This last Wednesday, I spent a couple of hours selecting the winners of the 2011 Dystel Publishing Fellowship. The Fellowship—named for my father Oscar Dystel, a well known leader in the publishing industry and former CEO and President of Bantam Books—consists of tuition scholarships awarded each year to outstanding graduate students in publishing. It is part of the Master of Science in Publishing program at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
The Fellowship recipients are selected by a group of distinguished professionals in the publishing community: Irwyn Applebaum, former president and publisher, Bantam Dell Publishing Group; Jane Friedman, CEO and co-founder, Open Road Integrated Media; Martha Levin, executive vice president and publisher, Free Press, Simon & Schuster, Inc.; Robert Miller, group publisher, Workman Publishing; Sara Nelson, book director, O, The Oprah Magazine; Stephen Rubin, president and publisher, Henry Holt & Co., Macmillan Publishing; Lorraine Shanley, president, Market Partners International, Inc.; William Shinker, president and publisher, Gotham Books, Penguin Group USA; Daniel Slater, senior manager, author and vendor relations, Kindle Content/Amazon; and Peter Workman, president and publisher, Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
In the past, we have presented the fellowship to one student but this year the committee was so impressed with the candidacy of two young women that we elected to present a fellowship to each of them:
Joana Costa Knufinke is a Fulbright scholar and a native of Spain where she is a PhD candidate at the University of Barcelona; she is currently working as a marketing and sales intern at Vintage/Anchor Books, a division of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group at Random House. She envisions a career as a publisher of fiction either in Spain or the United States and also wants to pursue teaching opportunities in publishing.
Kristin Vorce, is a project editor in the professional/trade division of John Wiley & Sons. A Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Delaware, Kristin aspires to achieving a publishing position in either professional or trade books and employing creative digital initiatives to deliver customized content on multiple platforms.
I found both of these young women to be incredibly smart, creative and thoughtful and I am hoping they will one day help to lead our industry in new and exciting directions. Being a part of this fellowship process is one of the most exciting things I do each year; it enables me to know that I am contributing to the future of an industry I truly love.
I know you will join me in sending congratulations to both Joana and Kristin!