Speaker Profile

Kathy Rooney

Publishing Director
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

A prize established to honour outstanding achievements by women in publishing has been won by Bloomsbury's expert reference publisher Kathy Rooney.

The Kim Scott Walwyn prize was set up to commemorate the career of Oxford University Press publishing director Kim Scott Walwyn, who died in 2002 aged 45.  It was conceived by Ms. Walywn's friends, the agent Catherine Clarke and the biographer Hermione Lee to, in Ms. Clarke's words, "honour women whose work would not otherwise receive public recognition".

Starting her career as editor of the Collins German dictionary, Dr. Rooney moved to Bloomsbury in 1987 where she became a director of the independent publisher.  She has worked on major reference projects including the Microsoft Encarta World English Dictionary, which powers the spell-check in Word, running Bloomsbury Reference for 18 years.  More recently she took charge of Bloomsbury's German subsidiary Berlin Verlag, a position she held for three years until 2008.  She is now managing director of Bloomsbury Information, and is learning Arabic in order to establish Bloomsbury's newest venture in Doha, Qatar, an Arabic-language publishing house which will look for new talent in the region.

To put one of her accomplishments in another way, the fact that this message is being automatically spell checked is due to the work she initiated with Microsoft.

Profile as of 6/1/2009