Meet Rising Star shortlistee Tom Langshaw


Shortlisted for the Australian publishing industry’s Rising Star award in 2023, meet Tom Langshaw, commissioning editor at Pantera Press.

Whether it be memoir, non-fiction or personal development titles, Tom is always on the look for compelling new Australian voices and stories which ask big questions of their readers. Tom says there is nothing like working ‘with a talented person who is on the same page’ as he gives us insights into his career to date, and hopes for the future of the industry. 

What achievements are you proudest of in your career so far?

While it may sound like a cop-out answer, I am truly proud to be working with all the authors whose books I’ve signed up. The start of the process can be so invigorating and there’s nothing like a wide-ranging conversation with a talented person who is on the same page – so to speak – about how they want to collaborate creatively. And then the editor in me acknowledges that sending a book to print always counts as an achievement. The culmination of months, if not years, of hard graft. 

Two ABIA shortlisted books Tom has worked on, with The Dreaming Path an ABIA winner in 2023

This year's BookUp program has a strong focus on professional development – what kind of training would be useful for your career or your peers in the industry?

We need to develop trauma-informed guidelines for working with authors through a book’s life cycle, especially for editors and publicists. Too often this is a reactive process that falls to our individual discretion and intuition, and we are long overdue for an industry-wide conversation about the mental health training and support systems necessary to engage sensitively and ethically with trauma narratives.

As an extension of this, I would love to see more forums for editors, in-house and freelance, to exchange ideas and work towards best practice. I was fortunate to be a part of last year’s Residential Editorial Program and it was so great to gather with editorial peers – in person, no less!

What are some of the opportunities or challenges you would like to see the publishing industry tackle in the future?

I would like to see more concrete action to promote sustainable career pathways, in particular for early-career publishing workers, and a focus on retention of staff more generally. As a starting point: better pay, fairer workloads, more flexible working conditions and greater transparency around career progression.


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Hear more from those shortlisted for the Rising Star award at BookUp on 16 August, with the winner announced at the post-conference networking drinks that evening in Melbourne. You can learn more about the BookUp program and discover the full Rising Star shortlist here.

The Rising Star award is proudly supported by Media Super, the super fund dedicated to those who publish, inform, entertain, create and inspire.