2018 IV Programme Participants
Kateri Akiwenzie-Dam, Kegedonce Press (Canada)
Bio to come!
Francis Bickmore, Canongate Books (UK)
Francis joined Canongate in 2000. In their current role as publishing director they oversee the editorial team and help to plan and publish our select but heavy-hitting list of books. They have worked with writers including Yann Martel, Matt Haig, JJ Abrams, James Meek, Scarlett Thomas, Nick Cave, Lemn Sissay, Geoff Dyer, Terry Gilliam, David Byrne, David Lynch and, posthumously, Leonard Cohen. In 2018 I joined the Canongate Board.
Florence Bisch, Groupe Homme (Canada)
Having studied literature in France, Florence Bisch decided to work in rights and combine her two passions for literature and for other cultures, working first as an assistant in Paris, London and Munich. In the last years she has had the chance to work at Éditions du Seuil and for the illustrated list of Place des Éditeurs in Paris. Nine years ago she moved to Montreal to join Groupe Homme, happy to discover Québec and its specific and dynamic book market. Florence is in charge of selling rights, and also of acquiring in the last 2 years.
Alfio Bonccorso, TaoBuk- Taormina International Book Festival (Italy)
Alfio Bonaccorso has held the position of general coordinator and event manager at Taormina International Book Festival Taobuk since 2013. He collaborated with the magazine of Sicilian history and culture Agorà and provided an essay included in the volume Il cielo sopra Taormina (Erreproduzioni, 2012). He curated Taormina Cult, permanent cultural itinerary of the city of Taormina, designed by Antonella Ferrara in 2014. He is co-founder and CEO of Sicily Art Experience, a company active in the field of cultural and experiential tourism.
Neil Christopher, Inhabit Media (Canada)
Neil Christopher has called the Eastern Arctic home for over twenty years. Through his work at the Nunavut Teacher Education Program, Neil met Inuktitut language–expert Louise Flaherty. Together they witnessed the urgent need for Northern culture and perspectives to be better represented in mainstream publishing. In 2006, Louise, Neil, and Danny Christopher established Inhabit Media as the first independent publisher in Nunavut. Since then, Inhabit Media has published more than 200 titles in English, Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun, and French. Inhabit Media has spawned two sister companies—Taqqut Productions, a film and television production company, and Inhabit Education, an educational publisher.
Liesbeth de Vries, Lias Publishing (Netherlands)
Liesbeth Wopkje de Vries is a publisher with broad experience in all aspects of non-fiction publishing. She studied the Dutch language and literature, and worked at several publishing houses before she started her own publishing house Lias in 2011. The main areas of Lias Publishing are popular science, biographies, history and current affairs. The purpose is to diffuse the ideas of scientists, experts and thinkers to a widest possible public and provide the information with the keys to understand yesterday’s and today’s world. One of the latest titles is the Plastic Soup Atlas of the World.
Katharina Dittes, Suhrkamp (Germany)
Katharina Dittes is an editor, mainly for fiction, at Berlin-based publishing house Suhrkamp. She studied German, English and American Literature and History of Art. Before joining Suhrkamp in 2011, she worked at Eichborn Verlag. Her list of authors include Louis Begley, Lily Brett, Adam Johnson, Anthony Marra, Rose Tremain and Abraham Verghese.
Antonella Ferrara, TaoBuk- Taormina International Book Festival (Italy)
Antonella Ferrara has conceived and founded the International Book Festival Taobuk, filling the position of Artistic Director and President. She has also conceived and directed “Scrivere Donna" kermesse in Siracusa and administered and directed two bookshops in Taormina and Giardini Naxos, always dealing with books and their dissemination. She designs cultural and entertainment TV formats for RAI (the main Italian television broadcaster), the University of Messina, the Sicilian Regional Government and for other institutions. She has created the Taormina Cult project, curated by Alfio Bonaccorso with whom she founded Sicily Art Experience, a company that deals with experiential and cultural tourism. Among her publications, “Sicilian Women - Biographical Dictionary" and "Writing Woman - The Anthology" by Emanuele Romeo Editore.
