Sonali Misra

Sarah Barnard

Friday, 10–10.15 am

Conference welcome

by SYP Scotland


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Keynote Speech


Sharmaine Lovegrove

Friday, 10.15–10.45 am

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Friday, 11–11.50 am

‘You're on mute!' may very well be the most spoken phrase in 2020. With all in-person events cancelled, authors, publishers and book festivals had to be inventive to find ways to move all book launches, networking events, panel discussions and conferences online. What have been the challenges they faced in the process? And what are the best things that have come from going digital?


Ain Bensenouci, Partnerships & Events Manager at PRH


Nick Barley, Director of Edinburgh International Book Festival

Lyndsey Fineran, Programme & Commissions Manager of Cheltenham Literature Festival

Ann Landmann, Sales Representative at Birlinn Ltd

Georgina Moore, Director of Books & Publishing at Midas PR


Nyla Ahmad, Reading Communities Manager at Scottish Book Trust


Friday, 12–12.50 pm

Alt. Routes

The one truth we’ve all had to accept this past year is that life rarely works out in predictable, direct ways, so why should our career paths? The SYP is here for anyone within the first ten years of their publishing careers, whether their first role is in publishing or they’ve found their way to it after working in other industries. Join us as we speak with a few industry insiders who have followed fascinating serpentine journeys and transferred their skills to the book industry.


Claire Withers, Managing Editor at Hodder Gibson 


Donna Greaves, Agency Assistant at Jo Unwin Literary Agency

Ned Hartley, Commissioning Editor at Ladybird Books

Noelle Holten, PR & Social Media Manager at Bookouture

Sam McDowell, Co-founder of Charco Press

Sponsored by The Bookseller


Friday, 3 pm

Dear Publishing

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty – from poorly placed barcodes on book covers and tiny font sizes to the larger issues of the lack of diversity within publishing, this pre-recorded series of open letters will allow members of the book community to raise the concerns they have with the publishing industry. But that’s not all – a panel of publishing professionals will respond to these letters in the sister panel, With Best Regards.


Kelly Urgan, Freelance Editor

Tom Hodges, Founder of Typewronger Books

Dean Atta & Jeda Pearl Lewis, Co-directors of Scottish BAME Writers Network

Bushra Wasty, Book Blogger at Bibliobushra


Friday, 4–4.50 pm

The Lockdown Issue

With the lockdown came the shutting down of non-essential shops – the primary channel for magazine sales.  Things were only made worse by a global recession, mass unemployment and the perception of magazines as a luxury item. How have magazines adapted in order to survive, and even thrive, in the time of Covid?


Nikki Simpson, Founder of International Magazine Centre


Paul McNamee, UK Editor of The Big Issue

Arusa Qureshi, former Editor of The List

Hannah Taylor, Founder of Delicate Rébellion

Alexandria Turner, Editor-in-chief of kids' magazines and comics at DC Thomson


Friday, 5–5.50 pm

Sharing the Password

2020 saw continued debates about accessibility and inclusion within the publishing world. From the Black Lives Matter movement and its related #publishingpaidme tweets from BIPOC authors; the call from disabled creatives for better access; and the appeal for recognising LGBTQIA+ identities, it is evident that representation is poor, both within the industry and the books that it produces. How can publishing do better to represent these voices? And what will better representation mean to the industry as a whole?


Anamik Saha, Senior Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London


Nels Abbey, Author & Co-founder of Black Writers' Guild

Julie Farrell, Author

Melanie Ramdarshan Bold, Associate Professor at University College London

James Spackman, Founder of The Spare Room Project


Friday, 6.30–7.30 pm

Twitter Networking #SYPChat

You’ve enjoyed some pretty amazing panels, so now you can get cosy and join us on Twitter using the hashtag #SYPChat for some relaxed networking. It’s a chance to connect with the SYP and some of our speakers, who will be there to have a chat and answer questions.

