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Windy Hollow Books named Bologna publisher of the year

Melbourne-based publisher Windy Hollow Books has been named the winner of the Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publisher of the Year in the Oceania category.

‘Windy Hollow Books has been publishing high quality illustrated books for 14 years, working with Australian authors and illustrators, collaborating not just with well-established artists but emerging ones as well, reaching out to discover and support new talents,’ the award citation reads.

Windy Hollow Books publisher Cristina Pase told Books+Publishing, ‘It was a wonderful surprise to wake up to find we had won this award.’

‘It is an honour to be recognised by the international publishing community,’ Pase said. ‘It is especially rewarding as a small independent publisher to know we have been seen and appreciated for our commitment to beautiful, empowering and engaging books for children. I believe this award will help open many doors for us internationally, which in turn will give our Australian authors and illustrators a wider audience.’

Pase said that while ‘it is a shame not to be able to attend the fair this year’, the publisher has been ‘dipping our toe in the online rights fair with a small selection of books, some of which are already receiving some positive attention’.

Windy Hollow Books was one of five publishers shortlisted for the Oceania category, with Affirm Press, Hardie Grant Egmont and New Zealand’s Huia Publishers and Oratia Media also up for the award.

The Bologna Prize for Best Children’s Publisher of the Year was established in 2013 by the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and the Italian Publishers Association to ‘pay tribute to excellence in the world of children’s publishing’. Scribble was the recipient of last year’s Bologna Prize in the Oceania category.

Virtual fair kicks off

The winners of the Bologna Prize were revealed at the launch of the online edition of the 57th Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF), which runs from 4–7 May. The virtual book fair includes digital stages and exhibitions, as well as an online platform that will allow opportunities for licensing and other business transactions.

The University of Queensland Press children’s commissioning editor Clair Hume and contracts and rights manager Kate McCormack told Books+Publishing, ‘It’s wonderful to see the global publishing community coming up with ways to persevere amidst our vastly changed environment and we applaud the BCBF organisers for their initiative.’

They said the fair’s platforms seemed like ‘a good way of learning first-hand more about how each territory’s industry is doing during these times and should allow us to work in a targeted and more mindful way with publishers in those countries’.

However they added that ‘while a virtual fair is a great stop-gap, we feel that no Zoom meeting can take the place of face-to-face in the huge halls of the Bologna Book Fair. The energy and buzz there is unique. Catching up with colleagues who share the same passion for children’s books holds a certain magic when concentrated to one physical place.’

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Category: Awards Junior Local news