VIPs 2017 Participants

Sarah Crichton

Sarah Crichton
Editor and Publisher – Sarah Crichton Books, an imprint of Farrar, Straus and Giroux 
New York, USA

Main areas of interest:

  • Commercial fiction
  • Narrative non-fiction
  • Books on social issues

Since launching her imprint Sarah Crichton Books in 2004, Sarah Crichton has edited and published a broad array of fiction and non-fiction, including former child soldier Ishmael Beah’s #1 New York Times bestseller, ‘A Long Way Gone’, and such bestselling novels as Cathleen Schine’s ‘The Three Weissmans of Westport’, Matthew Quick’s ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, and Australian author Dominic Smith’s ‘The Last Painting of Sara De Vos’ which was widely reviewed, including by the New York Times.

Other award-winning titles include Jason Goodwin’s ‘The Jannissary Tree’, winner of the Edgar Award for best mystery of the year; David Finkel’s account of the surge in Iraq, ‘The Good Soldiers’; and historian Anna Whitelock’s ‘The Queen’s Bed: An Intimate History of Elizabeth’s Court’, winner of the 2015 PEN Award for Biography. She was publisher of Little, Brown from 1996-2001, where she published Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘The Tipping Point’, and she is the co-author of several books, most notably ‘A Mighty Heart’ with Mariane Pearl, an account of the kidnapping and murder of journalist Danny Pearl. 

Giulia De Biase

Giulia De Biase   
Editor in Chief of Foreign Fiction, Translator – Edizioni Piemme
Milan, Italy

Main areas of interest:

  • Thriller and crime
  • Women's fiction
  • Historical fiction

Giulia De Biase studied Slavonic languages in her hometown of Naples before going on to specialize in literary translation. After working as an intern at W.W. Norton in New York, in 2007 she became foreign fiction editor at Rizzoli, with authors as well-known and diverse as Colum McCann, Nicholas Evans, Jeffery Deaver, Alexis Wright, Michael Chabon, and Elif Shafak. She also published Australian authors Toni Jordan and Alexis Wright.

In 2011 she moved to Sperling & Kupfer as a senior editor of both foreign and domestic fiction (also managing digital projects), and her list included best-selling authors such as Stephen King, Danielle Steel and Nicholas Sparks. Since 2013 she has managed the Foreign Fiction department at Piemme. Her list, while currently very much focused on upmarket thrillers (Paula Hawkins, Michael Connelly, Renée Knight, S.J. Watson, Alafair Burke, and Sarah Pinborough), includes other best-selling authors such as Khaled Hosseini, Yann Martel, and Lisa Genova, as well as Australian authors Hannah Kent and Sally Hepworth. 

Giulia is also a translator, specializing in YA fiction, and has recently translated novels by Sherman Alexie, Judith Kerr and Colleen Hoover. 

Catherine Eccles

Catherine Eccles
Owner, Manager and Literary Scout – Eccles Fisher Associates
London, UK

Main areas of interest:

  • Literary fiction
  • Memoir
  • Narrative non-fiction

Catherine began in publishing as an assistant selling foreign rights for the Wylie, Aitken and Stone agency (now Aitken Alexander), then worked at Transworld before moving to Chatto & Windus (publishers of A.S. Byatt and David Malouf), becoming deputy managing director. Catherine then became managing director at Granta (publishers of Claire Messud, Ryszard Kapuscinski, and Romesh Gunesekera).

After a ten-year break from publishing, she returned as a scout eleven years ago and now owns and runs the largest and one of the longest-standing scouting agencies in the UK (formerly Anne Louise Fisher Associates). They work with seventeen publishers around the world and a film company, scouting English-language books from the UK and Commonwealth countries, as well as foreign language books.

Eccles Fisher Associates pays close attention to Australian-originated titles, regularly receiving submissions from both corporate and independent publishers and Australian agents before reporting out to their clients. They cover a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, as well as children’s and YA. As a result of her recommendation, Dutch rights to Cory Taylor's memoir ‘Dying’ were acquired by their publisher, Nijgh & Van Ditmar; and her favourite Australian literary novelists include Tim Winton and Elizabeth Harrower. 

Marta Hedener

Marta Hedener
Head of Publishing – B. Wahlströms Bokförlag
Stockholm, Sweden

Main areas of interest:

  • Digital publishing, especially audio books
  • Young adult fiction
  • Middle-grade fiction

Marta Hedener has been Head of Publishing at B. Wahlströms for the last four years, and has been with the company since 2011. Previously, she worked for the Swedish Institute for Children's Books, collecting and evaluating all literature published in Sweden for children and young adults.

