The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2018

  • 2018-04-12
  • Edwina Boyd-Gibbins

LONDON: The winners of The London Book Fair (LBF) International Excellence Awards have been announced at a prestigious ceremony on April 10, on the first day of the Fair.

Recipients of the awards, held in association with the Publishers Association and sponsored by Hytex, came from countries including Latvia (3 awards), USA (2 awards) and India (2 awards).

The National Library of Latvia in Riga took home The Library of the Year Award, the first year such a prize has been awarded. Of the library, which turns 100 next year, the judges said, “Architecturally, it is a symbol of Latvia’s national revival and sense of identity. As a library for all the people its aim is not only to preserve Latvia’s national heritage but to engage everyone in the creation of that cultural heritage for future generations.”

The Bookstore of the Year Award, sponsored by Gardners, went to The Uppsala English Bookshop located in Uppsala, Sweden. According to the judges, “Uppsala English Bookshop demonstrated their all-round capability with the outstanding loyalty of its customers and outreach.”

The Literary Festival Award went to the George Town Literary Festival, which takes place in a UNESCO World Heritage site in Malaysia. “In a strong field, George Town Literary Festival stands out as a vibrant, diverse and brave festival that engages with a wide community of voices, speaking to the world from a complex region,” judges ruled.

The first ever Audiobook Publisher of the Year prize was scooped up by Penguin Random House in the USA. “Crucial to Penguin Random House Audio’s success is finding the right voices, making accurate recordings and memorable performances,” said the judges, whilst praising the winner’s “professionalism, sheer quality, and scale of their ambition”.

It was a good year for all three Baltic countries – which are this year’s Market Focus region: Latvia won in The Market Focus Baltics categories,Zvaigzne ABC Publishers taking home Education Publisher Award and Dienas Grāmata the Adult Trade Publisher Award. Meanwhile, Estonia’s Children’s Republic won the Market Focus Baltics Cultural and Literary Initiative and Lithuania’s Alma Littera won the Market Focus Baltics Young Adult Publisher Award. “The strength of children’s publishing in the Baltic countries impressed the judges but with the Kake Make series the Lithuanian publishers Alma Littera have created a stand-out children’s brand,” judges said.

Serbia’s Geopoetika won the Literary Translation Initiative Award. The judges commended the company, which was formed 25 years ago during the Balkan Wars, for having “shone a light on a region and on a literature that, until they came on the scene, was very little known in the English language”.

The Educational Initiatives Award went to Quirky Kids, a child psychology clinic in Australia, for its initiative, Basecamp, which takes kids on a journey through a fictional national park to help explore their emotions, especially related to anxiety. The judges commented: “Now more than ever children and families need resources like Quirky Kid’s Basecamp. This engaging, child-centred approach would make a real difference in building children’s resilience”.

Jacks Thomas, Director of The London Book Fair, said “The International Excellence Awards are a reminder of the magnificent work being done in publishing by creative groups of people all around the world. From translators in Serbia and librarians in Latvia to psychologists in Australia and literary agents in Spain, these awards showcase the diverse talent working in the publishing industry today. It has been a pleasure and honour to celebrate these 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: “This year’s winners represent a real breadth in excellence in the publishing ecosystem around the world. Publishing makes a hugely valuable social and economic contribution to our world’s economy, and notably in delivering content to the visually impaired. I’m delighted we are also able to recognise our next generation of publishing leaders as well as celebrate strides being made in diversity and inclusivity in our own national publishing industry.”

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

The Academic and Professional Publisher Award, supported by Research Information Brill Publishers (Netherlands) The Audiobook Publisher of the Year, supported by BookExpo America Penguin Random House Audio (USA) The Bookstore of the Year Award sponsored by Gardners The Uppsala English Bookshop (Sweden) The Educational Initiatives Award Quirky Kid (Australia) The Educational Learning Resources Award, supported by The China Publishing & Media Journal Ideas Roadshow (Canada) The Library of the Year Award National Library of Latvia (Latvia) The Literary Translation Initiative Award Geopoetika (Serbia) The Literary Agent Award Deborah Harris, The Deborah Harris Agency (Israel) Gloria Gutierrez, Balcells Agency (Spain) The Literary Festival Award, supported by The International Literature Showcase George Town Literary Festival (Malaysia) The Rights Professional Award Jennifer Powell, Scholastic (USA) The London Book Fair Simon Master Chairman’s Award Asoke K. Ghosh, Chairman and Managing Director, PHI Learning (India) Quantum Innovation Award Tag Livros, the Brazilian Book Club (Brazil)

Eligible for entries from Market Focus Baltics only:

The Market Focus Baltics Adult Trade Publisher Award Dienas Grāmata (Latvia) The Market Focus Baltics Education Publisher Award Zvaigzne ABC Publishers (Latvia) The Market Focus Baltics Children’s and Young Adult Publisher Award Kake Make (Alma Littera) (Lithuania) The Market Focus Baltics Cultural and Literary Initiative Award Children’s Republic (Estonia)

Eligible for entries from all countries, including the UK:

Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award: Publisher Hachette Livre (France) Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award: Initiative Daisy Forum of India (India)

Eligible for entries from the UK only:

Inclusivity in Publishing Award, supported by the Publishers Association Cassava Republic The Association for Publishing Education (APE) Dissertation and Project Prizes Best MA Dissertation: Lucie DuCarre, Kingston University Best BA Dissertation: Annabelle Rose, Oxford Brookes University                   Best MA/BA Practical Project Prize: Freya Maenhout, Oxford Brookes University Best Overall Project: Freya Maenhout, Oxford Brookes University

Eligible for entries from China only:

The Bookstore Spirit of China Award, sponsored by Gardners Sanlian Taofen Bookstore