Australian-born Dame Carmen Callil DBE is a publisher, writer and critic.
Callil moved to London in 1960 and started her publishing career as the publicity manager of the paperback imprint Panther Books in 1967. She was later given responsibility for all imprints of Granada Publishing. Callil then founded Virago Press in 1973 and, in 1982, was appointed managing director of Chatto & Windus and The Hogarth Press, where she remained until 1994, continuing also as chairman of Virago until 1995. In 1994 she became Editor-At-Large for the worldwide group of Random House publishing companies.
As a writer and critic, she has contributed reviews and features to many newspapers and journals, as well as occasional radio and television work. From 1985-91 she was a member of the Board of Channel 4 Television. She was also a member of the committee for the Booker Prize from 1979 tp 1984, and a founder director of the Groucho Club, in London. In 1989 she received the Distinguished Service Award from the International Women’s Writing Guild.
Her 2006 book, Bad Faith: A Forgotten History of Family & Fatherland, was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2010, and in 2017 was honoured with their Benson Medal. Callil was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2017 for services to literature.
Carmen Callil was a judge (Chair) for The Man Booker Prize in 1996 and a judge for The Man Booker International Prize in 2011.