Red Carpet Catch-up: Walker Books

CAMEO AWARDS Book to TV Winner 2017
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
 Book original by Michael Rosen (Walker Books) 

The television adaptation of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt first aired on Channel 4 the Christmas before last, and was voiced by Olivia Colman, Mark Williams and Michael Rosen. In the competitive world of Youtube and on-demand programming, it attracted an audience of over eight million people in its first 26-minute outing, bringing new life and new audiences to a much-loved children’s classic first published in 1989.

Julia Posen is EVP and Commercial Director for Walker Books’ Group Rights and Development Division.

Julia joined Walker Books in 2010 as Marketing, Brand and Licensing Director, responsible for all Walker Books UK marketing, brand and licensing strategy for authors and brands, including Anthony Horowitz, Where’s Wally?, Cassandra Clare andGuess How Much I Love You. Prior to joining Walker, Julia worked at the BBC for 12 years in a number of different senior roles; Head of Publishing EMEIA, Children’s DVD Publisher, Head of International Licensing and finally as the Children’s Commercial Director before joining Walker. Her career began in book publishing at Mitchell Beazley working in the co-edition foreign rights team before moving on to Evans Brothers, a children’s educational publisher, as their Foreign Rights Manager.

As EVP and Commercial Director, Julia is responsible for building new business and global opportunities for Walker Books’ Group Rights and Development Division across licensing, digital, publishing and TV production. Julia oversees all Walker UK licensing activity across brands including Guess How Much I Love You, Maisy, Tilly and Friends, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and Alice in Wonderland and works closely with the global publishing team for the media tie-in imprints Walker Entertainment and Candlewick Entertainment. As a director of Walker Productions she develops and co-produces television for children. Co-produced projects include Hank Zipzer for CBBC, Tilly and Friends for CBeebies, Fleabag Monkeyface for CITV and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt for Channel 4. Julia is an Executive Producer on Tilly and Friends, Hank Zipzer and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.


How has the last year been for We’re Going on a Bear Hunt?

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt continues to go from strength to strength.  We were nominated for a BAFTA and we’ve also recently been shortlisted for the Prix Jeunesse.

This year we’ve announced two major promotions in the UK.  The first is with the Isle of Wight tourist board that will be running a year-long Bear Hunt campaign on the Island.  The other deal we announced was with the international classical music agency Intermusica for a Live Orchestral Concert presentation of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

Our licensees continue to refresh their product and the film is rolling out internationally too.

What was the last book you read?
A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles

What is your favourite film adaptation from a book?
To Kill a Mocking Bird

What TV series are you obsessing over right now?
We’ve recently finished the series Narcos.  Wagner Moura as Pablo Escobar was extraordinary.  So evil and yet so charismatic.  For family viewing we’re watching The Goldbergs.  Apparently I am the Mum!

Go on, let us know your musical guilty pleasure.
Not so guilty – the genius Michael Jackson.  Love Stevie Wonder too.  Oh and Dusty Springfield.

What is the best stage production you’ve seen in the past year? 
It would have to be my husband’s adaptation of The Twilight Zone which was recently on at The Almeida.  He would kill me if I named any other play.

What do you like about your job?
The sheer variety of working in children’s publishing, children’s licensing and children’s TV.

What is the one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting out in publishing today? 
Read voraciously, all genres and across all publishers.  To work in the industry is a privilege but you have to work at it.

What was your first job?
My first job was in the book industry working at Mitchell Beazley.

Tell us about a passion you have outside the business. 
I’m boringly obsessed with cooking and baking.  To compensate I’ve had to become obsessional about spinning!

What do you love about The London Book Fair?
It doesn’t matter how long I’ve worked in the industry.  I’m always blown away by the sight of so many great publishing houses, authors and illustrators all working in one big space.


Julia Posen
Walker Books

Twitter @WalkerBooksUK

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