The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2022: Winners Announced!
By Caitlin Evans, Paridhi Badgotri, Ellie Brady and Thomas Caldow
On 25 March 25, The London Book Fair made an exciting announcement just two weeks ahead of the anticipated fair. After announcing the shortlist earlier in the month, the winners have finally been revealed for their International Excellence Awards 2022.
The International Excellence Awards aim to celebrate both organisations and individuals from around the globe, who have a demonstrated track-record of passion and innovation within the publishing industry. The awards have now been running for nine years, and more than sixty-five countries have so far received a winning title. This year, a judging panel of experts from each category scrutinised the shortlists before making their decision; finally, eight winners spanning seven countries were named.
Audiobook Publisher of the Year: Saga Egmont (Denmark)
Danish publisher Saga Egmont took the crown for this year’s Audiobook Publisher award, joining a list of previous winners including Penguin Random House. Saga Egmont’s global ambition and broad outreach impressed the judges, as well as “their commitment to translating into multiple languages and reaching new territories.” A special commendation was also granted in this category to Macmillan Audio (USA) for their critically acclaimed organic market growth.
Bookstore of the Year Award: Rahva Raamat Viru Store (Estonia)
Rahva Ramat bookstore is a tourist landmark for booklovers from all over the world. Opened in 2004, Rahva Raamat has gained popularity as Estonia’s largest bookstore where you can find kilometers of books, vinyls, CDs, films, toys, games and gifts - all in one cosy space! As a cultural hub, the staff welcomes everyone from a quiet stroller to a brisk gift-seeker by sharing their literary tips. It hosts various events and book-signings to engage with its customers. The bookstore accompanies the Literaat Café which offers a good cup of coffee and nourishment for one’s literary adventure.
Library of the Year Award: “Fran Galovic” Koprivnica Public Library (Croatia)
The Library of the Year category perhaps proves more weighted in 2022 than it would have a decade prior. After two tough pandemic years for global arts and culture sectors, the Fran Galović Public Library of Croatia is a well-deserved recipient. Their aim is to improve access to literary materials for school-age children in deprived and rural areas. In doing so, they instil values of reading, learning and digital literacy in children from as early as possible. Their work has a tangible effect in the municipalities they work within, providing a strong example of what libraries can achieve.
Literary Translation Initiative Award: Institut Ramon Llull (Spain)
The Institut Ramon Llull is a Spanish public institution which aims at the spread of Catalan language and culture abroad. It encourages the translation of Catalan culture and literature in other spheres like cinema, theatres, music, dance, architecture, design and visual arts. It assists in creating a dialogue between researchers and theorists in Catalan and their parallels in other languages. It works on representing Catalan literature and culture in events at a global level.
Children’s & Young Adult Publisher Award: Tulika Publishers (India)
With the tagline “Many languages…Many voices”, Tulika Publishers’ has not only pioneered in generating imaginary tales for children but in developing an atmosphere of representation and inclusivity for them. Since 1996, Tulka has led a fresh wave in the arena of Indian publishing. It has published children’s books in English and various regional languages of India including Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati and Bengali. Books are centred around various cultural and social contexts with the representation of different types of childhoods. With their traditional tales, they have also paid emphasis on diverse values in their visual language.
Educational Innovation Award: Editions Animées (France)
French based company Editions Animées have deservedly secured the award for Educational Innovation, a new category in 2022. Thanks to their inspiring BlinkBook initiative and commitment to helping museums, heritage sites, brands and more curate engaging technical, sonic, visual and 3D-based projects to teach youngsters in an effective yet fresh way. BlinkBook – a free to use application – lets users playfully engage with books and improve orality, written comprehension in all areas of education.
Rights Professional Award: Anna Soler-Pont, Pontas Agency (Spain)
Anna Soler Pont’s Pontas Agency’ received high praise from this year’s judging panel. The agency was noted as standing out from other agencies due to their readiness to look beyond the traditional European markets to writers throughout Asia and the Middle East. Their ongoing Pontas & JJ Bola Emerging Writers Prize (this year jointly won by Musih Tedji Xaviere and Bhavika Govil) is evidence of this commitment to finding and nurturing talent from across the globe. Indeed, this commitment to championing diversity has seen Pontas themselves winning plaudits: Ashni Doshi’s Burnt Sugar was nominated for the prestigious 2020 Booker Prize Shortlist.
Inclusivity in Publishing Award: Bloomsbury
Bloomsbury have received this year’s Inclusivity in Publishing Award for their wide-ranging approach to tackling issues of diversity and inclusion within the industry. Of particular note was Bloomsbury’s innovative data collection project which focused on gathering information regarding equal opportunities within the workplace. Rather than a mere survey Bloomsbury is already taking steps to embed these findings within their action plans for the company’s future.