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Source: University of Otago

New Otago University Press Publisher Dr Sue Wootton and retiring Publisher Rachel Scott.
Outgoing Otago University Press Publisher Rachel Scott is proud of what the Press has achieved in her eight years in the role.
Scott came to Otago University Press in 2013 following a five-year stint as Publisher at Canterbury University Press.
During her time at Otago, OU Press has published two Ockham New Zealand Book Award winners, with David Eggleton’s The Conch Trumpet winning the poetry section in 2016, and Joanne Drayton’s Hudson & Halls: The Food of Love winning the general non-fiction in 2019. David Elliot’s Snark won the 2017 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults Margaret Mahy Book of the Year.
But it is not just about the award-winning books. Scott is happy to have published a number of books she feels have made a difference in the world, such as Doctors in Denial: The forgotten women in ‘the unfortunate experiment’ by Ron W. Jones, Disobedient Teaching by Welby Ings, and Robert Webster’s Flu Hunter.
“I feel as if we have a strong publishing list and have become a sought-after publisher. We have several high-profile authors now, and a great team. It’s a good time to hand over.”

“I love the genres that OUP is renowned for. The poetry list is dear to my heart but so too is the non-fiction, with its focus on culture, history and natural history. The Press’s place in New Zealand letters is something to be very proud of and I hope to continue to bring that forward.”

In her time as Publisher, Scott is also proud of having launched the Landfall Archive, digitising and indexing New Zealand’s foremost and longest-running arts and literary journal, so most issues are now available and preserved online.
Now that she is stepping back, Scott is looking forward to enjoying some gardening, getting back into freelance book editing and reading books for pleasure instead of work.
“I have just hit the retirement age. I have absolutely loved this job but it’s a demanding role and I feel it’s time to bring in someone with new, fresh energy.”
That fresh energy comes in the form of author and editor Dr Sue Wootton.
Prior to taking up the role at the OU Press, Dr Wootton co-published the medical humanities site Corpus: Conversations about Medicine and Life and recently completed her PhD at Otago.
She is also an award-winning writer of poetry and prose. Her novel Strip was longlisted for the 2017 Ockham NZ Book Awards, and her most recent poetry collection, The Yield (OUP), was a finalist in 2018. She was the 2009 Robert Burns Fellow, held the 2018/19 NZSA Beatson Fellowship, and was awarded the 2020 Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship.
As an experienced writer and freelance editor Dr Wootton has a deep appreciation for the strong publishing history of the Press.
“I love the genres that OUP is renowned for. The poetry list is dear to my heart but so too is the non-fiction, with its focus on culture, history and natural history. The Press’s place in New Zealand letters is something to be very proud of and I hope to continue to bring that forward.”
Dr Wootton is looking forward to her new challenge and is grateful to the contributions Rachel Scott has made in her time at the helm.
“I’m excited to be building on the legacy that Rachel has left for me to build on. It’s a really solid well-organised ship that I am stepping into. I am really looking forward to working with the team to continue to produce a significant list of books.”
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise Professor Richard Blaikie says Dr Wootton’s leadership will help the OU Press maintain momentum as a leading publisher of books of high scholarly and cultural significance.
“We also acknowledge the immense effort of the outgoing publisher, Rachel Scott, who has worked tirelessly over eight years to maintain the quality and relevance of OU Press as a contemporary New Zealand publishing house. We wish her a long and enjoyable retirement.”

MIL OSI