B. Wahlströms is Sweden’s oldest publishing house, solely dedicated to children’s fiction. They’re currently the 5th largest publisher of children’s and young adult literature in Sweden, and publish some 85 new titles a year. They focus on textbooks for ages 6-18 years, but their list covers all genres and age groups. Traditionally they publish predominantly translated fiction, and this year approximately 60% of their list consists of translations (mostly from English).

B. Wahlströms books include the ‘Twilight’ series; this year’s Costa Award winner, Francis Hardinge; and classics such as John Boyne’s ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’, and Louis Sachar’s ‘Holes’. They are currently increasing their digital publishing, with several digital-first audio-book projects planned for 2017. They proudly publish Australian authors Emily Rodda, Nick Falk and illustrator Robert Ingpen, and have had great success with Markus Zusak's ‘The Book Thief’ and with John Flanagan's ‘The Rangers Apprentice’ series.

Vatsala Kaul Banerjee

Vatsala Kaul Banerjee
Publisher, Children's & Reference Books – Hachette India
Haryana, India

Main areas of interest:

  • Children’s fiction
  • ‘Creatively presented’ children’s non-fiction
  • Young adult fiction

After starting out in advertising, Vatsala Kaul Banerjee quickly moved to her lasting love – children’s writing – and worked from 1987 to 1998 on ‘Target’, an iconic English-language children’s magazine. In 1998, as its editor, she rebuilt it into 'Teens Today'; before becoming commissioning editor with Puffin at Penguin India from 2005 to 2007; and then editor of 'Child', a parenting magazine.

In 2009, she joined the new Hachette India as Publishing Director to start a local children’s list, almost single-handedly building up their highly-acclaimed selection, including translations of Indian-language classics. They focus on books for 8-14 year-olds, with an occasional picture book, and their bestselling authors include Roopa Pai ('The Gita for Children' has sold more 30,000 copies in the past 15 months); Venita Coelho ('Dead as a Dodo' won the Hindu Best Fiction for Children prize 2016); and Pakistani writer Shandana Minhas ('Survival Tips for Lunatics' won the Best Fiction prize at the Karachi Literary Festival 2014 from among all adult books).  

Australian titles she has published include the three books in Lian Tanner’s ‘The Secret Keepers’ series (acquired through agent Margaret Connolly); and 'The Word Spy' and 'The Return of The Word Spy' by Ursula Dubosarsky and Tohby Riddle, acquired from Penguin Australia and published in 2014.

Päivi Koivisto-Alanko

Päivi Koivisto-Alanko
Publishing Manager, Fiction – Tammi Publishers
Helsinki, Finland

Main areas of interest:

  • Literary fiction
  • Upmarket fiction
  • Crime fiction
  • Children's fiction

Päivi Koivisto-Alanko has worked in publishing since 1995, specialising in translated fiction. She has been the publishing manager of translated fiction at Tammi since 2011, responsible for both literary and commercial publishing lists, most notably the renowned Yellow Library series (established in 1954). The 479 titles that have been published to date include 29 Nobel laureates and Australian author Peter Carey.

Prior to her role at Tammi, Päivi worked as a translated fiction editor and editor-in-chief at WSOY across a wide range of literary and commercial translations, and from 2004 acted as the editor-in-chief of a Shakespeare translation project. She has a PhD in English Philology, an MA in English and Romance Philology, and studied at the University of Cambridge in the Erasmus exchange program.

Tammi Publishers/Kustannusosakeyhtiö Tammi is the third biggest publishing house in Finland, and is especially well-known for translated literary fiction and quality children’s fiction. They also publish a wide selection of Finnish fiction and non-fiction. Päivi publishes a total of 25 titles each year, in the genres of literary fiction, upmarket fiction and crime fiction.

Arianne Lewin

Arianne Lewin
Executive Editor, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Penguin Young Readers Group – Penguin Random House US
New York, USA

  • Fun picture books
  • Middle-grade stories that distil complex global issues for young readers
  • High-energy and voice-driven young adult novels, with an emphasis on fantasy, adventure, and contemporary fiction.

Prior to joining Penguin Random House in 2010, Arianne Lewin worked at Disney-Hyperion Books for Children, where she edited picture books by Scott Magoon and Laura Numeroff; chapter books with Deborah Underwood and Whoopi Goldberg; and young adult novels with bestselling and award-winning authors such as Cinda Williams Chima, Chris Bradford, and Julie Anne Peters.