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Saturday, 10–10.50 am

World Wide Web

2020 had other ideas regarding everyone’s travelling plans, but if the experience has proved anything, it’s that you don’t always need a passport to work across borders. Our group of international panellists is here to present a global perspective on publishing. They’ll discuss how they’ve worked on an international scale – pre, amid and post pandemic – and how they’ve had to adapt to these changing circumstances so they can continue to build reading communities.


Laura Waddell, UK Publishing Director at Tramp Press


Madelene Andersson, Literary Agent at Bonnier Rights

Regina Kammerer, Publisher at Luchterhand Literaturverlag & btb Verlag (part of Random House Germany)

Tina Narang, Children’s Publisher at HarperCollins India

Nathan James Thomas, VP of Marketing & Publicity at Exisle Publishing


Saturday, 11–11.50 am

More Than (Trade) Words

When we hear ‘publishing’, most of us picture trade books that we find in bookshops. But have you ever wondered what other options lie out there for publishing hopefuls? From education to academic, B2B to distribution and even our beloved comics, this panel – comprising bite-sized presentations – will provide an insight into the diverse fields that actually make up the publishing industry. 


Davinder Bedi, Managing Director of BookSource

Jo Biggers, Marketing Executive at Bright Red Publishing

Jenny Brown, Literary Agent & Founder of Jenny Brown Associates

Anna Glazier, Head of Marketing at Edinburgh University Press

Sha Nazir, Publisher at BHP Comics

Ross Stewart, Project Leader at Prepress Projects

Sponsored by The CIEP


Saturday, 12–12.50 pm

Your Cart Is Full

Last year, debate turned to whether bookshops are essential, but there’s no question as to whether booksellers are! Join us for a chat with the backbone of our book-buying habit as we find out how indie bookshops fared in 2020, how publishers can support them, what role can play, and learn about the buying trends spotted by booksellers that have helped comfort us all in this unpredictable time.


Vikki Reilly, Marketing, Events & Sales Support Manager at Publishing Scotland


Mairi Oliver, Owner of Lighthouse in Edinburgh

Sally Pattle, Manager of Far From the Madding Crowd

Natalie Whittle, Owner of Outwith Books

Samantha Williams, Founder of Booklove Multicultural Travelling Book Carnival


Saturday, 3–3.50 pm

With Best Regards

We’ve heard from the book community about their gripes in Dear Publishing, and now it’s time to give the floor to publishing professionals. In this panel, publishers, marketing and PR execs, and HR managers will discuss how they have been making strides in their fields and how the industry can work together to improve further. Current and future publishers, listen up! You can be a part of this change, so be a part of the conversation.


Claire Squires, Professor of Publishing Studies at University of Stirling


Laura Jones, Co-owner & Publisher of 404 Ink

Jamie Norman, Campaigns Executive at Canongate

Raakhi Vadera, HR Manager at Pan Macmillan

Amy Wong, Production Controller at Bloomsbury Publishing


Saturday, 4–4.50 pm

Publishing Shuggie Bain

Picador’s Camilla Elworthy and Ravi Mirchandani will be joining us to discuss their respective roles, as Publicity Director and Editor in Chief, in publishing Douglas Stuart’s remarkable Booker Prize-winning debut Shuggie Bain. The SYP Scotland Conference is the perfect place to shine a spotlight on this quintessential Glasgow story - the pride of Scottish publishing in 2020.


Euan Tait, Events Manager at The Portobello Bookshop


Camilla Elworthy, Publicity Director at Pan Macmillan

Ravi Mirchandani, Editor-in-chief of Picador


Saturday, 5–5.30 pm

Closing Speech


Ross Sayers

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Saturday, 5.30–6 pm



Gray Crosbie

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Speed Networking Party

Saturday, 6.30–9.30 pm

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Whilst we would love getting to see everyone in person, we’ll settle for seeing you all as close to face-to-face as we can get this year! So, get yourself a drink of your choice and join us as we celebrate our first virtual conference with a bit of online one-on-one speed networking and connect with attendees and speakers for some snappy sessions.