Jenny Brown, OBE

20 June 2024

Tommy Zyw’s mum Jenny Brown has been awarded an OBE in the King’s Birthday Honours list!

Jenny Brown, OBE portrait by Sandy Young Photography

Tommy Zyw’s mother Jenny Brown established Scotland’s leading literary agency in 2002. She was previously Head of Literature at the Scottish Arts Council, presenter of book programmes for Scottish Television, and founder Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. She was one of the founders of Edinburgh as the first UNESCO City of Literature and the Bloody Scotland crime writing festival. She was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2021 and holds honorary doctorates from Aberdeen, Edinburgh Napier, Open University and St Andrews.

She said:

I’m absolutely delighted to have been recognised in this way. I feel fortunate to have contributed in a range of roles connecting writers and readers at a vibrant period in the development of Scotland’s literature culture… I’m struck by what vitality there is here in Scotland, in our bookshops, festivals (now over 50), publishers and literature organisations, and especially amongst the remarkable writing community. I can look back over 40 years and, thanks to the efforts of so many people, see a transformed literary landscape and, despite all the challenges, feel encouraged and inspired by what lies ahead.

Congratulations to Tommy for having such a brilliant mother. Well done Jenny!

A vintage image of Jenny Brown with her twin sons Tommy and Davy Zyw outside the Edinburgh Book Festival, 1990.
Jenny with her twin sons Tommy & Davy, and their sons Torin & Aleksander at the Edinburgh Book Festival
Jenny reading with her grandsons Torin & Aleksander at home
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