At G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Arianne has published Ethan Long’s Geisel Award-winning picture book, ‘Up, Tall, and High!’, and acquired middle-grade and young adult fiction from New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins, as well as Rick Yancey’s #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling ‘5th Wave’ series.

Arianne enjoys working with Australian writers and publishers and she recently engaged an Australian illustrator represented by Catherine Drayton, of InkWell Management Literary Agency. Her imprint also publishes Sydney-sider Krystal Sutherland (also represented by Catherine Drayton), and ‘Maudie and Bear’, a picture book licensed from Hardie Grant Egmont. 

Grace Menary-Winefield

Grace Menary-Winefield
Associate Editor, Adult Fiction and Non-fiction – Sourcebooks Inc
Naperville, USA

Main areas of interest:

  • Commercial fiction
  • General non-fiction
  • Gift (text and illustrated)

Grace Menary-Winefield joined Sourcebooks in 2015 after working at Little, Brown Book Group’s Piatkus, Virago, and Abacus imprints in London. In her current role as Associate Editor she concentrates on commercial fiction, both contemporary and historical, and champions new directions in mainstream speculative stories. She also acquires narrative non-fiction, self-help, memoir, and engaging gift titles.

Grace has worked with many bestselling and award-winning authors, including Catriona Ward, Adrian J. Walker, Amanda Palmer (from the Dresden Dolls), Tiffanie DeBartolo, Christopher Rice, and the team behind ‘Days of Our Lives’. She’s had the pleasure of supporting Australian authors in both the United Kingdom and the United States, including Maria Lewis and Annabel Smith.

Monique Oosterhof

Monique Oosterhof
Founder and Literary Agent – Mo Literary Services
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Main areas of interest:

  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Children's books (literary and commercial)

Monique Oosterhof started her career in books as an assistant publisher at Arena for three years; she then worked as an editorial assistant and later rights manager at Arbeiderspers for five years (selling Dutch books abroad). After working as a literary agent at Caroline van Gelderen Literary Agency for eight years, she started her own literary agency, Mo Literary Services, in 2008.

Monique works primarily in the Netherlands and Scandinavia, where she represents (mostly English-language) foreign publishing houses and agents, including Australian organisations Random House Australia, Scribe Publications, HarperCollins Australia, Jacinta di Mase Management, Black Inc, Fremantle Press, the Newman Agency, Allen & Unwin, Brandl & Schlesinger, The Drummond Agency, Golvan Arts Management, Margaret Connolly, and The Plot Lounge.

Australian authors whose titles she has sold to the Netherlands and/or Scandinavia include: John Flanagan, E.P.F. Lynch, Christos Tsiolkas, Kate de Goldi, Helen Brown, Odo Hirsch, Sarah Napthali, Alex Miller, Gordon Reece, Kate Morton, Angela Donovan, Stephen Wallenfels, Elizabeth Honey, Ray Moynihan, Peter Fitzsimons, Joanna Horniman, Claire Corbett, Molly Carlile, Steven Herrick, Donna Hay, Valli Little, Adam Liaw, Julie Goodwin, Robbie McEwen, Fiona Higgins, Indigo Bloome, Holly Hill, Alana Wulff, Kimberley Freeman, Sneh Roy, Jesse Fink, Michael Corbalis, Paul Jennings, Marc Lamprell, Julie Thomas, Nick Falk & Tony Flowers, John Hirst, Miriam Lancewood, and Barry Jonsberg.

Christian Rohr

Christian Rohr
Editor for International Fiction – C. Bertelsmann, Random House Germany
Munich, Germany

Main areas of interest:

  • Literary fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Poetry
  • Children’s fiction

Hans Christian Rohr has been a literary editor in German publishing houses for most of his life, spending the last eleven years at C. Bertelsmann, an imprint of Random House Germany. As the editor for international fiction at Bertelsmann, Christian has had a long-term interest in Australian writing. He has published a number of distinguished Australian fiction authors for German readers, such as Tim Winton, Peter Carey, and Kate Grenville, and all of Peter Temple’s novels to date.

As an editor, Christian is passionate about finding the next generation of literary superstars, and seeks out unique voices in writing and literature from across the world. In addition to the Australian authors mentioned above, Christian has worked with international authors Hilary Mantel, Louise Doughty, Rohinton Mistry, Salman Rushdie, Frederick Forsyth, and Martin Cruz Smith. 

