First ever PublisHer Excellence Awards winners revealed at Bologna Children’s Book Fair

-Winners of Lifetime Achievement, Emerging Leader, Innovation Awards announced
-PublisHer founder Bodour Al Qasimi commends the winners and nominees
-Winners selected by a professional jury following a six-month process

Bologna – April 11, 2024: The winners of the inaugural PublisHer Excellence Awards, which celebrate women who have brought positive change to the international publishing industry, have been announced during a glittering ceremony at the 2024 Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

Addressing the award ceremony before the announcement, PublisHer founder Bodour Al Qasimi paid tribute to the winners and runners up and thanked the professional jury for their vital contribution.

She said: “The phenomenal work showcased through the Awards is truly heart-warming. It’s a powerful testament to the impact women are making in publishing on a global scale. To our winners, your contributions are leaving a lasting mark on this industry and your stories are inspiring us all. To our nominees, thank you for your participation and passion for the PublisHer Excellence Awards, and please continue to shine brightly.”

The jury in charge of selecting the winners from among the 113 applicants was comprised of leading female figures from the international publishing industry:  Emma House, Director at Oreham Group, Arpita Das, Founder and Publisher at Yoda Press, Latoya West-Blackwood, Publishing and Communications Consultant, Caroline Fortin, President at Quebec Amerique International and Trasvin Jittidecharak, Founder and Publisher at Silkworm Books.

Following six-months of careful deliberations, the jury selected the winners from among the nine shortlisted finalists, and in Bologna it was announced that Anne Friebel, Publishing Director at Palomaa Publishing, was the recipient of the PublisHer Excellence Award in the Innovation category. Anne established “The Female Publisher” network – a free-to-join digital platform that connects and supports women publishers, program managers and decision makers within the German-speaking publishing market, encouraging discourse and exchange. As co-host of “Die Bücher unserer Zukunft” podcast (Books of Our Future) Anne has demonstrated commitment to the amplification of female voices, industry best practice, and methods which address publishing’s major challenges.

Following this, Mitia Osman, CEO and Publisher, Mayurpankhi and Executive Director at Agamee Prakashani, was announced as the recipient of the Emerging Leader Award. Demonstrating dedication and leadership in founding her publishing house Mayurpankhi in Bangladesh, she is the first woman to establish a children’s publishing house there. She is further recognized for her advocacy in campaigning for greater gender diversity in publishing, both at home, and internationally.

Lastly, Shirley Yvonne Carby, Chairperson at Carlong Publishers Caribbean Ltd. was announced as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her dynamic 45-year publishing career. A leader in publishing in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean, Shirley has steadfastly supported the training of authors and industry professionals and expanded the skills and knowledge of Caribbean societies throughout her career, while promoting literacy throughout her community.

The ceremony was part of a diverse PublisHer programme in Bologna, which included keynote speeches and daily panel discussions with big-hitting figures from international publishing, and networking coffees on the PublisHer stand each afternoon.

The PublisHer Excellence Awards shine a spotlight on women who are improving publishing and blazing trails for others to follow. They empower female publishers to aim higher and help each other and raise awareness of the continuing challenges many women still face in the publishing business.


About PublisHer

PublisHer is a global platform dedicated to advancing women in the publishing industry, with a mission to provide a space for women to connect, learn, and support each other. The platform offers mentorship programs, networking events, and initiatives to enable women publishers’ careers to thrive.