Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

Image. Advertisement:

Sessions to retire from Penguin

Penguin Australia has announced that Bob Sessions will retire from the company on 27 September.

Sessions has worked for Penguin Australia for more than 27 years and was head of the publishing department for 22 years. He stepped down as publishing director in April 2011 to work in the part-time role of publisher.

Penguin Australia CEO Gabrielle Coyne said in a statement that Sessions ‘has played an integral role in shaping Penguin’s vibrant and diverse lists’ for more than two decades. ‘He has been one of the defining figures of our industry and his commitment to Penguin and to the creative talent on which we all thrive is without question,’ said Coyne.

Coyne said Sessions ‘has tirelessly championed Australian talent—authors and illustrators—and his desire to see them succeed not only in Australia but internationally, is what has made him such a fine publisher and one for whom many owe a debt of gratitude’.

Sessions said in the same statement that it has been a privilege to work for Penguin, ‘along with colleagues who have proved themselves to be the best in the business’.

‘Publishing is a people’s business, and I have made many good friends along the way,’ said Sessions. ‘I first came to Penguin in the 1970s, when Australian publishing was just beginning to find its feet. Since that time Penguin Australia has been blessed with some fine leaders, and it has been inspiring to have been a part of the management of change, and part of the growing professionalism and internationalisation of the industry. Most important, however, have been the authors, many of whom I have worked with over a long period of time, and over many books. I am leaving Penguin, and its authors, in very capable hands, and will watch its progress with great interest as it enters an exciting new era.’

Sessions has worked with some of the best-known Australian authors and illustrators, including Bryce Courtenay, Thea Astley, Graeme Base, Ruth Park, Geoffrey Blainey and Pamela Allen. He received the George Robertson Award for Services to the Australian Publishing Industry in 2008 and has been involved in a number of industry associations during his career. He is currently chair of the course advisory committee for the Graduate Diploma in Editing and Publishing at RMIT University in Melbourne.



Category: Local news