Amy Spangler

Amy Spangler
Director, Literary Agent, and Translator – AnatoliaLit
Istanbul, Turkey

Main areas of interest:

  • Literary fiction
  • Commercial fiction
  • Children's & young adult writing
  • Popular non-fiction

Born in Ohio USA, Amy Spangler holds BA degrees in Near Eastern and Classical Archaeology, and German Language and Literature. In 2005, after four years as rights and acquisitions manager and editor for the Istanbul-based publisher Çitlembik, Amy established the AnatoliaLit agency together with Dilek Akdemir. As a sub-agent in Turkey, AnatoliaLit has represented a number of Australian publishers and agencies, including Random House Australia, Hachette Australia, The Text Publishing Company, Spinifex Press, Brandl & Schlesinger, and Jenny Darling & Associates.

Australian authors she has placed with Turkish publishers include writers of modern classics such as Elizabeth Harrower (a personal favourite), Kenneth Cook, and Craig Harrison; contemporary authors such as Peter Temple, Stephen Daisley, Lloyd Jones, Graeme Simsion, and Khulud Khamis; children’s and young adult authors such as Jacqueline Harvey, John Flanagan, Colin Thompson, Paula Weston, Vikki Wakefield, A.J. Betts, Richard Newsome, and Lloyd Jones; and Shaun Tan, who defies categorisation!

Amy is also a translator from Turkish into English. Her published translations include ‘The City in Crimson Cloak’ by Asli Erdogan, and ‘One Midday in Yenişehir’ by Sevgi Soysal. Co-editor and co-translator of ‘Istanbul Noir’, Amy’s English translations of Turkish short stories have been published in various books and magazines. 

S.R. Kannan Sundaram

S.R. Kannan Sundaram
Founder, Managing Director, and Publisher – Kalachuvadu Publications
Nagercoil, India

Main areas of interest:

  • Literary fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Poetry
  • Children's literature

Graduating as a mechanical engineer, Kannan Sundaram’s heart was always in media; he founded Kalachuvadu Publications in 1995. Publishing literary fiction, poetry and non-fiction in Tamil, a core segment of their publishing program is international writing in translation. Their list includes several Nobel and Booker prize-winners: ‘My Name is Red’ by Orhan Pamuk, ‘Bonjour Tristesse’ by Francoise Sagan, ‘Ka’ by Roberto Calasso, ‘The Sea’ by John Banville, ‘Sophie's World’ by Jostein Gaarder, ‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy, and ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Kannan has also published ‘The Cage’ by Australian author Gordon Weiss, and is about to publish ‘My Sister Chaos’ by Laura Fergus.

Kannan works closely with a number of other Indian publishers, exchanging information on international titles and sometimes making combined rights offers. He is heavily involved in influencing publishing policy in India, playing a key part in a joint effort by publishers to set up a translation funding program for Indian languages.

Kannan is also the editor and publisher of Kalachuvadu, a monthly journal for culture and politics established by his father, Tamil literary icon Sundara Ramasamy. Kannan has also published five books of his own writings on publishing, politics and media, and writes in Tamil and English.

Gray Tan

Gray Tan
Founder and President – The Grayhawk Agency
Taipei, Taiwan

Main areas of interest:

  • Literary fiction
  • Commercial fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Children’s books

Gray Tan’s career as a literary agent commenced in 2004 at Jia-Xi Books, spearheading the new English-language department. In his first year he sold Carlos Ruiz Zafon's ‘The Shadow of the Wind’, and Khaled Hosseini's ‘The Kite Runner’, which has sold more than six million copies in China to date.

In 2008, Gray started The Grayhawk Agency, representing translation rights in the Chinese market on behalf of some of the biggest agencies and publishing houses across the US, UK, Canada and Europe. Australian authors Gray has successfully represented to the Chinese market include: ‘The Power of One’ by Bryce Courtenay (30,000 copies sold in Taiwan); ‘Lost and Found’ by Brooke Davis (sold to Citic in China at a 5-way auction); and work by Craig Silvey.

Other highlights include ‘Freedom’ by Jonathan Franzen (200,000 copies sold in China); ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ by E.L. James; ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ by S.J. Watson (1 million copies sold in China and 300,000 copies in Taiwan); ‘The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry’ by Gabrielle Zevin (2 million copies sold in China); and ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ by Rachel Joyce (1 million copies sold in China).

