Women’s Prize LIVE: Joanna Prior and Felicity Blunt on the cultural impact of Covid-19

Event details

Wednesday 1st Jul 2020

IG Live


The individual and industry: the cultural impact of Covid-19

Join us for an Instagram Live in partnership with AllBright, featuring MD Penguin General Joanna Prior and Curtis Brown literary agent Felicity Blunt in conversation, discussing the impact of Covid-19 on readers and writers. Both Joanna and Felicity sit on the board of the Women’s Prize Trust, the charity championing readers, writers and women’s voices.

Expect to hear musings on:

  • individuals potentially having more time at home to read, but at the same time struggling to focus due to anxiety and increased childcare and domestic duties
  • a wider range of voices emerging as women pick up the pen for the first time
  • the challenges the global publishing industry has faced due to lockdown: supply chain issues, high-street closures and the rise of audio and digital over print
  • the publishing trends we’ll all be reading in two years: dystopian pandemic fiction and real-life accounts from frontline workers
  • the opportunities and innovations presented by Covid-19 in the world of books, including rights exploitation of backlist titles

Join us on IG Live on July 1st at 4pm.

Make sure you follow us on Instagram @WomensPrize so you don’t miss out >

About our speakers:

Joanna Prior is Managing Director of Penguin General Books, one of nine publishing houses at Penguin Random House. The division comprises Hamish Hamilton, Fig Tree, Penguin Business, Penguin Life, Penguin Ireland and Viking imprints and is home to authors as varied as Dolly Alderton, Antony Beevor, William Boyd, Alain de Botton, Mohsin Hamid, John le Carré, Ben Macintyre, Robert Macfarlane, Elif Shafak, Ali Smith, Zadie Smith, Colm Tóibín and Ruby Wax. Joanna joined Penguin in 1998 as marketing and publicity director. Before this, she held the same role at Fourth Estate and was briefly editor of the Sunday Telegraph magazine.

Joanna is a past President of The Publishers Association, past chair of the Consumer Publishing Council and was Chair of World Book Day in 2012. Previously part of the PA’s Reading for Pleasure committee, she is Vice Chair of the National Literacy Trust and also a founding member of the Reading Partners steering committee, the industry consortium working with libraries. She has been a board member for the Women’s Prize Trust since 2012 and took over as Chair in January 2016.


Felicity Blunt trained as a barrister before interning at both the Wylie Agency and Curtis Brown literary agency. She officially joined Curtis Brown in 2005, where she have represented from the beginning of their careers esteemed and bestselling authors Rosamund Lupton, Renee Knight, Laura Marshall Gytha Lodge and Tammy Cohen and, alongside her growing list of debuts, like the Bath First Novel Award winner Abi Dare, works on the Estate of Daphne du Maurier and Jilly Cooper. She co-agents a number of authors with US agency ICM, among whom number the Pulitzer-winning Jennifer Egan and Women’s Prize winner Ann Patchett. Felicity’s non-fiction is predominantly cookery with writers such as Anna JonesGeorgina HaydenSamin Nosrat and Claire Ptak.

Felicity is a trustee of the Women’s Prize Trust, and is passionate about working with writers in the 360, helping to form a strategy that straddles not only the domestic and international sales of their books, but also the exploitation of their media rights.

To learn more about being part of our community and how you can support the Women’s Prize Trust, click here.
With thanks to Arts Council England for its support for this event.

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