Katie Scott always knew she wanted to work for children—she always wanted to serve children—although not necessarily work with children everyday, as she said in a recent interview with Kate Jenks Landry, author of Beatrice and Barb (Kids Can Press, 2023). After attending McGill University and stints at Lobster Press and Oxford University Press, Katie landed her “dream job” as associate editor at Kids Can Press (KCP) in October 2013. Five years later, she was promoted to editor. During her tenure at KCP, Katie has developed many projects into critically acclaimed and award-winning books, such as The Boreal Forest, Canada Year by Year, Canadian Women Now and Then, A Stopwatch from Grampa, and Wednesday Wilson Gets Down to Business.
But her work as children’s book editor with KCP is not the only way that Katie serves children. She was on the IBBY Canada board for five years, from 2013 to 2018, holding the position of Newsletter Editor. While on the board, she spearheaded a silent auction that was a fundraiser for IBBY Canada, with artwork from Isabelle Arsenault, Patricia Storms and John Martz. Katie has been and continues to be an instrumental member of the Hans Christian Andersen Award nominating committee.
In her role as editor at KCP, she approached Kathy Stinson, one of Canada’s great storytellers and a long-time supporter of IBBY Canada, to write a picture book about Jella Lepman. A conversation that Katie and Kathy had over coffee led to the creation of The Lady with the Books (Kids Can Press, 2020), illustrated by Marie Lafrance, which was named a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year and nominated for the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award.
For Katie, volunteering for IBBY Canada was always about a shared ethos. Katie wrote to me that her decision to pursue a career in book publishing was “strongly rooted in a desire to help tell great Canadian stories and uplift Canadian writers and artists—becoming an editor was partly about wanting to make great books, and partly about wanting to do that here in Canada. And that’s something that IBBY Canada believes in as well, in the work they do to celebrate great Canadian stories. I also think it’s incredibly important to find community in all facets of life, and for the part of me that will forever love reading children’s books, my people are here at IBBY Canada.”
Thank you, Katie, for all your inspired and inspiring work over the years.
Contributed by Lesley Clement, IBBY Regional Councillor Ontario