Whitney Frick, Dial Press (USA)
Whitney Frick joined the Dial Press as VP, Editorial Director in December 2017. Prior to arriving at Dial, she was an Executive Editor at Flatiron Books and the editorial liaison between Flatiron Books and An Oprah Winfrey Book, Ms. Winfrey’s imprint. Whitney published the #1 New York Times bestsellers Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle, and What I Know For Sure and The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey, as well as the New York Times bestsellers The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner, Knocking on Heaven’s Door by Katy Butler, and The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais, which was adapted into a feature film starring Helen Mirren and produced by Steven Spielberg.
Jana-Maria Hartmann, JMH Literary Scouting (USA)
After having worked as an editor at Berlin Verlag in Germany for six years, Jana-Maria Hartmann moved to the US to found her own scouting agency in 2015. From her office in Chicago, she scouts the English-language market for a few wonderful independent presses in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden. Her clients have eclectic lists and publish writers like Hanya Yanagihara, Kristin Hannah, Lee Child and Marie Kondo.
Kristine Kress, Ullstein Buchverlage (Germany)
Kristine Kress studied German and Indonesian Philology and Philosophy in Cologne and Prague. Today she lives in Berlin and is Senior Editor Fiction at Ullstein Buchverlage where she publishes contemporary German and international literary fiction. She focuses on literature which refers to contemporary social and cultural issues and does so in a stylistically unique way. Among her authors are Joan Didion, Edith Pearlman, Laksmi Pamuntjak, David Chariandy, Rona Jaffe and Claire Vaye Watkins.
Lucy Luck, Conville & Walsh Agency (UK)
Lucy Luck is an agent of literary fiction and non-fiction at C&W Agency. She joined in 2016 having previously worked at Rogers, Coleridge & White, Lucy Luck Associates (which she founded in 2006) and Aitken Alexander Associates. She represents a list of prize-winning authors including Catherine O’Flynn, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, Colin Barrett, Kevin Barry, Sara Baume, Richard Beard, Sara Taylor, Roddy Doyle, Adam Thorpe and Andrew Michael Hurley.
Randal McIlory, Pemmican Publications (Canada)
Pemmican Publications, founded in 1980 as an arm’s-length, non-profit affiliate of Manitoba Metis Federation, is Canada’s eminent Metis publishing house, devoted to promoting Metis artists and stories, with more than 100 titles in print. Randal McIlroy joined Pemmican in 2006, after nearly 30 years of work in his native Winnipeg, Manitoba as a writer and editor. Titles published since then include Threads in the Sash – The Story of the Metis People, Fred Shore’s concise history of the Metis and their role in advancing Canada, and What Happened on the Bloodvein, the debut short story collection of Matthew Tétreault.
Catherine Milne, HarperCollins Publishers Australia (Australia)
Catherine has worked in publishing for many years, including with Penguin Books, Allen & Unwin, and since 2012, with HarperCollins, as Head of Fiction. She has an eclectic list, which includes literary fiction, crossover/bookclub fiction and narrative non-fiction. Recent standouts include Julia Baird’s bestselling, much-praised Victoria; the internationally acclaimed The Anchoress, by Robyn Cadwallader; and Holly Ringland’s bestselling The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart. Her rule of thumb in publishing is that a story has got to make her feel something – she wants to feel passionately invested in every book she publishes. It’s all about heart and soul, meaning and joy.
Sarah Murphy, Flatiron Books (USA)
Sarah Murphy, Senior Editor at Flatiron Books: After getting her start in editorial at Little, Brown, Murphy was most recently an Editor at HarperCollins, where she published a wide range of nonfiction, including: My Glory Was I Had Such Friends by Amy Silverstein, optioned by J.J. Abrams for a limited TV series; the New York Times bestseller Genius Foods by Max Lugavere; and Modern Loss by Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner. Now at Flatiron Books, Murphy is building a list of narrative nonfiction and select fiction, focusing on science, medicine, nature, psychology/human behavior, "big idea" books that explore social and cultural trends, feminist voices/issues, and memoir with great heart and soul.
