Beatrice Davis Editorial Fellow for 2023 announced


Graphic novels are experiencing an exponential rise in sales, representing untapped opportunities for Australian publishers wanting to champion local content. But do Australian editors understand how the language of graphic novels work? And do Australian publishers know how to capitalise on this fast-growing category? What we can learn – and now! – from our US counterparts about the editing and publishing of graphic novels?

The recipient of the Australian Publishers Association’s 2022-23 Beatrice Davis Editorial Fellowship, Allen & Unwin’s Sophie Splatt, will travel to the US and Canada to meet with graphic novel publishers, editors, agents and creators for this timely research project, entitled ‘Graphic novels: Can we grow them at home?’. 

‘I'm absolutely thrilled to have been awarded the 2023 Beatrice Davis Editorial Fellowship.’ says Splatt. ‘I can't wait to dive into the world of graphic novels – one of the most exciting growth areas in publishing today – and to learn everything I can from our North American counterparts.’

Splatt’s research project was chosen from a strong shortlist by the Australian Publishers Association’s Editorial Working Group and former BDEF recipients. Chair of the Working Group Meredith Curnow says: ‘Sophie Splatt’s proposal is outstanding. With a clear and clever plan to share with her Australian editorial peers all she learns in North America from those who write, illustrate, edit, publish and sell this market growth sector, the APA Editorial Working Group is thrilled to award the 2023 BDEF to Sophie Splatt.’

Splatt is the 12th editorial fellow to be selected for this sought-after program, which benefits the entire Australian book community. 

The Beatrice Davis Editorial Fellowship was established in 1998 and supports a senior editor in a major research project that has significance for the Australian publishing industry. Once the research is complete, an extensive program that disseminates the findings and practically applies any outcomes or recommendations is carried out. 

Splatt is an editor of books for children and young adults at Allen & Unwin. She was selected for the APA’s 2022 Residential Editorial Publishers program, and has been a recipient of the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust mentorship and the Australia Council Seagull School of Publishing residency in India.

The 2022-23 Beatrice Davis Editorial Fellowship has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; and the APA’s Trade Publishers Committee.