Gray is co-founder of the Taipei Book Fair Fellowship and is currently Managing Director of both the Books from Taiwan (BFT) and Taipei Rights Workshop (TRW) programs on behalf of the Ministry of Culture. 

Gita Wolf

Gita Wolf
Founder, Publisher and Author – Tara Books
Chennai, India

Main areas of interest:

  • Children's picture books
  • Visual narratives
  • First Nations writing and visual arts

Born in Calcutta, Gita Wolf undertook her MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Erlangen in Germany. In 1994 she started Tara Books, an independent publishing house exploring the relationship between the word and the visual in unorthodox ways. Joined by writers, designers and other creative professionals from India and abroad, Tara Books is now run as a worker-owned cooperative.

Tara Books is committed to bringing a variety of marginalized voices and perspectives to the reader; their engagement with the rich diversity of Indian folk and tribal art is particularly well-known. They’ve brought many of these traditions into books for the first time, and their books made completely by hand have won critical acclaim and major international awards. Tara Books has won industry awards including the Bologna Prize for Best Children’s Publisher of the Year in Asia in 2013, and The London Book Fair International Book Industry Excellence Award in 2014.

Gita is also a writer: she has written over twenty books for children and adults. Several have won major international awards and been translated into multiple languages. One of her more recent books – ‘Do!’ – was honoured with the prestigious Bologna Ragazzi New Horizons award in 2010.

Wu Yingying

Editor of Yilin Press – Phoenix Publishing and Media Group
Nanjing, China

Main areas of interest:

  • Literature
  • History
  • Popular Science
  • General Education
  • Children’s Books

Wu Yingying graduated from Southeast University in Nanjing with a Master of Arts, and has worked as an editor at Yilin Press since 2009. She has been dedicated to bilingual publishing for several years and now concentrates on publishing foreign literature, with a special interest in science fiction.

Major international science fiction titles she has published include Philip K. Dick’s ‘The Man in the High Castle’ and ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’; Andy Weir’s ‘The Martian’; and Ted Chiang’s ‘Stories of Your Life and Others’, which has sold over 100,000 copies in China. ‘The Martian’ has sold over 200,000 copies in China.

Other major international fiction titles she has published include Alice Munro’s ‘The Progress of Love’, and ‘The Pacific’; and bilingual works ‘Memories of Peking: Southside Stories’ by Sarah Wei-ming Chen, the family letters of Shen Congwen, selected poems and letters of Emily Dickinson, and Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Books she has published have received many notable honours, including a ‘Bestseller’ award from Douban, the ‘Beautiful Science Reading Award’ from Scientific American, the ‘China Galaxy Award’, and the ‘China Nebular Award’. She also participated in ‘A Study on the Academic History of Foreign Literature’, a key publishing project of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan of China.
Yuan Nan

Vice President of the Publishing Department and Senior Editor – Phoenix Publishing and Media Group
Nanjing, China

Main areas of interest:

  • Literature
  • History
  • Popular Science
  • General Education
  • Children’s Books

Yuan Nan has worked in the publishing industry for the last 17 years, in charge of a dozen key publishing projects of the Jiangsu Province Twelfth Five-Year Plan and Thirteenth Five-Year Plan; including ‘A Study on the Academic History of Foreign Literature,’ and the ‘History of Spanish Literature’. She is Editor in Chief of Contemporary Foreign Literature, and Executive Deputy Editor in Chief of New Perspectives on World Literature, and was the former Deputy Editor in Chief of Yilin Press. She also has a Doctorate of Literature from Nanjing University.

Several books she has worked on have sold over 200, 000 copies and won notable awards, including the ‘Government Award of Jiangsu Publishing and Media’, and ‘Foreign Book Publishers Award of the Publishers’ Association of China’. She has published more than a dozen papers in key journals such as the Chinese Editors Journal, Editors Monthly, and Literary Criticism, and has twice received the ‘Chinese Outstanding Publications Award’, and four times received ‘The Publishing Research Paper Award’ for Jiangsu Province.

She has been recognised as ‘Outstanding Chief Information Officer’ by the Publishers’ Association of China, a ‘Young Professional with Outstanding Accomplishments of Jiangsu Province’, a ‘Leading Talent in Publishing and Media in Jiangsu Province’, and a ‘Chinese First-Class Editor’ (for literary editors) by Bookdao Net, the largest website for Chinese publishers.

Exit off canvas