedy might be.

UK & Commonwealth rights for the first two books in Alex Reeve’s debut Victorian crime series, THE DROWNING MAN, sold to Alison Hennessey at Bloomsbury for her new Raven list. The book introduces Leo Stanhope, an assistant coroner hiding a big secret: he was born a woman but is living as a man. When Leo is accused of killing local prostitute Maria, he stands to lose not just the woman he loves, but his freedom and ultimately, his life.

David Fickling Books have just acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in two more novels by Lisa Williamson, whose debut YA novel THE ART OF BEING NORMAL won the Waterstones Teenage Prize. Her second book, ALL ABOUT MIA, has just been published in the UK.

Costa-winning Linda Newbery is writing THE KEY TO FLAMBARDS for David Fickling Books (world rights), a modern story taking us back to Flambards, the house created by K M Peyton in her classic 1967 novel set in WWI and adapted for television in 1979.

World rights in Dolman Travel Book Award winner Nick Jubber’s new book, A CONTINENT OF EPICS, have been bought by Nick Davies at John Murray Press for the Nicholas Brealey list. Jubber will travel across Europe, looking at the epic poems that shaped the continent’s collective identities and what they can tell us about what it means to be European today.

Simon Thorogood at Canongate has bought world rights to Dan Richard’s OUTPOST at auction. In this new book, the author of Climbing Days will examine cabins, sheds and bothies perched at the edge of the wilderness from Scotland to Svalbard to Wyoming.

Sam Wilkin’s new book, TURMOIL!, which puts today’s tumultuous politics in their historical and geopolitical context, has been sold to Profile for publication in spring 2018.

Oxford historian Marc Mulholland’s first trade book, THE MURDERER OF WARREN STREET, which tells the extraordinary true story of revolutionary and murderer Emmanuel Barthelemy, has been sold to Hutchinson in a pre-empt.  Hutchinson have British Commonwealth rights and will publish in August 2018.

Kat Gordon’s sweeping novel THE HUNTERS, set in Kenya, sold at auction to Holly Ainley at Borough Press. German rights were pre-empted by Hoffmann und Campe and French rights were acquired at auction by Fleuve.

Helen Thomas at Hachette Children’s Books has acquired UK rights in two more novels by Annabel Pitcher, multiple-prizewinning YA author of My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, Ketchup Clouds, and Silence is Goldfish

Rosie de Courcy at Head of Zeus has acquired world rights in three adult novels by Katy Moran, writing as K J Whittaker. The books are set in an alternative French-occupied England after Napoleon won the Battle of Waterloo, and feature the dashing, damaged Earl of Lamorna and Hester, the resourceful daughter of an English aristocrat and a black Navy captain.

Roderick Beaton, distinguished Professor of Modern Greek and Byzantine History at Kings College London,  is writing GREECE – BIOGRAPHY OF A MODERN NATION for Simon Winder at Penguin Press who has brought World English Language Rights. Delivery is 2018.

Phyllida Law’s third book DEAD NOW, OF COURSE, a memoir of her early days in the theatre, has been sold to Fourth Estate for publication in June 2017

Beginners: The Curious Power of Lifelong Learning by Tom Vanderbilt, bestselling author of Traffic, has been sold to Atlantic Books in a pre-empt. British Commonwealth rights, on behalf of the Zoe Pagnamenta Agency. Deilvery 2018.

Yale University Press have commissioned Professor Andrew Pettegree and Dr Arthur Der Weduwen to write THE BOOKSHOP OF THE WORLD – Trading Books in the Age of Rembrandt. Dutch Rights have been sold to Atlas Contact. Andrew Pettegree’s BRAND LUTHER has just been published in Germany by Suhrkamp and in Holland by Atlas Contact.

Bestselling Professor of Theoretical Physics, Michio Kaku’s spellbinding look into our future OUR FINAL DESTINY – Starships, robots, immortality, superhumans and our ultimate future in the galaxy has been commissioned by Tom Penn at Penguin Press.

THE GAME AT THE END OF THE WORLD: Football in the Twenty-first Century, David Goldblatt’s long-awaited follow-up to his seminal book on world football THE BALL IS ROUND, has just been bought by Macmillan. Delivery January 2018 for publication autumn 2018.  Macmillan have world rights.

Hodder have acquired UK rights in best-selling historian John Dickie’s THE CRAFT: HOW THE FREEMASONS MADE THE MODERN WORLD, a definitive history of how the Freemasons began as a democratic guild in London and spread rapidly to America, Europe and India. US rights sold to Public Affairs; Italy: Laterza; Germany: Fischer.

Award-winning biographer Sue Prideaux’s new take on the life of the extraordinary Friedrich Nietzche has been commissioned by Faber & Faber in the UK and Tim Duggan Books in the US.  Russian rights have been sold to Azbooka-Atticus, Danish rights to Klim, Greek rights to Patakis and Dutch rights to Arbeiderspers.

Oxford academic Toby Matthiesen’s authoritative book on the division between Sunni and Shia, from its origins soon after the death of Muhammad in 632 until the present day, has been commissioned by Oxford University Press UK and US for English language rights.

ANNA HOPE’s third novel, again to Jane Lawson at Doubleday. A contemporary novel set in London about three women in their late thirties, exploring themes of female friendship and infidelity.

Books 11 & 12 in Martin Walker‘s bestselling BRUNO crime series to Jane Wood at Quercus for publication in June 2018 & 2019.

WAYFINDING: How Creatures Great and Small Navigate the World by David Barrie: author of SEXTANT, David Barrie travels to remote parts of the world to discover the latest science behind animal navigation, from dung beetles in North Africa to humpback whales in the Pacific. UK and Commonwealth rights acquired by Rupert Lancaster at Hodder, for publication in 2019. German rights have been sold to Mare.

Atico de los Libros have bought seven of John Julius Norwich’s backlist titles,  SICILY, THE MIDDLE SEA, A HISTORY OF VENICE, SHORT HISTORY OF BYZANTIUM and BYZANTIUM Volumes I, II and III for Spain.

Confirmation that Keira Knightly and Alexander Skarsgaard are two of the leads in the film of Rhidian Brook’s THE AFTERMATH has lead to further sales, in Greece to Psichogios, Gabo in Hungary, in Turkey to Pena and in Romania to Trei. It has now sold in 25 territories.

Simon Lelic is moving from Mantel to Viking for the publication of his new novel, a next-generation psychological thriller THE HOUSE.

MARY BERRY’S FAST CAKES. In 1981 Piatkus published Mary’s hugely successful Fast Cakes, followed in 1985 by More Fast Cakes.  Thirty five years on, Headline have commissioned a complete, lavish one-volume update for publication in 2018.

TIME TO WIN, the first in a British Crime series by Harry Brett, the pseudonym for established crime writer Henry Sutton, sold to Little Brown for publication in April 2017.

The award winning gardening writer Ambra Edwards has been commissioned by The National Trust and Pavilion Books to write THE STORY OF THE ENGLISH GARDEN.  The book – heavily illustrated with pictures of National Trust gardens – will be published Spring 2018.

US rights in COMMON GROUND, Peter Gatrell’s major work on immigration in Europe since 1945, have been sold to Basic Books, via InkWell.  Penguin will publish in the UK.

Head of Zeus have commissioned James Attlee, author of Isolarion, Nocturne and Station to Station, to write the story of GUERNICA, Picasso’s extraordinary 1937 painting of the Fascists’ attack on a Spanish town, for their Landmarks series, for publication in 2017.