Teresa Pütz, S. Fischer Verlag (Germany)
Teresa Pütz, Editor for International Fiction at S. Fischer in Frankfurt, joined the publishing house in 2017. She studied Literature, Political and Media Sciences in Trier/Germany and Lisbon/Portugal. Formerly with Germany’s cultural institute Goethe-Institut, Random House Germany as well as a the publishing house Droemer Knaur, where she worked with authors like Iain Reid, Nathan Filer and Jennifer Haigh, she currently focuses on the North-American market for Fischer’s literary list. Some of her authors include Jennifer Egan, Alberto Manguel, Christina Dalcher and Javier Marías. Recent acquisitions are Regina M. Porter’s The Travelers and Petina Gappah’s Out of Darkness, Shining Light.
Beverley Rach, Roseway Publishing (Canada)
Beverley Rach has worked with Fernwood Publishing for the past 26 years and with its literary imprint Roseway since it was acquired 12 years ago. Fernwood and Roseway publish critical books that expose and confront intersecting forms of oppression and exploitation. Recent publications include Ohpikiihaakan-ohpihmeh — Raised Somewhere Else by 60s scoop survivor Colleen Cardinal; Northern Wildflower by Dene writer Catherine Lafferty and Doug Knockwood, Mi’kmaw Elder by Doug Knockwood. She is a settler living on the unceded Mi’kmaw territory known as Nova Scotia.
Anders Sjöqvist, Forum Publishing (Sweden)
Books have always been an important part of Anders Sjöqvist's life because his mother and father owned a bookstore on the West Coast of Sweden. It was a unique and educating setting to grow up in and the centre of culture life in the town. He has been with Forum for almost 15 years as an acquiring senior editor. His focus is on non-fiction original and translated books. As a publisher He has during the last year been trying to find a way to reach new and younger readers by publishing a mix of current commercial non-fiction titles with a very specific and current topic. This has led to a very successful list of titles with influencers with big platforms in social media. Forum Publishing has been able to reach a new group of readers and maintained a high quality and serious topics.
Julia Suchorski, Rowolt Verlag (Germany)
Julia Suchorski is editor for non-fiction at Rowohlt Verlag. She studied American Literature and Political Science in Kiel, Buffalo and Marburg. Before joining Rowohlt in 2006, she worked for Droemer Knaur and Murmann Verlag. She lives in Hamburg.
Benoît Virot, Le Nouvel Attila (France)
Benoît Virot is the founder of the literary magazine "Le Nouvel Attila" (2004) and the independent publishing house Attila, which celebrates its tenth year. He published in French language : Edgar Hilsenrath, Ludwig Hohl, Joshua Cohen, Dr Seuss, and also strong young French voices, such as Gauz and Maryam Madjidi. Specialist when it comes to Fantômas, he's the author (with Dominique Bordes) of Lost / Found, an anthology of forgotten literature (published by Mr. Toussaint Louverture, 2007). He contributed to the launch of several magazines, including Le Tigre and Jef Klak.
Alexa von Hirschberg, Bloomsbury Publishing (USA)
Alexa von Hirschberg began her career in 2007 at Canongate Books. In 2008 she joined Bloomsbury as an Editorial Assistant, working with authors including Colum McCann, Margaret Atwood and William Boyd. She became a Senior Commissioning Editor in 2015. Her list of authors includes Reni Eddo-Lodge, Kate Tempest, Natasha Pulley, Melissa Harrison, Patrick deWitt, David Chariandy, PJ Harvey, Aminatta Forna, Johann Hari, Eliza Robertson, Alexei Sayle, Samantha Shannon, Terese Marie Mailhot, Kiese Laymon and Magnus Mills.
Greg Younging, Theytus Books (Canada)
Gregory Younging is a member of Opsakwayak Cree Nation. He holds a Masters of Arts degree from the Institute of Canadian Studies at Carleton University and a Masters of Publishing degree from the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing at Simon Fraser University. He received his doctoral degree from the Department of Educational Studies at University of British Columbia. Gregory has worked for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, Assembly of First Nations, and Native Women’s Association of Canada. From 1990 to 2003, he was Managing Editor of Theytus Books. He is the former Assistant Director of Research for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. He is now on faculty with the Indigenous Studies Program at University of British Columbia Okanagan in Kelowna. Gregory is a former member of Canada Council’s Aboriginal Arts Advisory Committee (1997–2001) and the British Columbia Arts Council (1999–2001).
More photos and participant info to come!